Genocide Studies International, Volume 11, No. 2, Fall 2017

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Genocide Studies International, Volume 11, No. 2, Fall 2017


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Editor's Introduction   Herb Hirsch

ISIS Crimes Against the Shia: The Islamic State's Genocide Against Shia Muslims  Emily Hawley

This paper reconciles a substantial gap in legal scholarship: the Islamic State's (ISIS's) unrecognized genocide against Shia Muslims. Unlike ISIS's crimes against Yazidis, no substantial legal analysis on ISIS's Shia victims has been published. And while there are popular initiatives demanding ISIS's violence against Christians be recognized as genocide, there are no parallel movements on behalf of ISIS's Shia victims, despite a much stronger legal claim. As this paper expands, ISIS's genocide against Shias is unambiguous; Shia Muslims plainly comprise a protected religious group, ISIS has been transparent in terms of its genocidal intent, and ISIS's systematic killing of Shias clearly constitutes genocidal conduct under the Genocide Convention. Read more at GSI Online>>>

Transitional Justice and the Legacy of Nuremberg: The Promise and Problems of Confronting Atrocity in Post-Conflict Societies   Parwez BesmelAlex Alvarez

It's been over 70 years since the Nuremberg trials helped establish the primacy of legal mechanisms to deal with international human rights abuses, especially for genocide. Since then, we have seen a proliferation of courts and tribunals focused on bringing to justice perpetrators of genocide. In this paper, we critically examine the ways in which Nuremberg shaped and influenced these responses to genocide and to our understanding of the nature of justice in post-conflict societies. In an era when genocides and mass atrocity crimes continue to occur, it is important to understand the benefits and limitations of legal strategies for post-conflict societies and how they influence other transitional justice mechanisms. We bring to light the clear tension between the different goals of international criminal justice, namely punishment, prevention, and peace, and show that increased reliance on punishment does not necessarily brings about peace. Read more at GSI Online>>>

Sympathy and Exclusion: The Migration of Child and Women Survivors of the Armenian Genocide from the Eastern Mediterranean to Canada, 1923–1930  Daniel Ohanian

In 1918, some 500,000 Ottoman Armenians found themselves displaced from their homes or living in Muslim households in the Eastern Mediterranean and the South Caucasus. For most, life did not return to normal after WWI. Rather, new wars, war scares, political maneuverings, economic policies, famines, and epidemics during 1918–1930 resulted in a long-term refugee crisis that was responded to by a large number of Armenian and non-Armenian organizations. This article looks at one such response: the humanitarian relocation to Canada of 110 boys and 39 girls and women all genocide refugees and most of them orphans. It traces how this relocation campaign was realized despite Canadian immigration authorities’ long-standing efforts to keep Asians, the impoverished, and the stateless from entering the country. Read more at GSI Online>>>

Seldom Asked, Seldom Answered: II(b) or Not II(b)?  Colin Tatz

Article II(b) of the UN Genocide Convention is rarely applied to a specific case in genocide studies. The Australian Aboriginal experience illustrates Article II(a) physical killing and II(e) child removal well enough. But in the longer term, II(b)—“causing serious bodily or mental harm”—has been the major process in destroying Aboriginal life and culture since the start of the twentieth century. The physical harm is readily detectable, but it is essentially the “serious mental harm” aspect that is examined here. Read more at GSI Online>>>

The Faithful Do Not Yield: Jehovah's Witnesses in Nazi Camps    Sabrina C. H. ChangPeter Suedfeld

Jehovah's Witnesses in countries under Nazi rule refused to participate in war-related activities in any way. Consequently, unless they abjured their religion, they were subject to severe penalties. Between 6,700 and 7,000 were sent to concentration camps. In contrast to Jewish Holocaust survivors, not much research has been conducted on this group. The present study used thematic content analysis to assess patterns of universal values, coping strategies, and resolutions of psychosocial crises as these were manifested in the memoirs and interviews of 62 Jehovah's Witness survivors of the camps, and compared those with the counterpart results of interviews with 58 Jewish survivors recorded in 1946. Read more at GSI Online>>>

Notes from the Field:

Huancavelica, Peru: From Sacred Shrine to Contaminated Capital   Nicholas A. Robins

This essay discusses the work of an American NGO, the Environmental Health Council, in documenting and remediating mercury and other heavy metal contamination in Huancavelica, Peru. The nearby Santa Bárbara and Challacatana hills are among the most extensive cinnabar deposits in the world. Mercury distilled in Huancavelica during the Spanish colonial period was dispatched throughout the Andean region and was a requisite input for the production of silver through the amalgamation process. While this stimulated the rise of modern globalism, it has left extensive contamination in its wake with which contemporary residents contend. Read more at GSI Online>>>

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In March 2014, Genocide Studies and Prevention continued as Genocide Studies International (GSI)GSI is peer reviewed, comparative in nature, and includes articles and reviews as well as regular features to engage and immerse readers in current news and activities in the field of genocide and human rights studies. GSI is a forum for the academic study and understanding of the phenomena of genocide and the gross violation of human rights and various approaches to preventing them. GSI is available in print and online.

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