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Crime against humanity
A crime against humanity is a term in international law that refers to acts of murderous persecution against body of people, as being the criminal offense above all others. The term was first used in the preamble of the Hague Convention of 1907, and subsequently used during the Nuremberg trials as a charge for actions such as the Holocaust which did not violate a specific treaty but were deemed to require punishment.
The term has been criticized for being extremely vague and for being politically defined. For example, Nazi attempts to eliminate certain ethnic groups are widely recognized as having been crimes against humanity, yet Soviet and American persecutions of certain groups are not. The systematic persecution of African people by the South African apartheid government was recognized as a crime against humanity by the United Nations in 1966.
- For the purpose of this Statute, "crime against humanity" means 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; ... 
A list of crimes against humanity (20th century)
(incomplete and subjective: whether an act is defined as crime against humanity may depend on the political view.)
- 1903-1906, 1918-1921: Waves of pogroms sweep Russia and result in hundreds of thousands of Jews dead, more than 2 million emigrate during the period of 1880-1920.
- 1904: The German colonial power strikes down the uprising of the Herero and Nama in the territory today known as Namibia. Large parts of the Herero and Nama die with thurst; survivors are forced to heavy labour; 25,000 to 100,000 (probably 65,000) Herero and 10,000 Nama die
- 1915-1918: The use of poison gas in the First World War.
- 1915-1916: The Turkish genocide on the Armenians; about 1.5 million people die.
- 1918-1920: Mass atrocities by all sides in the course of Russian Civil War. See also Red Terror.
- 1922: The so-called Asia minor catastrophe ; Turkish troops destroy Smyrna and kill tens of thousands of Greek civilians.
- 1931: Gulag is officially established in the Soviet Union, however many forced labor camps were in operation since 1918. See also Population transfer in the Soviet Union, Great Purge, Kurapaty.
- 1933-1945: German Nazis murder about 6 million Jews, 500,000 Roma and Sinti, homosexuals, social democrats and communists in Europe; see also the Holocaust.
- 1933-1945: the so-called "Aktion T 4" (euthanasia -program), mass murder of about 80,000 handicapped and chronically ill people. Among them are many children and "foreign workers".
- 1937-1945: The Japanese war against China, which involved serious crimes against the Chinese civilian population.
- 1940: Stalin and other members of the politburo sign an order that begins the Katyn Massacre. Comprised mainly of POWs, 22,000 Polish are executed and buried in mass graves.
- 1938-1943: German armed forces systematically displace and kill Czech, Polish and Russian people (among others) during the "war of extermination" ("Vernichtungskrieg ") in Europe, Africa and Asia; see also Second World War.
- 1944-1945: Allied forces systematically bomb German residental areas in the Second World War.
- 1945-1949: Displacement of ethnic Germans from Eastern Prussia and other former German Eastern territories (Bierut-decree ) and Czechoslovakia (Beneš-Decree ) following the Second World War.
- 1945: The United States drops nuclear bombs on the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. A napalm bomb hits Tokyo.
- 1948-1949: Arab-Israeli War: Five Arab states jointly attack the nascent State of Israel. Numerous massacres by all sides result in the Palestinian Exodus and Jewish exodus from Arab lands.
- 1962-1975: The United States use napalm and other chemical weapons in Vietnam.
- 1965: The coup government of the new Indonesian government kills approximately 100,000 to 1,000,000 (presumably) partisans of the communist party.
- 1966: The systematic persecution of African people by the apartheid system in South Africa.
- 1966-1976: Mao Zedong's "cultural revolution" in China goes hand in hand with political cleansing; several million people die in China and autonomous areas.
- 1974-1989: The communist government of Romania under the leadership of Nicolae Ceauşescu systematically persecutes political enemies and plans the so-called "village destruction program". He also sets up "death homes" for handicapped, chronically ill and unwanted children. People older than 65 are deprived of medical aid; see also Elena Ceauşescu and Cighid .
- 1975-1979: Under the leadership of Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge commit mass murder in Cambodia.
- 1973-1989: Augusto Pinochet and his military dictatorship assassinate political opponents and torture tens of thousands of people in Chile.
- 1976-1982: The military dictatorship in Argentina tortures and assassinates political opponents.
- 1975-1981: Genocide in East Timor; the conflict holds in unrelieved intensity until 1998/1999.
- 1983-ongoing: Several million black Africans die in a tribal genocide in Sudan.
- 1988: On March 16th Saddam Hussein launches a poison gas attack against the Kurdish city of Halabdscha in the North of Iraq; about 5,000 people (almost solely civilians) die.
- 1994: During the civil war in Ruanda between Hutu and Tutsi 800,000 people die.
- 1991-1999: Various crimes of war during the Bosnian war on each side.
- 1996-2001: Various violations against human rights by the radical-islamic Taliban-regime in Afghanistan.
- 1949-present: Various violations against human rights by the People's Republic of China; see Tibet, East Turkestan and Southern Mongolia.
- mass murder
- war crime
- crime against peace
- state terrorism
- ethnic cleansing
- Nuremberg Principles
- Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
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