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The Genocide Portal

This portal concerns genocide and strives to provide information on genocide. This portal provides a central location in which all related genocide article may be found.

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."


"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…"

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Selected article

The International Criminal Court (ICC) was established in 2002 as a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression, although it cannot currently exercise its jurisdiction over the crime of aggression. The court can only prosecute crimes committed on or after July 1, 2002, the date its founding treaty, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, entered into force.

As of April 2007, 104 states are members of the Court, and a further 41 countries have signed but not ratified the Rome Statute. However, a number of states, including the United States, China and India, continue to oppose it.

The Court can generally only exercise jurisdiction in cases where the accused is a national of a state party, the alleged crime took place on the territory of a state party, or a situation is referred to the Court by the United Nations Security Council. The Court is designed to complement existing national judicial systems: it can only exercise its jurisdiction when national courts are unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute such crimes. Primary responsibility to exercise jurisdiction over suspected criminals is therefore left to individual states.

The official seat of the ICC is in The Hague, Netherlands, but its proceedings may take place anywhere. The Court is separate from, and should not be confused with, the International Court of Justice (often referred to as the “World Court”), which is the United Nations organ that settles disputes between nations.

"International Criminal Court" is sometimes abbreviated as ICCt to distinguish it from several other organizations abbreviated as ICC. However, the more common abbreviation "ICC" is used in this article.

Selected picture

Rwanda genocide wanted poster 2-20-03.jpg

This picture shows the names of parties wanted in connection with the Rwandan Genocide.

Selected biography

Gregory H. Stanton is the founder (1999) and president of Genocide Watch [1], 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.

Early life and academic background

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.

He has been a Law Professor at Washington and Lee University,American University and the University of Swaziland.

Stanton is the James Farmer Professor of Human Rights at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

He has degrees from Oberlin College, Harvard Divinity School, Yale Law School, and a Doctorate in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Chicago. He was a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (2001-2002).


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.

Before he joined the State Department, Stanton was a legal advisor to RUKH, the Ukrainian independence movement, work for which he was named the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America's 1992 Man of the Year. He was the Chair of the American Bar Association Young Lawyer's Division Committee on Human Rights and a member of the A.B.A.'s Standing Committee on World Order Under Law.

Genocide news

12 April 2007

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

A United Nations exhibition, entitled "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".[2]

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.[2]

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,[2] 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.[3] The exhibit also mentioned the Holocaust the Cambodian killing fields and crimes committed in Bosnia, East Timor and Sudan.[2]

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."[4]

The suggestion by Armen Martirosyan, the Armenian ambassador to the UN, to remove the words "in Turkey" were not acceptable to the UN.[3] 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."[4]

On Monday, the panels in the visitor's lobby had been turned around to prevent it being seen by the public.[5] 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."[2] 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."[2]

...Archived news items

Related portals

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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