O que eh genocidio?

Hoje tive a oportunidade de visitar o Museu-Memorial do Holocausto aqui em Washington, DC (EUA). Claro que nao se compara aos museus do mesmo tipo que ja pude visitar na Europa, especialmente em Berlim, em Munique e em Varsovia, mas sem duvida alguma eh bastante interessante para aqueles que, como eu, enxergam “algo mais” na ideia dos Direitos Humanos alem da mera visao simplista que temos no Brasil de que Direitos Humanos “sao para defender os presos”.

Infelizmente nao foi possivel tirar nenhuma foto la dentro, pois a administracao do Museu nao permite. Mas ao visitar a pagina deles na internet (www.ushmm.org) me deparei com um pequeno importante sobre genocidio, a qual compartilho abaixo, ainda que esteja em ingles (e por questoes de tempo eu nao possa traduzir). Espero que o texto auxilie a todos aqueles que o lerem a compreenderem que os Direitos Humanos devem ser entendidos no seu sentido humano mesmo, e nao simplesmente no seu sentido juridico.

An Evolving Internationl Framework

Genocide is a term created during the Holocaust and declared an international crime in the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The Convention defines genocide as any of the following acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:a. Killing members of the group;
b. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
c. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
d. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
e. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.The specific “intent to destroy” particular groups is unique to genocide. A closely related category of international law, crimes against humanity, is defined as widespread or systematic attacks against civilians.This timeline traces the development of the word and law of genocide.

1944
The Crime is Named
Before 1944, no word existed to describe a coordinated assault on civilian populations. That year Raphael Lemkin, a Polish-Jewish legal scholar who had fled Nazi-occupied Poland and arrived in the United States in 1941, introduced the word “genocide” to give the crime a name.
1945-1946
A New, but Limited, Legal Sanction is Issued
Allied forces codified the general principle of “crimes against humanity” into enforceable law and prosecuted Nazi war criminals for atrocities they committed against both their own and other nation’s citizens. However, the law was limited in scope, applying only to crimes committed during an international conflict.The Charter of the International Military Tribunal (1945) defined crimes against humanity as “murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war; or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated.” The definition of crimes against humanity was further refined during the process of drafting the Rome Statute (1998) which created the International Criminal Court.
1948
An International Promise to Prevent and Punish Genocide is Made
Due in no small part to the efforts of Raphael Lemkin, the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was unanimously adopted on December 9, 1948. The Convention entered into force on January 12, 1951, after more than 20 countries from around the world ratified it.The Convention defines genocide as any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:a. Killing members of the group;
b. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
c. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
d. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
e. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.1950-1990s

The Promise Goes Unfulfilled
Though massive atrocities against civilian populations were committed in the years following the Holocaust and throughout the Cold War, the very countries that signed their names to the Genocide Convention scarcely considered whether these crimes constituted genocide.
1988
The United States Ratifies the Convention
Despite facing strong opposition by those who believed it would diminish U.S. sovereignty, President Ronald Reagan signed the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide on November 4, 1988. Among the Convention’s most vocal advocates was Wisconsin Senator William Proxmire, who delivered more than 3,000 speeches before Congress arguing for its passage.
1993
The World Acts to Punish but Not to Halt Atrocities in the Former Yugoslavia
Targeted civilian groups suffered brutal atrocities throughout the conflicts in the former Yugoslav republics of Croatia (1991-95) and Bosnia-Herzegovina (1992-95). Though the international community showed little will to stop the crimes as they were taking place, the UN Security Council did establish the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. It was the first international criminal tribunal since Nuremberg and the first mandated to prosecute the crime of genocide.Nonetheless, the single worst atrocity to occur in Europe since the Holocaust came two years later. In July 1995, the Bosnian Serb army overran the United Nations declared “safe haven” of Srebrenica. In the following days, they killed some 8,000 Bosniak men and boys. This incident would later be judged to constitute “genocide” by the ICTY. In total, 100,000 people died during the Bosnian conflict; some 80% of the civilians killed were Bosniaks.
1994
After the Genocide Ends, the World Creates a Tribunal for Rwanda
From April through mid-July, at least 500,000 civilians, mostly of the Tutsi minority, were murdered with devastating brutality and speed while the international community looked on. In October, the UN Security Council extended the mandate of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia to include a separate but linked tribunal for Rwanda, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, located in Arusha, Tanzania.
1998
The First Conviction for Genocide is Won
On September 2, 1998, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda issued the first conviction for genocide after a trial, declaring Jean-Paul Akayesu guilty for acts he engaged in and oversaw as mayor of the Rwandan town of Taba.
1998
A Permanent Court to Prosecute Atrocities against Civilians is Established
Through an international treaty ratified on July 17, 1998, the International Criminal Court was permanently established to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. The treaty reconfirmed the definition of genocide found in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. It also expanded the definition of crimes against humanity and prohibits these crimes during times of war or peace.Crimes Against Humanity: Any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:(a) Murder;
(b) Extermination
(c) Enslavement
(d) Deportation or forcible transfer of population
(e) Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law
(f) Torture
(g) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity
(h) Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court
(i) Enforced disappearance of persons
(j) The crime of apartheid
(k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.
2004
U.S. Declares that Genocide Is Occuring in Darfur, Sudan
Testifying before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 9, 2004, Secretary of State Colin Powell declared that “genocide has been committed in Darfur.” Though the United Nations and other governments agreed on the scale of atrocities being committed against civilians, they did not declare them “genocide.”

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