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 Home > News & Policies > June 2003

Renewal in Iraq

For Immediate Release
June 18, 2003

Coalition Assistance to Protect Mass Graves

The Coalition is working to help grieving families search for lost relatives and to preserve evidence for future prosecutions against the perpetrators of these crimes by the new government. The Coalition's policy toward preserving mass graves, includes the following:

  • To strike the delicate balance between the interests of families searching for loved ones and broader justice issues, the Coalition is working with local leaders where digging has already begun to coordinate the process; providing security at sites where digging has not begun; and sending forensic teams to conduct exhumations of grave sites.
  • The Coalition and the Iraqi Committee on Missing Persons (ICMP) are collecting records of Iraqis who have disappeared and compiling a national database to assist forensic investigative teams.
  • Prosecution of crimes against humanity committed by the former regime will be conducted through an Iraqi-led process assisted and supported by the international community as needed.
  • To ensure that prosecutors have access to evidence, the Coalition will form an evidence coordination team, and this team will create centralized and systematic warehouses for the storage, documentation and preservation of evidence.