Portal:Genocide

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Genocide is the intentional action to destroy a people—usually defined as an ethnic, national, racial, or religious group—in whole or in part. A term coined by Raphael Lemkin in his 1944 book Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, the hybrid word geno- cide is a combination of the Greek word γένος (genos, "race, people") and the Latin suffix -caedo ("act of killing").

The United Nations Genocide Convention, which was established in 1948, defines genocide as "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such" including the killing of its members, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, deliberately imposing living conditions that seek to "bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part", preventing births, or forcibly transferring children out of the group to another group. Victims have to be deliberately, not randomly, targeted because of their real or perceived membership of one of the four groups outlined in the above definition.

The Political Instability Task Force estimated that, between 1956 and 2016, a total of 43 genocides took place, causing the death of about 50 million people. The UNHCR estimated that a further 50 million had been displaced by such episodes of violence up to 2008.

The word genocide has also come to signify a value judgment as it is widely considered the epitome of human evil. ( Full article...)

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Internment is the imprisonment of people, commonly in large groups, without charges or intent to file charges. The term is especially used for the confinement "of enemy citizens in wartime or of terrorism suspects". Thus, while it can simply mean imprisonment, it tends to refer to preventive confinement rather than confinement after having been convicted of some crime. Use of these terms is subject to debate and political sensitivities. Internment is also occasionally used to describe a neutral country's practice of detaining belligerent armed forces and equipment on its territory during times of war, under the Hague Convention of 1907.

Interned persons may be held in prisons or in facilities known as internment camps, also known as concentration camps. The term concentration camp originates from the Spanish–Cuban Ten Years' War when Spanish forces detained Cuban civilians in camps in order to more easily combat guerrilla forces. Imperialist powers over the following decades continued to use concentration camps (the British during the Second Boer War and the Americans during the Philippine–American War). ( Full article...) ( Full article...)

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Raphael Lemkin was a lawyer of Polonized-Jewish descent who is best known for coining the word genocide and initiating the Genocide Convention. Lemkin coined the word genocide in 1943 or 1944 from the rooted words genos (Greek for family, tribe, or race) and -cide (Latin for killing).

In 1933 Lemkin made a presentation to the Legal Council of the League of Nations conference on international criminal law in Madrid, for which he prepared an essay on the Crime of Barbarity as a crime against international law. The concept of the crime, which later evolved into the idea of genocide, was based on the Armenian Genocide and prompted by the experience of Assyrians massacred in Iraq during the 1933 Simele massacre. In 1934 Lemkin, under pressure from the Polish Foreign Minister for comments made at the Madrid conference, resigned his position and became a private solicitor in Warsaw. While in Warsaw, Lemkin attended numerous lectures organized by the Free Polish University, including the classes of Emil Stanisław Rappaport and Wacław Makowski.

In 1944, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace published Lemkin's most important work, entitled Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, in the United States. This book included an extensive legal analysis of German rule in countries occupied by Nazi Germany during the course of World War II, along with the definition of the term genocide. Lemkin's idea of genocide as an offense against international law was widely accepted by the international community and was one of the legal bases of the Nuremberg Trials. In 1945 to 1946, Lemkin became an advisor to Supreme Court of the United States and Nuremberg Trial chief counsel Robert H. Jackson.

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Left pointing double angle quotation mark sh3.svg "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." Right pointing double angle quotation mark sh3.svg —  Simon Wiesenthal, AP Interview, 1999

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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.

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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]

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