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To the Interim Government of Iraq
- Establish as an urgent matter a Commission for Missing
Persons that initially engages international as well as Iraqi expertise
and administration. The Commission should establish a system for protecting
and preserving mass graves, create protocols for exhumations of
gravesites, and set and oversee implementation of priorities for
exhumations of mass gravesites that balance the needs of families to
identify victims alongside the evidentiary needs of criminal proceedings
against the alleged perpetrators. Wherever possible, exhumations should be
commemorative events, part of a process of social reconstruction in which
families and communities can re-bury the victims with dignity, and pay
them the respect that they had been denied by political violence.
- Promulgate a system, in conjunction with this exhumation
and documentation effort, for issuing death certificates, which are
required by the government for surviving family members to assert rights
such as inheritance and remarriage.
- Appoint a body of Iraqi and international experts to
recommend standards and best practices for the handling of confiscated
documents of the former government, including for the following purposes:
1) establishing a chain of custody in order to assure authenticity; 2)
facilitating the archiving of documents in a manner that addresses both
the evidentiary needs of criminal judicial proceedings against former high
officials as well as the humanitarian needs of victims' families of the former government
to resolve the fate of missing loved ones; and 3) working with Iraqi
nongovernmental organizations and political parties to secure, to the
extent possible, the return to a national archive of originals of state
documents currently in their possession.
To the government of the United States and other coalition governments
- Establish a process for returning to Iraqi government
custody the originals of all documents seized by U.S. and coalition forces since the overthrow of the former government.
- Ensure that officials of the Iraqi Special Tribunal or the
Iraqi criminal court have access to all confiscated documents to determine
whether they represent potential evidence in future criminal proceedings.
To the international donor community
- Ensure that resources are made available for the forensic
and documentary evidence preservation priorities identified in this report, including
for documentation, humanitarian, and truth-telling purposes separate from
any trials for serious past crimes.