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Melanie Klinkner

In the aftermath of conflict and gross human rights violations, victims have a right to know what happened to their loved ones. Such a right is compromised if mass graves are not adequately protected to preserve evidence, facilitate identification and repatriation of the dead and enable a full and effective investigation to be conducted. Despite guidelines for investigations of the missing, and legal obligations under international law, it is not expressly clear how these mass graves are best legally protected and by whom. This article asks why, to date, there are no unified mass-grave protection guidelines that could serve as a model for states, authorities or international bodies when faced with gross human rights violations or armed conflicts resulting in mass graves. The paper suggests a practical agenda for working towards a more comprehensive set of legal guidelines to protect mass graves.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Jeremy Sarkin

This article examines the ways in which missing persons have been dealt with, mainly in the former Yugoslavia, to show how the huge advances made in the search for, recovery and identification of those who disappeared is positively impacting on the ability of families to find their loved ones. The article surveys the advances made in dealing with the missing on a range of fronts, including the technical and forensic capacities. It examines some of the other developments that have occurred around the world with regard to the search for, recovery and identification of people and makes recommendations on how to make improvements to ensure that the rights of families around the world, as well as a range of other human rights, including truth and justice, are enhanced.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Marco Aurelio Guimarães, Raffaela Arrabaça Francisco, Martin Evison, Edna Sadayo Miazato Iwamura, Carlos Eduardo Palhares Machado, Ricardo Henrique Alves da Silva, Maria Eliana Castro Pinheiro, Diva Santana, and Julie Alvina Guss Patrício

Exhumation may be defined as the legally sanctioned excavation and recovery of the remains of lawfully buried or – occasionally – cremated individuals, as distinct from forensic excavations of clandestinely buried remains conducted as part of a criminal investigation and from unlawful disinterment of human remains, commonly referred to as bodysnatching. The aim of this article is to review the role of exhumation – so defined – in the activities of CEMEL, the Medico-Legal Centre of the Ribeirão Preto Medical School-University of São Paulo, in international, regional and local collaborations. Exhumations form part of routine forensic anthropology casework; scientific research in physical and forensic anthropology; and forensic casework conducted in collaboration with the Brazilian Federal Police; and are carried out as part of humanitarian investigations into deaths associated with the civil–military dictatorship of 1964 to 1985. This article aims to offer a non-technical summary – with reference to international comparative information – of the role of exhumation in investigative and scientific work and to discuss developments in their historical and political context.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Clara Duterme

Established during the Guatemalan Peace Process, the Oslo Accord contemplates the question of compensating the victims of internal armed conflict. Not only was this accord founded on the principles of victims rights, but it also intends to contribute to the democratic reconstruction of Guatemalan society through a process of recognition of victims status and memory – intended to have a reconciling function. The article focuses on the work of two organisations implementing the Oslo Accord and aims to analyse the discourses and practices of the local actors and their perception of the application of victims rights. Civil society actors and members of the National Compensation Programme demonstrate different approaches both in practical work and in representations of what is right. However, revendication of local cultural values is present in all actors discourse, revealing their ambiguous position in regard to state government.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Embodying the disappeared of the Argentinian dictatorship through law
Sévane Garibian

of Human Rights,19 but as yet undefined and, moreover, absent from Argentinian law. The national context of this period is even more interesting and richer than in 1994, when a profound reform of the Argentinian constitution was made in a spirit of post-dictatorship ‘democratic consolidation’.20 The latter enabled the principal international instruments for the HRMV.indb 47 01/09/2014 17:28:35 48  Sévane Garibian protection of human rights to be integrated into the Argentinian juridical order, giving them, in addition, a constitutional value in the normative

in Human remains and mass violence
Corpse, bodypolitics and contestation in contemporary Guatemala
Ninna Nyberg Sørensen

women (Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA 2009). The systematic and violent killing of women is generally termed ‘femicide’, when distinguishing the victim of the homicide as female, or ‘feminicide’, when stressing that these women are killed because of their sex, and that not only the male perpetrators but also the state and its judicial structures are responsible for the insecurity of female citizens and the impunity following acts of violence against them. 206 Ninna Nyberg Sørensen The concept of femicide is attributed to Diane Russell, who initially defined

in Governing the dead
Open Access (free)
The politics of exhumation in post-genocide Rwanda
Rémi Korman

9 Bury or display? The politics of exhumation in post-genocide Rwanda Rémi Korman The practices and techniques employed by forensic anthropologists in the scientific documentation of human rights violations, and situations of mass murder and genocide in particular, have developed enormously since the early 1990s.1 The best-known case studies concern Latin American countries which suffered under the dictatorships of the 1970s–1980s, Franco’s Spain, and Bosnia. In Rwanda, the first forensic study of a large-scale massacre was carried out one year before the

in Human remains and identification
Challenges and technological solutions to the ­identification of individuals in mass grave scenarios in the modern context
Gillian Fowler and Tim Thompson

approaches to identification Before the advent of DNA technology in human rights violation contexts, identifications of human remains in mass graves were carried out using a variety of methods. The cornerstone of these presumptive identifications was extensive ante-mortem investigation and the subsequent comparison of the ante-mortem profile of a suspected victim with a post-mortem profile of a cadaver.6 The circumstances surrounding the death of an individual was usually provided by a witness interview, and corroboration of this testimony would be sought 120   Gillian

in Human remains and identification
Chowra Makaremi

are still in place. The historian Ervand Abrahamian concluded in 1999 that more than 7,900 dissidents had been eliminated between 1981 and 1985. In 2012, the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC), based at Yale, estimated 20,000 to be the number of documented executions and political deaths in the period through to 1988. The initiative International People’s Tribunal on the Abuse and Mass Killings of Political Prisoners in Iran (1981–88) has published a list of 15,116 people executed between 1981 and 1988, including 4,677 between July and October 1988

in Destruction and human remains
Open Access (free)
The bodyand counter-revolutionary warfare inapartheid South Africa
Nicky Rousseau

Apartheid South Africa  205 The war comes home Among the many omissions laid at the door of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is the absence of statistics indicating the number of persons killed as a result of political violence during the thirty-four-year period covered by its remit (1 March 1960 to 10 May 1994). This seems surprising for a commission specifically mandated to discover the ‘nature, causes and extent of gross violations of human rights’4 – of which killing was one such violation – and to determine the identity of both victims and

in Destruction and human remains