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Missing persons, postmortem examination and Disaster Victim Identification (DVI): COVID-19 Response


Missing persons, postmortem examination and Disaster Victim Identification (DVI): COVID-19 Response


Law Enforcement Forensics | Forensics Labs | Investigations/ Research | Digital Forensics | Academia | Court Rooms and Criminal Law | Security

Missing persons, postmortem examination and Disaster Victim Identification (DVI): COVID-19 Response



The second Forensics Middle East & Africa webinar took place on Thursday 18th June, 14:00 GST (GMT +4).

The webinar included a welcome message from one of our esteemed committee members, followed by a roundtable discussion led by Dr Robert Green OBE, Senior Lecturer at the University of Kent and covered important topics within the forensics world.

Topics covered:

  • Identify good practices which has/is emerging; drawbacks and pitfalls and strategies to overcome them
  • Coordinating a DVI Response; international standards and experiences from the leading transnational response organisations
  • Cultural perspectives on clinical pathology and forensic medicine in the context of current challenges
  • Unsafe working practices; overflowing mortuary facilities & oversight risks
  • The exacerbated resources in countries exposing underinvestment
  • A cooperative approach to pandemic-related disaster management



The webinar showcased the opportunity to discuss strategies being utilised in different laboratories to deal with challenges presented by this global pandemic. Information sharing is a key part in increasing the safety standards for forensic professionals working during the pandemic as well as in ensuring continuity of casework. The three panelists discussed perspectives from the United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East with the goal to encompass a global approach to facing one of the most significant challenges to the forensics sector.

Post-Webinar Q&A with Dr Robert Green OBE


Webinar Participants



Chairman - Dr Robert Green OBE

Chairman - Dr Robert Green OBE

School of Physical Sciences, Senior Lecturer, University of Kent

Bob is currently the Director of Student Engagement within the School of Physical Sciences at the University of Kent, UK as well as teaching extensively on the forensic science program within the school.

Prior to joining the University he worked with in Research and Service Development at the Forensic Science Service and latterly leading the Science and Technology Unit within the Police Standards Unit at the UK Home Office. Most notably he was responsible for initiating the Home Office work on performance improvements, using computer simulation to ensure the most effective business processes are adopted across the forensic science services. He is well known for developing and leading the national program of cold case rape investigation – Operation Advance as well as being a national and international speaker on the development of DNA and other biometric databases. Throughout his career he has managed a number of national and international projects namely, CCTV, street crime and homicide reduction initiatives in order to ensure the most effective use of technology both to combat crime.

He was made an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list of 2008 for his services to forensic science and, quite apart from his academic role is one of HM Justices of the Peace for England and Wales. Over 34 years he has led a large number of consultancies both in the UK and abroad, dealing with science, technology and how we maximise our business processes to get the best from the investment in science.

Panellist -  Dr Dina Shokry        

Panellist -  Dr Dina Shokry        

President, Arab Union of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology

Dr. Shokry is a Professor of Forensic Medicine and Clinical Toxicology –Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University and chair of Forensic medicine Armed Force College of Medicine -Egypt. President of New Mediterranean Academy of Forensic Sciences (nMAFS) . She is the president of the Arab Union of Forensics and Toxicology (AUFT) which is a branch of Arab Medical Union. Prof. Shokry joined the Scientific Advisory Board of the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (OTP- ICC) February, 2014. Prof. Shokry is a roster in JRR and UN Woman, 2015. She is members of the INTERPOL Forensic Science Managers. Prof. Shokry is a board member of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC). Prof. Shokry is the chair of National Research Ethics Committee (MOHP) she is a board member of the International Association of Body damage (AIDC)-representative of North Africa and Middle East. Prof. Shokry is a board member of the National Committee of Organ Donation and national Committee of research ethics. She is a director and instructor of the training program for Gaza Forensic Doctors and crime scene investigators, Palestine via Arab Medical Union. From 2004 till now she is the editor-in chief of The Egyptian Journal of Forensic Sciences and Applied Toxicology (cited). she is a board member of Research Ethics and clinical research, WHO, Cairo, the Executive Director of Research Ethics Committee, MUST and a board member of the Middle East Clinical Research Association (MECRA), Lebanon. Dr. Shokry is the contact for the DAAD academic activities in Egypt and UNHCR, ICRC and UNFPA (United Nation and International Committee Of Red Cross preventative bodies) forensic consultant in Egypt. Prof. Shokry is a member of ad hoc committees for constructing the medical directory for the Egyptian doctors to deal with the female victims of violence and to put the Egyptian law for malpractice and medical responsibility, 2014. She is a member of the advisory board for evaluation of the scientific researches to promote the forensic sciences academic staff in Egypt and Iraq (Alnahrain University) Prof. Shokry got certificates in Basic and Advanced Security in the Field , 2015 from United Nation Department of Safety and Security(UNDSS). She is one of justice rapid response roasters, professor Shokry accomplished mission in training healthcare providers in Jordan on how to deal with cases of Gender based violence UN Women. She is part of national training program for preparing the physician to manage cases of gender-based violence – UNFPA.

Dr Amr Khattab    
Panellist - Dr Thomas Parsons

Panellist - Dr Thomas Parsons

Director of Science and Technology, ICMP

Thomas J. Parsons is the Director of Science and Technology at the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP). He supervises a large technical staff in a multidisciplinary approach to location and identification of the missing through imagery, forensic archaeology, anthropology, pathology, bioinformatics and high throughput DNA analysis. Current development at the ICMP laboratory focuses on optimal massively parallel sequencing approaches to missing persons DNA identification. The ICMP has assisted with the DNA-based identification of nearly 20,000 persons, and works on missing persons cases globally. Dr. Parsons has coordinated provision of extensive DNA and other forensic science evidence to the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugosolavia (ICTY) and other courts, and testified on multiple occasions for the ICTY in The Hague. Prior to joining the ICMP, Dr. Parsons worked at the US Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) since August of 1994, and held the position of AFDIL Chief Scientist since 2000. For two years after the 9/11 attacks he served on a seminal National Institute of Justice advisory panel for the World Trade Center DNA identification efforts. His undergraduate degree was in Physics from the University of Chicago, and he received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Washington in 1989. As a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution, he focused on ancient DNA, molecular evolution and phylogenetics, as well as mtDNA biogeography and avian speciation. He received the 2015 biennial Scientific Prize from the International Society of Forensic Genetics.

Panellist - Dr Khaldoon Aljerian      

Panellist - Dr Khaldoon Aljerian      

Head of Forensics Unit, King Saud University College of Medicine

Dr Khaldoon Aljerian is the only Forensic pathologist in Saudi Arabia with Full unrestricted active license in Canada. He is Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada and a Fellow of College of American Pathologists.

Dr Khaldoon Aljerian is the only Pathologist specialized in clinical autopsy and forensic autopsy, he is a Master of Health Science in Biomedical Ethics.

He has proven academic and administrative leadership.

Research interests include anatomic pathology and ethics, forensic medicine and cultural contexts, pathology informatics and telemedicine.



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