Srebrenica autopsies misrepresented by Hague Tribunal

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ICTY Srebrenica Autopsy reports

For twenty-five years autopsy reports have been the only tangible evidence in existence of what passes as the “Srebrenica narrative”. Between 1996 and 2001 those reports were prepared by the forensic experts of the Office of the Prosecutor of the Hague Tribunal. Technically, the task of those experts was to conduct exhumations of mass graves considered to be related to the mid-July 1995 execution of prisoners in and around Srebrenica. But the real task of those forensic teams was to document the assertion, launched well before any on site investigations were even undertaken, that in the period immediately following the fall of Srebrenica on July 11, 1995, Serbian forces had executed 8,000 prisoners. The Prosecution’s goal was to use the findings of their forensic experts as its evidence-in-chief in Srebrenica trials.

Srebrenica Historical Project reviewed every single one of the 3,568 autopsy reports that Prosecution experts had prepared in the course of their activities in the field. The analysis of what those reports contain has since been published many times, including on our web site. The findings which emerge from those autopsy reports do not at all support the assertions of the Prosecution of the Hague Tribunal. That is the most likely reason that the Prosecution never presented a detailed breakdown of the information these autopsy reports contain, nor did any of the ICTY chambers ever request from the Prosecution such a breakdown. The Hague Tribunal is simply bluffing that each of the over 3,500 available autopsies constitute proof of as many executions in July of 1995. In fact, about 70% of the autopsy reports do not conform to the execution scenario which the Prosecution had set out to prove when it sent its forensic personnel out into the field.

Up until about 2014 all autopsy reports were available for viewing on our previous web site, However, as the twentieth anniversary of Srebrenica was approaching at that time, our web site was hacked and disabled and, as a consequence, the autopsy reports in their original form became unavailable. The difficulty is that previously, in order to publish over 3,500 documents, some of them up to 30 pages long, we had to manually post every single document individually. We did not have the resources to repeat that process on our new, reorganised web site. We are therefore doing it now in a slightly different and more practical way. We have merged all autopsy reports pertaining to a single exhumed location, twenty-five in total, in a single pdf. document for that location. The evidence is no longer as easily navigable as it was before, but the important thing is that it is all there.

Our challenge to the partisans of the official Srebrenica narrative still stands. Let them take the trouble, as we had done, to review each and every one of the autopsy reports individually and then summarise their findings in tabular form, as we have done.

Would they be able to dispute the fact that out of 3,568 autopsy reports, 1,583 or 44,4%, consist of body fragments alone and that even ICTY Prosecution forensic experts were unable to determine the cause of death in 92,4% of those cases?

Will they dispute that the pattern of injury was from a bullet in only 655 cases, which allows for the possibility of execution? Or that in 442 cases the victim was found with a headscarf or handcuffed, or both, suggesting execution to a virtual certainty?

Will they deny that in 477 cases it can confidently be concluded that the subjects were not executed because the pattern of injury included shrapnel and other metallic fragments inconsistent with execution? Or that 150 cases evidenced blast injuries which can only be attributed to artillery munitions, which also excludes execution?

Will they be able to refute our finding, based on the femur bone count, that although Prosecution forensicists by misrepresenting bone fragments as individual persons may have inflated the number of “cases” to 3,568, in fact the only reliable evidence of paired femur bones supports the presence of no more than about 1,920 individuals in all Srebrenica mass graves? And, most importantly, that they died in a variety of manners, of which only a small percentage is consistent with execution?

We are again placing all the relevant empirical data at their and the general public’s disposal, giving everyone who is so inclined the opportunity to dispute our interpretation. If they succeed, we will cheerfully admit that we were wrong and that at least about half of the claimed 8,000 Srebrenica execution victims are thus factually proved.

In order to access Srebrenica autopsy reports, please click on the following link: