Articles on Crimes against humanity

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In 2014, this boy was affected by what activists say was a gas attack on the Syrian town of Telminnes; the most recent chemical attack was reported in late November, 2018 REUTERS/Amer Alfaj

Syria may be using chemical weapons against its citizens again – here’s how international law has changed to help countries intervene

For decades, international law did not allow one country to attack another that was using chemical weapons on its own people without UN approval. That’s changed, which means trouble for Syria.
Immigrant rights advocates speak against Trump’s policies in New Mexico. AP Photo/Russell Contreras, File

Preventing crimes against humanity in the US

Trump's defense of harsh immigration tactics and dehumanizing language should ring alarm bells, according to two scholars who study how to prevent mass atrocities.
The genocide memorial in Kigali. Humanitarian workers in Rwanda had to deal daily with the horrors of war. Trocaire/Flickr

Living through the horrors of genocide: humanitarian workers in Rwanda

It is shocking to see the extent to which humanitarian workers in Rwanda became regular eyewitnesses to violence, murder and large-scale massacres in 1994.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir returned to Khartoum, after evading possible arrest in South Africa in 2015. EPA/Marwan Ali

ICC ruling on South Africa and al-Bashir: pragmatism wins the day

The ICC has been criticised for not acting against South Africa after it failed to arrest Sudan's president in 2015. But, the court actually acted sensibly given the challenges it faces.
Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir during a rally against the ICC. Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters

Withdrawal from the ICC: A sad day for South Africa and Africa

The South African government's decision to withdraw from the ICC should not be seen in isolation. The African Union has called on its member states to withdraw from the court.
In Egypt, the Great Pyramid was illuminated with the French, Russian and Lebanese flags in solidarity with victims of terrorist attacks, but most of the focus in the West has been on the victims in Paris. EPA/Khaled Elfiqi

Solidarity after Paris means being more attentive to suffering elsewhere

Selective sympathy raises troubling questions. If you neglect suffering in other places, it is much more difficult to mobilise political actors to take it seriously.
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma being welcomed on his arrival in Khartoum by Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir earlier this year. Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

Leaving the ICC won’t absolve South Africa of its legal obligations

South Africa's withdrawal from the ICC could have mere symbolic value. The country will continue to have obligations to binding decisions taken by the UN Security Council – including those pertaining to the court.

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