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Direitos Humanos / 27/08/2020


GENOCIDES IN THE WORLD: IS THERE HOW TO PREVENT THEM?

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GENOCIDES IN THE WORLD: IS THERE HOW TO PREVENT THEM?

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Genocide is characterized by the United Nations as a crime of an international character, defined by "acts committed with the intention of destroying, totally or partially, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group". Understand better, below, some of the best known (and recognized) cases, in chronological order:

AMERICAN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES (AMERICAS; 1492-CURRENT)

Since the arrival of Europeans in the Americas in 1492, it is estimated that at least 15 million indigenous people were killed by the colonizers. Currently, the marginalization of these peoples and the restriction of access to their rights persists in practically the entire continent.

CONGOLESES (CONGO FREE STATE; 1885-1908)

One of the most brutal colonial examples of genocide was the decimation of the Congolese population by King Leopoldo II of Belgium. Ironically called the "Free State of Congo", the territory was not a colony itself, but a personal property of the Belgian king.

It is estimated that between 5 and 8 million people died, many of whom had been enslaved to work in the intense extraction of rubber and ivory. After the brutalities of this particular type of colonization were exposed by the Western press, the territory became a colony of Belgium under the name "Belgian Congo" in 1908.

HEREROUS PEOPLE AND NAMAQUAS (CURRENT NAMIBIA; 1904-1907)

Considered the first genocide of the 20th century, it consisted of the massacre of 50% of the Namaquan population and 80% of the Hereros, ethnic groups in Southwest Africa, by the German army in the region today is Namibia. In 1904, both the Hereros and the Namaquas revolted against colonial rule and were defeated by the German army, which made them march to the Omaheke desert, many died of thirst. Concentration camps and the poisoning of water wells were used in the desert region the surviving prisoners were. In 2004, Germany recognized the genocide and apologized formally.

ARMENIANS (CURRENT TURKEY; 1915-1918)

During the First World War, the Turkish-Ottoman Empire accused hundreds of intellectuals, politicians and religious leaders of the Armenian community in the country of treason and conspiracy against Germany, an ally of the Turkish-Ottoman government against the Triple Entente (England, France and Russia) . Many of these leaders were sent to prisons in Constantinople, shot and hanged in a public square.

Several historians consider that the subsequent massacre of 1.5 million Armenians, of the 2 million that inhabited the region, was part of an ethnic cleansing by the Turkish-Ottoman government, with the intention of eliminating the Armenian population that territory. It is estimated that 500,000 Armenians have been deported to refugee camps, exponentially increasing the Armenian diaspora that had been going on for centuries. 2004 data estimate that of the 11 million Armenians in the world, only 3.2 million live in Armenia.

HOLOMODOR (UNION SOVIET; 1932-1933)

The Holomodor, or Ukrainian genocide, consisted of the persecution of Ukrainians by Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union between 1922 and 1953, during an attempt to clean up the region. Ukraine, along with Kazakhstan, was forced to export all its wheat production, leading a large part of its population to starvation, that is, due to lack of food and water. Among the recurring practices of deliberate extermination of the Ukrainian people by the Soviet regime, were the ban on the Ukrainian language, the persecution of Ukrainians by the Soviet secret service and the abandonment of Ukrainian children.

HOLOCAUST (WESTERN EUROPE; 1942-1945)

Probably the most well-known genocide in history, the Holocaust consisted of the systematic massacre of approximately 6 million Jews, approximately 67% of the European Jewish population, by the Nazi regime in Germany. In addition, Hitler's army persecuted members of the LGBTQI population, Roma, Slavs, Romanians and Serbs. Gas chambers, human experiments, concentration camps and random shootings can be highlighted as recurring practices during the Holocaust.

HOLOMODOR (UNION SOVIET; 1932-1933)

The Holomodor, or Ukrainian genocide, consisted of the persecution of Ukrainians by Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union between 1922 and 1953, during an attempt to clean up the region. Ukraine, along with Kazakhstan, was forced to export all its wheat production, leading a large part of its population to starvation, that is, due to lack of food and water. Among the recurring practices of deliberate extermination of the Ukrainian people by the Soviet regime, were the ban on the Ukrainian language, the persecution of Ukrainians by the Soviet secret service and the abandonment of Ukrainian children.

HOLOCAUST (WESTERN EUROPE; 1942-1945)

Probably the most well-known genocide in history, the Holocaust consisted of the systematic massacre of approximately 6 million Jews, approximately 67% of the European Jewish population, by the Nazi regime in Germany. In addition, Hitler's army persecuted members of the LGBTQI population, Roma, Slavs, Romanians and Serbs. Gas chambers, human experiments, concentration camps and random shootings can be highlighted as recurring practices during the Holocaust.

CAMBOJANS (CAMBODIA; 1975-1979)

The Khmer Rouge, a communist party led by Pol Pot, was responsible for the persecution and death, mostly in forced labor camps, of more than 1.7 million Cambodians who were anti-communists or suspected of not supporting the party. The group's practices accounted for a loss of approximately 25% of the country's population. Ethnic minorities living in Cambodia, mainly Chinese and Vietnamese, were later decimated by the regime.

TIMORENSES (TIMOR LESTE; 1975-1999)

East Timor is a former Portuguese colony that became independent in 1975 and divides the territory of the island of Timor, north of Oceania, with Indonesia. Soon after East Timorese independence, with the victory of the left in the country's first elections, the Indonesian government led by General Suharto - widely supported by the United States and characterized by the strong repression of left movements in the country - invaded East Timor and occupied the militarily.

The occupation resulted in a long massacre of the local population, with hundreds of villages bombed by Indonesian militias and more than 20,000 "missing" people. Practices such as the use of napalm in plantations and poisoning of water reservoirs were recurrent. In 1999, the UN intervened, implementing a peacekeeping mission in the country and organized a referendum that led to its definitive independence in 2002.

CURDOS (IRAQ; 1987-1989)

Kurds are an ethnic group that currently lives, mostly, in the region called Kurdistan, which includes parts of Turkey (representing about 20% of the country's population), Iraq (between 15% and 20%), Syria (approximately 15%) and Iran (between 10% and 15%). Often referred to as "the stateless nation", the Kurds have never lived under centralized power and are divided into different parties and factions between the four countries.

In 1987, in the midst of the Iran-Iraq War, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein launched a genocide campaign against the Kurdish population, ordering the destruction of approximately 4,500 villages in the Iraqi Kurdistan region and, consequently, causing the death of up to 182,000 Kurds. . This was because of the Kurdish stance against the Iraqi government in support of Iran. Iraqi offensives, which consisted of bombings and attacks with toxic gases, also caused a massive displacement of the Kurdish population to neighboring regions.

MUSLIM BOSNIANS (CURRENT BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA; 1992-1995)

The Bosnian genocide occurred during the Bosnian War, the result of ethnic, political and religious disputes arising the break up of Yugoslavia. During the 1990s, Yugoslavia was divided into six countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia).

In 1991, Bosnia was one of the regions with the greatest ethnic diversity in the country, with its population mostly composed of Bosnian Muslims (44%), Serbian Orthodox Christians (31%) and Croatian Catholics (17%), each with their different positions in relation to the independence processes that were underway.

In early 1992, Serbian troops surrounded the capital Sarajevo and began an attempt to ethnicly cleanse Bosnia through systematic bombing and indiscriminate attacks on civilians. Among the reasons that led to the end of the war are Iranian military support and financial support other Muslim countries to the Bosnian army, as well as pressure Western powers against Serbia. During the war, an estimated 200,000 people were killed, more than 40,000 Bosnian women were raped and nearly 2 million were forced to take refuge.

TUTSIS (RWANDA; 1994)

The Rwandan genocide took place over approximately 100 days and concerns the ethnic rivalry that led to the massacre of the minority ethnic group called Tutsis by Hutu extremists, the country's predominant ethnic group. Although the differences between the ethnic groups are subtle, the Belgian colonization of the country tried to administer the country through an artificial caste system, appointing a Tutsi minority to positions of control of the country.

In 1994, in the midst of a transitional government composed of both ethnic groups, foreseen by a UN-brokered peace agreement, Hutu extremists started a campaign of massacres against the Tutsi population. More than 500,000 people were killed, between 200,000 and 500,000 women were raped and about 5,000 newborn boys were murdered. In addition, there was a massive displacement of the population to the border areas with Uganda and the former Zaire (present-day Democratic Republic of Congo). The genocide ended only when the Tutsi armed resistance, with the support of the Ugandan army, managed to definitively retake the country, when more than 2 million Hutus took refuge, fearing retaliation.

IS THERE HOW TO PREVENT GENOCIDES IN THE WORLD?

In 1996, shortly after the Rwandan genocide, the president of Genocide Watch, the international genocide prevention movement, Gregory Stanton, presented a document called “The 8 Stages of Genocide” to the US Department of State. The document, later reformulated as “The 10 Steps of Genocide”, argues that the genocide could be predicted through specific steps and suggests preventive measures for each one. The steps are:

(1) Classification: when there is a distinction between "them" and "us";

(2) Symbolization: when symbols are associated with certain groups;

(3) Discrimination: when dominant groups use laws, cultural arguments or political power to deny rights to other groups;

(4) Dehumanization: when the attacked group becomes vilified, compared to animals or diseases, for example, through hate speech;

(5) Organization: when genocide planning takes place, often through training of paramilitary groups;

(6) Polarization: when hate groups manage to segregate groups through mobilizing propaganda;

(7) Preparation: when extremist leaders prepare to put their planning into practice;

(8) Persecution: when groups are officially identified and segregated;

(9) Extermination: when the systematic massacres and murders characteristic of the genocide begin.

(10) Denial: when the perpetrators of the genocide deny their involvement or the episodes of genocide themselves.

Among the preventive measures presented, we can mention the creation of institutions that promote racial, ethnic and religious integration, the prohibition of hate speech, the banning of leaders who incite genocide and the role of the United Nations in leading due investigations of human rights violations.

It is noteworthy that, in addition to the legal mechanisms mentioned to curb the practice of genocide, several countries have made attempts at revisionism or historical negationism illegal - that is, the refusal to accept massive evidence of certain events, generating controversies that try to invalidate an immense set of researches. For example, in several European countries, it is prohibited to claim that the Holocaust did not happen or that the proportions in which it happened are not true. On the other hand, the Turkish penal code provides for a penalty for those who refer to the massacres of Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians as genocide. The Turkish government argues that it acted as it needed to defend its country's national sovereignty and further claims that the reported death toll is exaggerated. In 2016, Turkey was accused of spreading fake news over the internet to attack German parliamentarians of Turkish origin who were in favor of recognizing the Armenian genocide.


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