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POL/HTY 395: Genocide & Laws of War (Rimanelli): Genocide

What is Genocide?

"The term 'genocide' did not exist before 1944. It is a very specific term, referring to violent crimes committed against groups with the intent to destroy the existence of the group. Human rights, as laid out in the U.S. Bill of Rights or the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, concern the rights of individuals. "

[from United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website]

UN Convention on Genocide

The UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (December 1948) defines genocide as:

  “…any of a number of acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group: 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…”

What is Genocide?

What is Genocide?

For someone to be convicted of genocide, it has to be proved that they had the intent to destroy – in totally or in part – a national, ethnic or religious group.

In the words of a Rwandan killer:

“You will never see the source of a genocide. It is buried too deep in grudges, under an accumulation of misunderstandings that we were the last to inherit. We came of age in the worst moment of Rwanda’s history: we were taught to obey absolutely, raised in hatred, stuffed with slogans. We are an unfortunate generation.”

Joseph-Desire, killer

Rwandan Stories

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