Crimes against humanity

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War crimes, murder, massacres, dehumanization, genocide, ethnic cleansing, deportations, unethical human experimentation, extrajudicial punishments including summary executions, use of WMDs, state terrorism or state sponsoring of terrorism, death squads, kidnappings and forced disappearances, military use of children, unjust imprisonment, enslavement, cannibalism, torture, rape, political repression, racial discrimination, religious persecution, and other human rights abuses may reach the threshold... ~Crimes against humanity
The prohibition of crimes against humanity, similar to the prohibition of genocide, has been considered a peremptory norm of international law, from which no derogation is permitted and which is applicable to all States.
US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad -- including two Reuters news staff released 5th April 2010 by WikiLeaks

Crimes against humanity are certain acts that are deliberately committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack or individual attack directed against any civilian or an identifiable part of a civilian population. The law of crimes against humanity has primarily developed through the evolution of customary international law. Crimes against humanity are not codified in an international convention, although there is currently an international effort to establish such a treaty, led by the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative. Unlike war crimes, crimes against humanity can be committed during peace or war. They are not isolated or sporadic events, but are part either of a government policy (although the perpetrators need not identify themselves with this policy) or of a wide practice of atrocities tolerated or condoned by a government or a de facto authority.


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  • Despite the promises made after World War II to eliminate the commission of atrocities, crimes against humanity persist with horrifying ubiquity. Yet the absence of a consistent definition and uniform interpretation of crimes against humanity has made it difficult to establish the theory underlying such crimes and to prosecute them in particular cases. In the 1990s, several ad hoc international criminal tribunals were established to respond to the commission of atrocity crimes, including crimes against humanity, in specific regions of the world in conflict. Building on this legacy, in 1998 a new institution—the International Criminal Court (ICC) — was established to take up the task...
  • Romanian prosecutors have indicted former President Ion Iliescu for crimes against humanity for his role in the bloody aftermath of the December 1989 revolt that toppled dictator Nicolae Ceausescu's regime. Iliescu's indictment, the latest step in a long-running investigation, was revealed 29 years to the day since the uprising, which had begun in the western city of Timisoara, reached Bucharest.
  • UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect works to prevent genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity....Crimes against humanity have not yet been codified in a dedicated treaty of international law, unlike genocide and war crimes, although there are efforts to do so. Despite this, the prohibition of crimes against humanity, similar to the prohibition of genocide, has been considered a peremptory norm of international law, from which no derogation is permitted and which is applicable to all States.

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