Portal:Genocide

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The Genocide Portal

Genocide is the mass killing of a population of people as defined by Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG) as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; and forcibly transferring children of the group to another group." The term genocide was coined by Raphael Lemkin in his 1944 book Axis Rule in Occupied Europe.

Selected article

Soviet famine of 1932–33. Areas of most disastrous famine marked with black.

The Holodomor, also known as the Terror-Famine and Famine-Genocide in Ukraine, and—before the widespread use of the term "Holodomor," and sometimes currently—also referred to as the Great Famine, and The Ukrainian Genocide of 1932–33 was a man-made famine in Soviet Ukraine in 1932 and 1933 that killed an officially estimated 7 million to 10 million people. It was part of the wider Soviet famine of 1932–33, which affected the major grain-producing areas of the country.

During the Holodomor millions of inhabitants of Ukraine, the majority of whom were ethnic Ukrainians, died of starvation in a peacetime catastrophe unprecedented in the history of Ukraine. Since 2006, the Holodomor has been recognized by Ukraine and 15 other countries as a genocide of the Ukrainian people carried out by the Soviet government.

Early estimates of the death toll by scholars and government officials varied greatly; anywhere from 1.8 to 12 million ethnic Ukrainians were said to have perished as a result of the famine. Recent research has since narrowed the estimates to between 2.4 and 7.5 million. The exact number of deaths is hard to determine, due to a lack of records, but the number increases significantly when the deaths in heavily Ukrainian-populated Kuban are included. Older estimates are still often cited in political commentary. According to the findings of the Court of Appeal of Kiev in 2010, the demographic losses due to the famine amounted to 10 million, with 3.9 million direct famine deaths, and a further 6.1 million birth deficit.

Selected biography

Gregory H. Stanton is the founder (1999) and president of Genocide Watch, the founder (1981) and director of the Cambodian Genocide Project, and is the founder (1999) and Chair of the International Campaign to End Genocide. He is the Vice President (2005 - 2007) of the International Association of Genocide Scholars. Gregory Stanton comes from the lineage of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, women's suffrage activist, and Henry Brewster Stanton, an anti-slavery leader. Actively involved in human rights since the 1960's, when he was a voting rights worker in Mississippi, he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Ivory Coast, and as the Church World Service/CARE Field Director in Cambodia in 1980.

Dr. Stanton served in the State Department (1992-1999), where he drafted the United Nations Security Council resolutions that created the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Burundi Commission of Inquiry, and the Central African Arms Flow Commission. He also drafted the U.N. Peacekeeping Operations resolutions that helped bring about an end to the Mozambique civil war. In 1994, Stanton won the American Foreign Service Association's prestigious W. Averell Harriman award for "extraordinary contributions to the practice of diplomacy exemplifying intellectual courage," based on his dissent from U.S. policy on the Rwandan genocide. He wrote the State Department options paper on ways to bring the Khmer Rouge to justice in Cambodia.

Since leaving the State Department in 1999 to found Genocide Watch, Stanton has been deeply involved in the U.N. - Cambodian government negotiations that have brought about creation of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, for which he has drafted internal rules of procedure and evidence. From 1999 - 2000, he also served as Co-Chair of the Washington Working Group for the International Criminal Court.

Quote

"A genocide begins with the killing of one man — not for what he has done, but because of who he is. A campaign of 'ethnic cleansing' begins with one neighbour turning on another. Poverty begins when even one child is denied his or her fundamental right to education. What begins with the failure to uphold the dignity of one life, all too often ends with a calamity for entire nations." - Kofi Annan, Nobel lecture 2001

"If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged." - Noam Chomsky, lecture at St. Michael's College, 1990

"We are living in a time of the trivialization of the word 'Holocaust,' What happened to the Jews cannot be compared with all the other crimes. Every Jew had a death sentence without a date." -Simon Wiesenthal, AP Interview 1999

"First they came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up." -Martin Niemöller, from the poem "First they came..."

Genocide news

12 April 2007

Mummified victims of the Rwanda genocide.
Photo by Emmanuel Cattier.

A United Nations exhibition, titled "Lessons from Rwanda", about the 1994 Rwanda genocide, has been dismantled and postponed because Turkey "objected to a sentence in the text, which showed how the Armenian killings contributed to the creation of the term genocide".[1]

The disputed sentence was:

Following World War 1, during which one million Armenians were murdered in Turkey, Polish lawyer Raphael Lemkin urged the League of Nations to recognize crimes of barbarity as international crimes.[1]

The Republic of Turkey has long disputed that the event constituted genocide, claiming rather that the Armenian deaths were a result of inter-ethnic strife, disease and famine during the turmoil of World War I.

The exhibit was set up in the visitors lobby on Thursday, 5 April,[1] and was due to be opened on Monday, 9 April 2007, by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. "Lessons from Rwanda" was created by Aegis Trust, an anti-genocide NGO, and approved by the U.N. Department of Public Information.[2] The exhibit also mentioned the Holocaust the Cambodian killing fields and crimes committed in Bosnia, East Timor and Sudan.[1]

On Saturday, 7 April ,James Smith, the chief executive of Aegis, was told by the UN to remove the sentence. Aegis resisted the Secretary General’s request. Smith explains, "Had we been asked to remove reference of atrocities to Jews because Germany objected, we would have been equally resistant."[3]

The suggestion by Armen Martirosyan, the Armenian ambassador to the UN, to remove the words "in Turkey" were not acceptable to the UN.[2] Baki Ilkin, the Turkish ambassador to the UN, said that Turkey expressed "discomfort over the text's making references to the Armenian issue and drawing parallels with the genocide in Rwanda."[3]

On Monday, the panels in the visitor's lobby had been turned around to prevent it being seen by the public.[4] Farhan Haq, U.N. associate spokesman, said that the review process which takes into account "all positions" had not been followed and that "the exhibition has been postponed until the regular review process is completed."[1] Manoel de Almeida e Silva, an official in the strategic communications division, said the exhibit would take place. "We are committed to it. It is a very important issue."[1]

Selected picture

Rwandan Genocide Murambi skulls.jpg

Original caption states: "Deep gashes delivered by the killers are visible in the skulls that fill one room at the Murambi School." Aftermath of Rwandan Genocide.

Genocide lists

International prosecution of genocide (ad hoc tribunals)

It is commonly accepted that, at least since World War II, genocide has been illegal under customary international law as a peremptory norm, as well as under conventional international law. Acts of genocide are generally difficult to establish, for prosecution, since intent, demonstrating a chain of accountability, has to be established. International criminal courts and tribunals function primarily because the states involved are incapable or unwilling to prosecute crimes of this magnitude themselves.

For more information see:

International prosecution of genocide (International Criminal Court)

To date all international prosecutions for genocide have been brought in specially convened international tribunals. Since 2002, the International Criminal Court can exercise its jurisdiction if national courts are unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute genocide, thus being a "court of last resort," leaving the primary responsibility to exercise jurisdiction over alleged criminals to individual states. Due to the United States concerns over the ICC, the United States prefers to continue to use specially convened international tribunals for such investigations and potential prosecutions.[1]

For more information see:

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