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Crime against humanity

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A crime against humanity is the result of persecution against a group, and is so heinous as to warrant punishment under international law. 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 were considered crimes against humanity yet Soviet attempts to eliminate certain economic groups were not by some people.

In its Article 7, the treaty establishing the International Criminal Court says:

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; ... [1] (http://www.preventgenocide.org/law/icc/statute/part-a.htm#2)

See also: Genocide, mass murder, war crime, crime against peace, state terrorism and Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

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