Crímenes contra la Humanidad

An extraordinary event took place in the Netherlands this week: a hearing at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that is a first small step toward justice for one of the world’s longest-suffering minority groups.

On Thursday, an ICJ panel wound up the first phase of a legal process aimed at determining whether Myanmar committed an act of genocide against the Rohingya ethnic minority. In August 2017, using a counterterrorism operation as a pretext, the Buddhist-dominated Myanmar military launched an ethnic-cleansing campaign that killed thousands of Muslim Rohingya and drove nearly 1 million of them into neighboring Bangladesh.

The ICJ investigation is likely to continue for years.…  Seguir leyendo »

A billboard depicting Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Su Kyi with the three military ministers in front of a background showing the building of the International Court of Justice in The Hague is displayed along a main road in Hpa-an, Karen State. AFP

Why is Myanmar before the International Court of Justice?

The Gambia has lodged a case against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal UN judicial body based in The Hague, alleging violations of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (usually known as the Genocide Convention) in Myanmar’s treatment of ethnic Rohingya Muslims. The charges stem from atrocities committed by Myanmar’s security forces in northern Rakhine State, which have forced over 700,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh since August 2017. The Gambia, relying on the Convention’s provision that the ICJ can adjudicate disputes over such charges, brought this case on behalf of the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.…  Seguir leyendo »

This week the case will commence at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) before the glare of the world’s media, drawn not only by the significance of the case itself, but in particular by the direct role Aung Sang Suu Kyi is set to play in the defence of her government. On 11 November, The Gambia instituted proceedings against Myanmar at the ICJ, based in The Hague. The Gambia’s application alleges that the Government of Myanmar’s treatment of the Rohingya constitutes a manifest violation of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

The persecution of the Rohingya has been ongoing for decades; their status as the ‘other’ has been a convenient outlet for the oppressive, violent and, all too often, deadly impulses of Buddhist nationalism stretching back to well before the independence of the state in 1948.…  Seguir leyendo »

Joseph Kony with his “wives” and child, taken around 2003. (Charles Tabuley)

The French news magazine Jeune Afrique noted on Nov. 20 that despite decades of international attempts to capture warlord Joseph Kony, he remains free. Kony’s movement, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), began in the mid-1980s with the goal of protecting Northern Ugandans from the newly installed regime of President Yoweri Museveni. But the insurgency turned against civilians, becoming notorious for mutilations and large-scale abductions. By 2006, the LRA had abducted up to 38,000 children and 37,000 adults, researchers estimated. Those abducted were forced to become fighters or fighters’ “wives” — a euphemism for sex slaves — and household servants. Today, the movement has only about 100 to 150 fighters left, but they are still abducting and causing insecurity in the borderlands between Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.…  Seguir leyendo »

Publié dans Paris Match jeudi 5 décembre, un article signé par Bernard-Henri Lévy lance un SOS pour les chrétiens du Nigeria. Selon lui, les Fulanis musulmans (aussi appelés Peul en Afrique francophone) seraient sur le point de commettre un « génocide » contre les chrétiens du pays. Dans n’importe quelle région du monde, l’accusation est grave. Dans un pays de près de 200 millions d’habitants, composé à peu près pour moitié de chrétiens, on pourrait attendre une recherche sérieuse et approfondie.

Pressions économiques et écologiques

L’article, cependant, est un florilège d’approximations, de clichés et d’erreurs factuelles. Surtout, en inscrivant les événements du Nigeria dans un « choc des civilisations » global, en appelant à une solidarité mal informée, il peut contribuer à attiser les violences et à durcir encore les clivages.…  Seguir leyendo »

No hay alternativa a la democracia

Las terribles noticias que nos llegan de los campos de prisioneros uigures al oeste de China nos hacen estremecer de miedo y de vergüenza. ¿Cómo pueden los líderes occidentales y los creadores de opinión permanecer indiferentes ante horrores que recuerdan a los campos de concentración de la Alemania nazi y el Gulag soviético? Por orden directa del jefe de Estado, la policía china encarcela a los ciudadanos chinos, por cientos de miles o por millones, aún no lo sabemos, porque no son chinos de «raza» y porque algunos son musulmanes. A los prisioneros, da igual la edad que tengan, se les trata como ganado, se les golpea y se les humilla.…  Seguir leyendo »

In 2014, Lamya Haji Bashar was a 15-year-old woman in Kocho, a sleepy Yazidi farming village in northern Iraq. On Sunday, August 3, 2014, her life changed forever when ISIS swept through the region.

ISIS fighters killed her neighbors and friends, entire families, women and children. Thousands of Yazidis fell victim to mass executions and disappeared into mass graves. And thousands of Yazidi women and girls were sold into slavery. The UN would later recognize ISIS as the perpetrator of a genocide against the Yazidi community.

Bashar herself was sold as a modern-day slave to ISIS. She escaped and is now sharing the brutal truth of violence against women.…  Seguir leyendo »

The office of Aung San Suu Kyi — Nobel Peace Prize laureate and de facto leader of Myanmar — has just announced that she will travel to The Hague in December to answer a suit brought against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for the Rohingya genocide. And apparently this has been decided in agreement with the country’s powerful generals, who control foreign affairs and security and who have carried out the “clearance operations” for which the state of Myanmar stands accused.

This is a baffling but welcome state of affairs. Why would Suu Kyi and the government of Myanmar acknowledge the jurisdiction of the ICJ — thereby implicitly granting the court standing to pass judgment on the Rohingya genocide?…  Seguir leyendo »

A police station next door to a mosque in Yining, China, on Aug. 21. (Anna Fifield/TWP)

“Absolutely no mercy” was Chinese President Xi Jinping’s 2014 directive in Xinjiang, according to a recent New York Times article based on over 400 pages of leaked Chinese Communist Party (CCP) documents. These documents offer new clues on the extent and official rationale for the CCP’s mass detention of 1 million or more Uighurs, Kazakhs and other Muslims in internment camps.

Other signs of CCP efforts to “Sinicize” religion are evident throughout China. In July, Reuters reported that local authorities in Beijing ordered 11 halal restaurants to remove Arabic language and Islamic imagery from their signage. These and other examples suggest authoritarian consolidation under Xi’s leadership has led to a sea change in China’s policy toward its ethnic minorities.…  Seguir leyendo »

The site of the Grand Mosque in Wusu, Xinjiang, in 2017 and 2019

In China, every day is Kristallnacht.

Eighty-one years ago this week, in what is also known as the “Night of Broken Glass,” hundreds of synagogues and Jewish cemeteries in Nazi Germany were damaged or destroyed, along with thousands of Jewish-owned businesses. It was in a sense the starting gun for the genocide that culminated in the extermination camps of Auschwitz, Sobibor and Treblinka.

In western China, the demolition of mosques and bulldozing of cemeteries is a continuing, relentless process.

In a cultural genocide with few parallels since World War II, thousands of Muslim religious sites have been destroyed. At least 1 million Muslims have been confined to camps, where aging imams are shackled and young men are forced to renounce their faith.…  Seguir leyendo »

El Bob Dylan de los apologetas del genocidio

Cuando vivía en Sarajevo, en Bosnia y Herzegovina, leí los libros del escritor austriaco Peter Handke, me quedé agradablemente desconcertado por sus obras de teatro y vi las películas que escribía. Me encantó el brillante vacío de su novela El miedo del portero al penalti. Me fascinó la belleza de la obra maestra de Wim Wenders Cielo sobre Berlín, en cuyo guion trabajó él.

A finales de los años ochenta, yo era joven y me obsesionaba la búsqueda de la inteligencia y la modernidad. Handke no solo parecía inteligente y moderno sino que además, como autor, estaba ampliando las fronteras de la literatura.…  Seguir leyendo »

The world has been paying little attention to the crisis in the English-speaking, or Anglophone, regions of Cameroon — which is perhaps less of a surprise considering that many local journalists have abandoned their profession in fear for their lives.

Last month, the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect released a publication underlining the gravity of the crisis and warning that “the risk of mass atrocity crimes occurring in the immediate future is very high.” While the military and armed separatist forces are both guilty of violence, the government has already perpetrated crimes against humanity, as documented in a report co-authored by our Cameroon-based Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa and the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights.…  Seguir leyendo »

El 16 de septiembre de 2019 murió Ascensión Mendieta, convertida en una figura pública por sus esfuerzos para exhumar los restos de su padre, Timoteo Mendieta Alcalá, fusilado por los rebeldes poco después de que finalizara la Guerra Civil, y otorgarle una sepultura digna.

Timoteo Mendieta, de profesión carnicero, había nacido en 1898 en Sacedón, una localidad de 2.407 personas perteneciente a Guadalajara. La provincia alcarreña, que entonces tenía 203.998 habitantes y que en su mayor parte permaneció bajo el control del Gobierno republicano durante la contienda civil, fue testigo de una dinámica represiva desencadenada por militantes de izquierdas tras el fracaso de la sublevación militar en la capital el 22 de julio de 1936.…  Seguir leyendo »

Rohingya refugees gather behind a barbed-wire fence in a temporary settlement set up in a border zone between Myanmar and Bangladesh, in a photo taken from Maungdaw district, Myanmar's Rakhine state, in April 2018. (Ye Aung Thu/AFP/Getty Images)

I am Rohingya. When I was 3, my parents and I fled Myanmar to escape violence against my community — an ethnic minority group that is largely Muslim. Now, from afar, I watch in horror as a genocide against my people is unfolding. In the past two years, more than 700,000 Rohingya have fled murder, rape and torture for refugee camps in neighboring Bangladesh.

This week, a United Nations investigative report laid bare the suffering and abuse that my people have endured in Myanmar (which we call Burma). It says that the 600,000 Rohingya who remain in Rakhine state are living in “unbearable conditions.” The report also notes that, well after the 2017 military’s brutal “clearance operations” that drove the more than 700,000 others across the border into Bangladesh, the government continues to target Rohingya with the aims of erasing our identity and removing us from Myanmar.…  Seguir leyendo »

Pocas veces concurren en el mismo día dos acontecimientos históricos tan relevantes para España como los sucedidos en este 23 de agosto, aunque en años diferentes, concretamente el primero en 1936, año del inicio de nuestra Guerra Civil, y el segundo en 1939, año del final de la contienda. Traigo a colación estas dos efemérides porque ambas ponen en evidencia el desatino que representa el sectario y totalitario proceso de la «Memoria Histórica», impulsado por el Gobierno del actual PSOE, en su afán de quebrar el principal fruto de la Transición democrática, que no fue otro que el gran acuerdo de la reconciliación nacional plasmado en la aprobación de la Constitución de 1978, eventos todos ellos coprotagonizados por el antiguo PSOE, un partido ideológicamente distinto, cuyas patrióticas políticas de entonces son sometidas a revisión por quienes hoy ocupan (¿okupan?) la dirección socialista.…  Seguir leyendo »

La exhibición en la Casa de la Excelencia Judía en Balatonfüred, un pequeño y pintoresco pueblo en la costa norte del lago Balaton en Hungría, presenta a unos 130 judíos que se destacaron en ciencia, tecnología, ingeniería y matemática, muchos de ellos de origen húngaro. Pero en la tienda del museo no hay nada que se refiera específicamente a los judíos en el contexto húngaro. A lo sumo se puede comprar una botella de vino kosher o una taza con la icónica foto de Albert Einstein sacando la lengua.

¿Es esto un problema? Quizá deberíamos celebrar la apertura de otro museo judío en Hungría, que tiene la segunda comunidad judía en Europa pero muy pocos sitios conmemorativos del Holocausto.…  Seguir leyendo »

Con la misma cursilería sectaria y mentirosa de la película producida por Cerezo «Las Trece Rosas», Sánchez escribe un mensaje en las redes sociales que, de entender el español, le produciría un ataque de alipori al mismo Richard Gere, el de los paquetes de «Bimbo» al «Open Arms». «Hace ochenta años –escribe Sánchez–, trece mujeres fueron fusiladas en Madrid por defender la democracia y la libertad. Que los nombres de las 13 Rosas nunca se borren de la Historia». La emoción ha erizado mis vellos y se hallan en punta. Me pinchan y no sangro. Me tortura un chino cosquilleando mis pies y apenas siento el cosquilleo.…  Seguir leyendo »

Hiroshima genocidio o acción de guerra

Nakamura-San, una de las supervivientes a las que entrevistó John Hersey en mayo de 1946 para su reportaje sobre las consecuencias de la bomba atómica arrojada en Hiroshima el verano anterior, utilizaba una resignada expresión para sintetizar la apatía en la que vivía desde que sufrió la «experiencia vital más inhumana de todo el siglo XX», en palabras de Kenzaburo Oé: «Shikata ga nai» (Nada que hacer). Para la señora Nakamura, igual que para muchos otros condenados a vivir bajo los efectos de la radiación, la bomba, escribe Hersey, «parecía casi un desastre natural; un desastre que era simplemente consecuencia de la mala suerte, parte del destino (que debía ser aceptado)».…  Seguir leyendo »

An older woman spoke haltingly into a microphone, her hands trembling from the memory: “They beat my whole body, my eyes and hands were tied. They hit me with a big plank of wood. There were four of them. They hit me on the head, and whipped me with a belt.”

Thus began two days of testimonies at the local parliament house in Lhokseumawe, in the northern part of Aceh, a province of Indonesia located at the northern end of Sumatra. On 16 and 17 of July fifteen victims and family members of the disappeared took their place on stage, speaking before Aceh’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).…  Seguir leyendo »

Five years ago, Islamic State fighters invaded my ancestral homeland of Sinjar, Iraq, and waged a systematic ethnic-cleansing campaign against the Yazidi community. Their campaign included mass executions, forced religious conversions and widespread sexual violence. These attacks resulted in the massacre of aaa men, women and children; the enslavement of nearly 7,000 Yazidis; and displacement of more than 400,000 Yazidis to camps in northern Iraq.

But that was not the end of our suffering. As Sheri P. Rosenberg observed in a 2012 article, genocide is a process, not an event. The continued suffering, fear and uncertainty in the Yazidi community show that the genocide process is ongoing.…  Seguir leyendo »