The Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team (EPAF), institution for the promotion and defense of human rights, makes the following statement about some reports in the press of Ethiopia regarding EPAF’s work in Somaliland:
1. EPAF reiterates its full support for the freedoms of opinion, expression and information, cornerstones of democratic regimes.
2. Press coverage of EPAF’s forensic work in Somaliland is based on an agreement with the Investigating War Crimes Commission (WCIC), governmental agency responsible for human rights investigations in Somaliland, and EPAF give the best facilities for its realization, indicating that journalists should always respect the dignity of victims and the work of experts.
3. The role of the forensic experts is to recover and analyze criminal evidence (skeletal remains and associated elements) related to violations of human rights. Therefore, we must clarify that no EPAF’s expert make statements interpreting the historical facts surrounding the human rights violations that occurred in Somaliland, because that is not its function.
4. EPAF will continue supporting the work of the journalists, if they respect the aforementioned indications.
Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team
Hargeisa, Somaliland, February 25th, 2014.