DNA FORENSICS OF SREBRENICA GENOCIDE
Isn't it time for Helge Brunborg's list of Srebrenica genocide victims to be updated with new information that has become available since 16 November 2005? According to the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), the number of DNA-identified Srebrenica victims has increased to 6,414 as of 26 March 2010. The DNA analysis supports the figure of 8,100 killed. Furthermore, corpses of Bosniak victims have been exhumed from a total of 80 mass graves around Srebrenica.
What about Bosniak babies that died during the genocide? Some of them died in Potocari due to lack of water and other necessities. Pregnant women, under the extreme stress, were prone to deliver babies early. What about Bosniaks who committed the suicide as a result of stress caused directly by the Serb Army's behavior during the fall of Srebrenica? Shouldn't all of them be included in the list of Srebrenica genocide victims? These are just some of the questions that need to be answered.
Even though Brunborg's report is 4.5 years old, one can still find lots of relevant information in it. According to Helge Brunborg, the most reliable source on the exhumed and identified persons is with no doubt the ICMP [International Commission on Missing Persons]. The ICMP employs modern technology to ensure that the bodies can be identified quickly and accurately by using DNA sampling and matching. Bone samples taken from dead bodies and blood samples from living relatives are matches. Such samples, if matched, provide a reliable basis for the identification of a missing person. Each human has a distinct DNA code. Humans inherit this distinct code from their parents, therefore their DNA will bear similarities with their relatives: The closer the relative, the closer the match. The laboratories analyse certain points of the genetic code to determine whether a body's DNA matches a living relative's. When a comparison is said to result in a match, it is considered very accurate (probability of 0.9999, or probability of a false match of 0.0001).
In order to keep this probability high, blood samples are ideally taken from three relatives of every missing person. Once a match is made, the result is sent to the pathologist, who, if satisfied, will sign the death certificate. To ensure that the system works, bodies have to be recovered from mass graves and elsewhere and blood samples have to be taken of relatives. Family outreach centres for collecting blood samples have been established in Tuzla, Sarajevo, Mostar, Sanski Most and Banja Luka. There are also ICC-ICMP mobile teams that collect blood samples from all over Bosnia-Herzegovina and other regions of the former Yugoslavia.
The process of blood donating is entirely voluntary and ensures complete confidentiality for the donor. Once either blood or bone samples have been taken, they are bar coded (done at the ICC-ICMP by computer) so that no one outside of the central office is aware of the details behind the sample. The DNA profile is separated out of the blood samples at the Tuzla University Clinical centre.
Exhumations are the source for obtaining bone samples. Informants (e.g. witnesses or victims) report possible graves to the local Bosnian commission for missing persons, or to international organisations, such as SFOR, ICMP or ICTY. After a pre-visit to an exhumation site, with an assessment of the location and history of the site, the local court issues an exhumation warrant. it is at this point that the ICMP co-ordinates the proceedings. The digs are closely monitored by several agencies, to ensure taht they are conducted legally and thoroughly. SFOR can provide information for the pre-visits and enhanced security for the site and surrounding area, if the digg is sensitive. The corpses go to one of the many morgues in the area of Sarajevo or Banja Luka, or in Tuzla for the Podrinje Identification Project (PIP).
PIP helps the DNA sampling project by extracting bone samples, as well as by carrying out more traditional forensic work, such as identifying bodies through old injuries and from clothes, which is also done at the Tuzla hospital. Small bone samples are taken, bar-coded for anonymity, and sent to a laboratory in Sarajevo, where the DNA is extracted.
The DNA profiles of the blood and bone samples are returned to the ICC-ICMP in Tuzla, where the matching is done. At the ICC-ICMP, all blood and bones samples are archived, all of them bar-coded, with names of donors being removed from the samples. The ICC-ICMP also maintains the ICMP databases containing among others the following modules:
- Blood donors (i.e. relatives of the missing)
- DNA matches and reports on matches
- Closed cases (i.e. positive identification), with names and other available personal details.
1. Dr. Ljubisa Simic, Serbian Propagandist & Srebrenica Genocide Denier
2. "Srebrenica Historical Project" - Genocide Denial NGO Headed by Stefan Karganovic (aka: Stephen Karganovic)
3. Military Records are Unreliable & No Srebrenica Victims Voted in 1996 Elections
4. Bosnia-Herzegovina is Global Leader in DNA identification
5. Mirsad Tokaca: 500 Victims not Alive
6. Srebrenica Genocide is Undeniable Reality - a multitude of facts
7. Judge Theodor Meron (Polish-American Jew): 40,000 Bosniaks Living in Srebrenica Targeted for Extinction