Tag Archive | Crimes against humanity

On this day July 1, 2002

The Rome Statute entered into force, establishing the International Criminal Court to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression.

The statute is the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC). It was adopted at a diplomatic conference in Rome on 17 July 1998 and it entered into force on 1 July 2002.

As of June 2009, 108 states are party to the statute. Chile will become the 109th state party on 1 September 2009, and a further 39 states have signed but not ratified the treaty. Among other things, the statute establishes the court’s functions, jurisdiction and structure. Read More…

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On this day April 24, 1915

The Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire began with the arrest and deportation of hundreds of prominent Armenians in Constantinople.

Armenians controlled by armed Turkish soldiers. Kharpert, Armenia, April 1915.

Armenians patrolled by Turkish soldiers in Kharpert, Armenia April 1915

The genocide (Armenian: Հայոց Ցեղասպանություն, Turkish: Ermeni Soykırımı),  refers to the deliberate and systematic destruction (genocide) of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I.

It was characterized by the use of massacres, and the use of deportations involving forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees, with the total number of Armenian deaths generally held to have been between one and one-and-a-half million. Read More…

Serbia condemns Srebrenica massacre

Serbia’s parliament has approved a landmark resolution condemning the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre, in which 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed by Bosnian Serb troops.

Srebrenica Potocari Memorial

This tragedy is considered the worst atrocity carried out in Europe since the Second World War and a symbol of the brutality of the 1992–95 Balkan wars.

After thirteen hours of debate, 127 of the 250 Serbia’s parliament lawmakers voted to pass the landmark resolution; only 173 were present. “The parliament of Serbia strongly condemns the crime committed against the Bosnian Muslim population of Srebrenica in July 1995”, says the resolution. Also, the text apologises to the families of the victims “because not everything possible was done to prevent the tragedy”. Read More…

On this day March 16, 1988

The Kurdish town of Halabjah in Iraq was attacked with a mix of poison gas and nerve agents, killing 5000 people and injured about 10000 people. Thousands more died of horrific complications, diseases, and birth defects in the years after the attack.

The incident, which Human Rights Watch (HRW) defined as an act of genocide, was as of 2008 the largest-scale chemical weapons attack directed against a civilian-populated area in history. Read More…

Turkey recalls Sweden ambassador

Turkey has recalled its ambassador to Sweden after the Swedish Parliament voted to describe Turkey’s killings of Armenians in World War I as “genocide”.

The Swedish vote came despite the Swedish government’s opposition to the resolution, as several parliament members crossed party lines in the vote, which passed the resolution by a vote of 131–130, with 88 parliament members absent. The Swedish government called the vote a “mistake,” but added that it will not influence their position on the matter. Read More…

Turkey recalls US ambassador

A United States Congressional panel has passed a resolution describing Turkey’s killing of Armenians in World War I as genocide, over objections from the White House.

The panel, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, passed the resolution, which calls on President Barack Obama to “characterize the systematic and deliberate annihilation of 1.5 million Armenians as genocide,” by a vote of 23 to 22. The passage came even after the White House warned the panel that the vote would harm talks between Turkey and Armenia, and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked the panel not to proceed with the vote. Additionally, a Turkish parliamentary delegation aimed at convincing panel members to defeat the resolution also had gone to Washington to plead their case. Read More…

Former Bosnian president arrested

Former Bosnian president Dr. Ejup Ganić was arrested by the Metropolitan Police at Heathrow Airport, London on Monday. He was attempting to leave the United Kingdom when authorities apprehended him.

Ganić was arrested on an extradition warrant issued by the Serbian government for alleged warcrimes he committed during the 1990s Balkans conflict. He is accused of involvement in a 1992 attack on a Yugoslav army convoy in Sarajevo where more than 40 people were killed.

The Scotland Yard said Ganić “was arrested on behalf of the Serbian authorities under a provisional extradition warrant alleging ‘conspiracy to murder with other named people and breach of the Geneva Convention, namely killing wounded soldiers…’,”. A Foreign Office spokesman confirmed Ganić’s arrest following “a extradition request” from Serbian government. Read More…