The Proliferation of Genocide

By Ruth L. Barnett, human rights promoter and genocide educator, London UK, 22 April 2009

It was sent to The Times, but not printed – Keghart.com
 
After several years, we can now agree that genocide is being perpetrated in Darfur, but we are a long way from stopping it. Meanwhile, violence is crystallising into genocide on the African continent, Indian subcontinent and elsewhere. The Twentyfirst Century is in danger of becoming as genocidal as the Twentieth.

By Ruth L. Barnett, human rights promoter and genocide educator, London UK, 22 April 2009

It was sent to The Times, but not printed – Keghart.com
 
After several years, we can now agree that genocide is being perpetrated in Darfur, but we are a long way from stopping it. Meanwhile, violence is crystallising into genocide on the African continent, Indian subcontinent and elsewhere. The Twentyfirst Century is in danger of becoming as genocidal as the Twentieth.

If the humanitarian prevention of genocide is to become a reality instead of lip-service, we need to go back over the Twentieth Century and bring all its genocides to resolution through acknowledgement, mourning and memorials at the killing sites.
 
On April 24th in Armenia and its worldwide diaspora, the descendents of over a million Christians, murdered by the Ottomans in Anatolia between 1915 and 1923, will be commemorating the fatal date, 94 years ago, on which the community leaders and intelligentia were rounded up and brutally beheaded as the start of a planned mass murder campaign. The evidence of this atrocity resides in detail in the British government archives of the reports and discussions of parliament during WWI, as well as in many other archives.
 
Mourning and resolution are not yet possible for these survivors, as the genocide, already acknowledged by the European Parliament is still denied by our government, the US, Israel, Turkey and many other countries. The denial means there are still no memorials in the killing fields where the atrocities took place.
 
This is a humanitarian issue of  recognition of an injustice. Justice for a wronged people should not be sacrificed for the sake of political self-interest parading under the pseudonym of ‘realpolitik’. In the spirit of Martin Niemoeller’s famous poem: if we do not stand up for justice for a group being unfairly treated now, when we may be maligned in the future there will be noone to stand up for us. 
 

 

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