Forensic anthropology and the most probable cause of death in cases of violations against international humanitarian law: An example from Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Baraybar J
  • Gasior M
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Abstract

This study presents the results of the analysis of at least 298 predominantly male individuals, between 15 and 75 years, who were recovered from an open cast mine in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Particular attention is paid to identifying the mechanisms of injury and determination of the most probable cause of death based on the assessment of lethal or lethal-if-untreated injuries recorded in the skeleton. It was calculated that at least 38.9% (155/398) of individuals sustained gunshot wounds (GSWs) (plus one shrapnel wound) and may have died as consequence of these injuries. Among individuals who died from GSWs, there were 142 males (91.60%), eight females (5.1%) and five cases that were (3.2%) undetermined. One male individual sustained shrapnel injuries. This study presents an example of the multidisciplinary approach to the effective forensic investigation of violation against International Humanitarian Law, as well as an example of how it is possible to obtain meaningful results to assist the needs of the prosecution in these kind of cases despite the large number of cases and technological constraints.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Cause of death
  • Forensic anthropology
  • Forensic pathology
  • Forensic science
  • Genocide
  • International Humanitarian Law
  • Minimal number of individuals

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Authors

  • Jose Pablo Baraybar

  • Marek Gasior

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