Ukraine: ICRC stresses urgency of recovering remains from MH17 site

25-07-2014 News Release 14/131

Geneva/Kiev (ICRC) – The ICRC is underlining the need to act quickly and follow proper procedures in searching for, collecting, managing and identifying the remains of those who died in the Malaysia Airlines plane crash on 17 July, as required under international humanitarian law.

Morris Tidball-Binz heads the ICRC's Forensic Services Department. “Our thoughts are with the families of the victims, who need to offer their loved ones a proper burial,” he said, speaking from Kiev. “My meetings in Ukraine this week focused on the need to finish recovering the remains and personal belongings from the crash site as a matter of urgency,” he added.

While numerous sets of remains have been recovered so far and are currently undergoing post-mortem analysis and identification procedures, the ICRC is concerned that the remains of some victims, and numerous personal belongings, have still not been retrieved and transferred for identification.

The organization stands ready to help ensure that all remains are recovered as quickly as possible, managed in a dignified manner and analysed in accordance with strict international forensic standards. It is urging that every effort be made to keep families informed of efforts to find, recover and identify their deceased relatives.

The ICRC has provided body bags and other items required for the collection and transportation of human remains, offered forensic advice and facilitated the access of international forensic specialists to the crash site.

For further information, please contact:
Anastasia Isyuk, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 30 23 or +41 79 251 93 02
Andre Loersch, ICRC Kiev, tel: +380 671 182 481