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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
Jes Wienberg

Heritage Convention. The same problems are to be found in the debate on human rights. Intimations of human rights can be found far back in time, actually as far back as pharaonic Egypt. However, the Age of Enlightenment has been assigned a special role in the narrative of human rights, with the American Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the French Revolution’s Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in 1789 as milestones. The UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) is usually regarded as a reaction against the atrocities of the 1930s and

in Heritopia
Open Access (free)
Jes Wienberg

rights in conventions in the twentieth century, albeit constantly disputed (e.g. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948; Bring 2011 ). The material icons of progress are to do with new, cross-border technologies in which inventors and engineers are agents. They are technologies that have widened the horizon and increased the range and speed of human beings. They include lenses used in spectacles, telescopes, and microscopes. They also comprise the development from the astronomer Galileo Galilei’s first telescope to present-day satellite telescopes that have

in Heritopia
Open Access (free)
Jes Wienberg

concept is constantly becoming relevant to new areas or seeping into closely related fields: heritage is combined with such words as archaeology, art, canon, church, colonialism, commercialism, conservation, criminality, democracy, development, development-assistance policy, economics, education, environment, ethics, forests, future, globalisation, politics of memory, history, human rights, identity, identity policy, landscape, legislation, management, memory, modernity(!), museums, nationalism, peace-building, politics, quality of life, religion, religious services

in Heritopia
Jes Wienberg

, for example, national legislation and international conventions such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the World Heritage Convention (1972). Ever since Riegl’s innovative treatise, there has been an extensive and sustained debate about heritage values. This debate takes place within and between the two cultures of heritage. The debate is primarily driven by the need that public authorities and museums have to be able to manage a constantly growing heritage in a both flexible and credible way in relation to other stakeholders in society. On

in Heritopia
Suhad Daher-Nashif

This article aims to shed light on the post-mortem practices for Palestinian dead bodies when there is suspicion of human rights violations by Israeli military forces. By focusing on the case of Omran Abu Hamdieh from Al-Khalil (Hebron), the article explores the interactions between Palestinian social-institutional agents, Israeli military forces and international medico-legal agents. Drawing on ethnographic and archival data, the article explores how the intersectionality between the various controlling powers is inscribed over the Palestinian dead bodies and structures their death rites. The article claims that inviting foreign medico-legal experts in the Palestinian context could reveal the true death story and the human rights violations, but also reaffirms the sovereignty of the Israeli military forces over the Palestinian dead and lived bodies.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Patricio Galella

During the Spanish Civil War, extrajudicial executions and disappearances of political opponents took place and their corpses were buried in unregistered mass graves. The absence of an official policy by successive democratic governments aimed at the investigation of these cases, the identification and exhumation of mass graves, together with legal obstacles, have prevented the victims families from obtaining reparation, locating and recovering the human remains. This paper argues that this state of affairs is incompatible with international human rights law and Spain should actively engage in the search for the whereabouts and identification of the bodies with all the available resources.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal