Scientists from Universities of Leicester and Birmingham in Search for Missing Persons
Experts to set off for crucial mission
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scientists are bringing their knowledge and experience and some of their 'state
of the art' equipment - to Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the overall effort
to locate and identify the thousands of persons still missing following the
Balkan conflicts. Sadly today this can only mean searching for graves, some of
them in virtually inaccessible places - under hotels, petrol stations and
parking lots or in collapsed underground mines.
from the Universities of Leicester and Birmingham are collaborating with the
International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), based in Sarajevo.
ICMP works closely with Bosnian and other former Yugoslavian authorities
in the recovery, examination and identification of missing persons throughout
|John Hunter, Professor of Ancient History and Archaeology at the University of Birmingham, heads a group of experts who will bring ground-penetrating radar and other advanced technology used to find mass graves and to document bodies and artifacts contained within the graves.|
Rutty, Professor of Forensic Pathology at the University of Leicester heads
the Leicester team which includes Dr Benjamin Swift, of the Division of Forensic
Pathology, University of Leicester. They
will be testing human bones to assess the time since death and the 'life
history' of missing persons, used to complement ICMP's DNA-led
identification system and traditional means of identifying missing persons.
to Ms Cecily Cropper, ICMP Senior Forensic Archaeologist, a major goal of this
project is to use the ground penetrating radar not only to locate sites, but to
document as much as possible about the grave's contents before ever disturbing
the ground. Adds
Rick Harrington, Head of ICMP's Exhumations and Examinations Program:
"There are several controversial sites in the region, where people suspect
that bodies have been hidden in underground mine tunnels or buried under hotels,
petrol stations or concrete slabs and parking lots.
To tear down buildings or undertake massive excavations of old mines,
only to find there are no bodies, would be a risky venture, to say the least.
Ground penetrating radar can document some of these sites without the
need to dig. We
may even find some of the largest mass graves to date in Bosnia and
UK and ICMP scientists will meet in Sarajevo on March 21 for lectures and
of the search-and-mapping equipment at suspected mass grave sites will take
place between March 24-26.
This visit is being funded by the British Council Bosnia and Herzegovina.
RUTTY's telephone number is 0116 252 3221
Office, University of Birmingham (+44)(0) 121 414 6680, email email@example.com
Office University of Leicester
(+44) (0) 116 252 2415, email firstname.lastname@example.org
more information contact ICMP Press Officer, Aldijana Buhic on ++387 (0) 33 218
660 or on ++387 (0) 61 222 142.
was created in 1996 at the G-7 Summit, in Lyon, France.
Its primary objectives include: to intensify government efforts to
release information on the missing; to assist in building a regional capacity to
accelerate the process of recovery and identification of mortal remains that
incorporates the use of state-of-the-art DNA technology; and to strengthen the
capability of associations of families of missing persons to address the issue.
The current chairman of ICMP is James V Kimsey. Mr Kimsey is the Founding
CEO and Chairman Emeritus of America Online Inc (AOL), as well as a
Philanthropist and Vietnam war veteran.
This document has been approved by the head of department or section.