Genocide literally means the murder of an entire race. Raphael Lemkin coined the term in reference to the Ottoman Turkish massacres of the Armenians during World War I.
   Following the Nazi atrocities against the Jews in World War II, the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide legally defined genocide as any act "committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such." It is particularly relevant for the Kurdish question that the international legal definition of genocide involves the destruction of a group "in whole or in part." This phrase has been interpreted as meaning "a reasonably significant number, relative to the total of the group as a whole, or else a significant section of a group such as its leadership."
   The Iraqi Anfal campaign that killed as many as 180,000 Kurds at the end of the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s, the Iraqi chemical attack on Halabja that killed some 5,000 Kurds in March 1988, and Turkish attempts to assimilate forcibly the Kurdish ethnic population in Turkey are all actions that might well qualify as genocide under the Genocide Convention.
   Iraq acceded to the Genocide Convention without any reservation in 1959 and, therefore, theoretically may be brought before the International Court of Justice by any other contracting state that has not made a reservation to Article IX of the convention detailing the procedure to do so. The risks and associated problems entailed in bringing a case to the world court, however, have prevented any case from being considered to date. This lack of determination is specifically illustrated by the United States, which refused to ratify the convention for more than 40 years because of its own domestic racial problems and fear of international interference in its internal affairs. Turkey has never acceded to the Genocide Convention.
   Other possible examples of genocide in recent times include the Khmer Rouge massacres in Cambodia during the 1970s, the Hutu massacre of Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994, and the Serb massacres in the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s. Subsequently, international tribunals have been created and are currently functioning to hear cases dealing with these atrocities in Rwanda and former Yugoslavia. The trial of the former Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic for war crimes and crimes against humanity by the international tribunal would signify that a similar indictment against Saddam Hussein might have been in order for his actions against the Kurds over the years, but his execution at the end of 2006 for another charge prevented such action.
   See also Human rights.

Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. .

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Genocide — Génocide Un génocide est l extermination physique, intentionnelle, systématique et programmée d un groupe ou d une partie d un groupe en raison de ses origines ethniques, religieuses ou sociales[1]. Sommaire 1 Étymologie 2 Définition …   Wikipédia en Français

  • GÉNOCIDE — Inventée par le professeur américain d’origine polonaise R. Lemkin qui, pour ce faire, n’a tenu aucun compte des règles élémentaires de l’étymologie, l’expression gréco latine de «génocide» cherche à introduire pour les groupes entiers d’humains… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • genocide — geno·cide / je nə ˌsīd/ n: acts committed with intent to partially or wholly destroy a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group; also: the crime of committing such an act Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. genocide …   Law dictionary

  • genocide — gen o*cide n. The systematic killing of a racial or cultural group; as, the Nazi genocide of Jews left few in Germany or Poland after World War II. Syn: race murder, racial extermination. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • genocide — 1944, apparently coined by Polish born U.S. jurist Raphael Lemkin (1900 1959) in his work Axis Rule in Occupied Europe [p.19], in reference to Nazi extermination of Jews, lit. killing a tribe, from Gk. genos race, kind (see GENUS (Cf. genus)) +… …   Etymology dictionary

  • genocide — [n] mass extermination annihilation, carnage, decimation, ethnic cleansing, holocaust, massacre, mass execution, mass murder, race extermination, slaughter; concept 252 …   New thesaurus

  • genocide — ► NOUN ▪ the deliberate killing of a very large number of people from a particular ethnic group or nation. DERIVATIVES genocidal adjective. ORIGIN from Greek genos race + CIDE(Cf. ↑ cide) …   English terms dictionary

  • genocide — [jen′ə sīd΄] n. [< Gr genos, race, kind (see GENUS) + CIDE: first applied to the attempted extermination of the Jews by Nazi Germany] the systematic killing of, or a program of action intended to destroy, a whole national or ethnic group… …   English World dictionary

  • Genocide — This article is about the crime. For other uses, see Genocide (disambiguation). Buchenwald concentration camp was technically not an extermination camp, though it was a site of an extraordinary number of deaths …   Wikipedia

  • Génocide — Un génocide est l extermination physique, intentionnelle, systématique et programmée d un groupe ou d une partie d un groupe en raison de ses origines ethniques, religieuses ou sociales[1]. Sommaire 1 Histoire et étymologie 2 Définition …   Wikipédia en Français