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Ami Birangona Bolchi

I am not as self-righteous as the way I am talking to you all. Actually I never got the opportunity to express myself. I grew up with my head bent, occupied the lowest place in my family and was surviving under the radar as a member of my family. But later I met a woman who was like a mother to me, and she told me that I was an amazing woman, a hero. I may not have the body of Joan of Arc, but I have sacrificed what is most precious to me – my womanhood, for my country. But you will never see our names engraved in a tower. The reason for this omission is likely their own shame. They could not protect me from the hands of disaster. In what face would they applaud the fact that I am a war heroine? I have been ridiculed and shamed in cruel and heartless ways, but somehow a power greater than me has helped me keep my head high.
Rape survivors of the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War were given the title "Birangona": an attempt by the first president of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, to respect the sacrifices of these women that sadly backfired. Ami Birangona Bolchi by Bangladeshi academic and social worker Nilima Ibrahim, published in 1994, chronicles first-hand stories of these women, grappling with the tension between their status and their lived experience. Recently there have been multiple translations of Nilima's work, as well as more interviews and poetry as well as an upcoming British stage production.
posted by divabat on Mar 17, 2014 - 8 comments

Evidence of 'industrial-scale killing' by Syria

A team of war crimes prosecutors has produced a report [PDF, alternate PDF] showing "clear evidence [...] of systematic torture and killing of detained persons by the agents of the Syrian government". The report is based on more than fifty thousand photographs, showing approximately eleven thousand individuals. The photographs, which were taken to substantiate the victims' execution, demonstrate that many of the detainees were emaciated and had been tortured.
Primary coverage of the report has been produced by The Guardian and CNN.
posted by Joe in Australia on Jan 20, 2014 - 41 comments

Closure

During the communist coup and Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1978-1979, thousands of Afghan people disappeared. It was always suspected that most of these people had been murdered, but for many victims this couldn't be proved, which left their family in uncertainty for decades. A war crimes investigation by the International Crimes Unit of the Dutch police however turned up evidence that will end some of this uncertainty. This evidence, in the form of transport orders and death lists for some 5,000 victims has now been put online by the Dutch ministry of justice.
posted by MartinWisse on Sep 18, 2013 - 9 comments

Jacques Vergès, "the Devil's Advocate", 1925-2013

The lawyer who defended Klaus Barbie, Pol Pot, Slobodan Milosevic, among others has died. [more inside]
posted by bodywithoutorgans on Aug 17, 2013 - 27 comments

"We Just Witnessed a War Crime"

The first thing we learned about war re-enactment is that it's fucking terrifying having guns fired at you, even ones loaded with blanks. The second thing we learned is a common re-enactor's dilemma called "The G.I. Effect", which is basically that people playing Americans don't like to die. So sometimes they just don't.
It's Like Vietnam All Over Again, pt 1. Part 2
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jan 4, 2013 - 61 comments

Giving "The Devil" His Due

Emmanuel "Toto" Constant led a paramilitary organization called FRAPH that terrorized Haiti after the overthrow of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. When FRAPH's fortunes declined, Toto mysteriously appeared in New York City, where he was scorned by the Haitian community. Justice eventually caught up to Toto, who is now imprisoned in New York state. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Apr 27, 2011 - 6 comments

It's time to share memories.

WWII German soldiers speak about their experiences. 'The myth that the Nazi-era German armed forces, the Wehrmacht, was not involved in war crimes persisted for decades after the war. Now two German researchers have destroyed it once and for all. Newly published conversations between German prisoners of war, secretly recorded by the Allies, reveal horrifying details of violence against civilians, rape and genocide.''What already seems hardly feasible for current military operations like the war in Afghanistan is nearly impossible when it comes to an event that happened so long ago as World War II. Nevertheless, two German historians have managed to produce precisely such a documentary of perceptions of the war using live historical recordings.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Apr 10, 2011 - 41 comments

More Truths to Handle

German news magazine Der Spiegel has published trophy photos taken by a U.S. Army "kill team" in Afghanistan. [more inside]
posted by clarknova on Mar 22, 2011 - 193 comments

satire didn't bring down Hitler

In his unedited, fifty-minute interview with Rachel Maddow, Jon Stewart explains what's wrong with MSNBC, why you shouldn't say Bush is a war criminal even if it's "technically true," why the real political fight in the U.S. is not Republican vs. Democrat or left vs. right but corruption vs. non-corruption, and how the real point of the Rally to Restore Sanity (previously, previously) was to show that he has no actual influence, credibility, or power.
posted by gerryblog on Nov 12, 2010 - 223 comments

The Gangster Prince of Liberia

Adam Higginbotham wrote an interesting article in 2007 about Chuckie Taylor's reign of terror in Liberia. (Note: PDF link) [more inside]
posted by reenum on Sep 27, 2010 - 9 comments

"We Should Kill Everyone There"

IDF in Gaza: Killing civilians, vandalism, and lax rules of engagement. "During Operation Cast Lead, Israeli forces killed Palestinian civilians under permissive rules of engagement and intentionally destroyed their property, say soldiers who fought in the offensive." Can Israel dismiss its own troops' stories from Gaza? [Via]
posted by homunculus on Mar 19, 2009 - 106 comments

The Downward Spiral

What killed Sgt. Gray? "He survived the war only to die at home. An exploration of his death and his combat unit's activities reveals what can happen to soldiers who feel the freedom -- or the pressure -- to do things in war they can't live with later." -- An American Radioworks documentary.
posted by empath on Nov 11, 2008 - 29 comments

Terror's Advocate

If you’ve been arrested by the police and the lawyer you choose to call is Jacques Vergès then you’ve probably done something bad. Very bad. There’s a film out about his extraordinary career and his strange 8 year disappearance.
posted by Brian Lux on May 9, 2008 - 33 comments

Winter Soldier... A shape with lion body and the head of a man

"Not only are the misuse of rules of engagement in Iraq indicative of supreme strategic incompetence, they are also a moral disgrace." Former Marine Sergeant Jason Lemieux... three tours in Iraq from 2003 to 2006.
posted by Huplescat on Mar 18, 2008 - 23 comments

Allí, ese 16 de marzo, Bush, Blair y Aznar decidieron sustituir al Consejo de Seguridad de Naciones Unidas y usurparon sus funciones para declarar por su cuenta y riesgo la guerra contra Irak.

Bush and Aznar pre-Iraq Invasion-- Transcript of their private conversations in Crawford, Feb 22, 2003: "Quedan dos semanas. En dos semanas estaremos militarmente listos. Estaremos en Bagdad a finales de marzo", le dijo a Aznar. ("2 weeks. In 2 weeks we will be ready militarily. We'll be in Baghdad by the end of March", he told Aznar.) Consider this historical documentation. Full transcript here, and audio clips in first link. [more inside]
posted by amberglow on Sep 25, 2007 - 46 comments

1,220,580 - None Dare Call It Genocide

...These findings come from a poll released today by ORB, the British polling agency that has been tracking public opinion in Iraq since 2005. In conjunction with their Iraqi fieldwork agency a representative sample of 1,499 adults aged 18+ answered the following question: How many members of your household, if any, have died as a result of the conflict in Iraq since 2003 (ie as a result of violence rather than a natural death such as old age)?
Answer: 1,220,580
Tables pdf
FinalDeadNumbersWEIGHTED.xls
See also Poll: Civilian toll in Iraq may top 1M
See also None Dare Call It Genocide
posted by y2karl on Sep 17, 2007 - 131 comments

“I study dead Jews”

"So much for “never again.” So the problem has obviously not disappeared."
Raul Hilberg (1926-2007, NYT obit) explains why he added a chapter on Rwanda to the last edition of The destruction of the European Jews, a work that took him a lifetime and 3 editions to complete, meeting with indifference, then with criticism from those who didn't share his (at the beginning) functionalist view of the Holocaust. Hilberg became involved in other controversies about the Holocaust, but "The Destruction..." remains the "the closest of any work in print to being the Summa of Holocaust studies" (Christopher Browning). Also: Hilberg intervied by Claude Lanzmann in "Shoah" (YT) (previously).
posted by elgilito on Aug 7, 2007 - 41 comments

Allegations of rape-as-torture at Abu Ghraib surface on YouTube.

Last week a video was posted to YouTube and linked to by the Iraqslogger site. The YouTube account ("Deathlyillington") is now defunct but the video survives and purports to show a former guard from Abu Ghraib talking about torture techniques employed at the American-run prison. The man recounts the gang rape of a female teenage detainee, in which one guard "pimped" the girl to others for $50 each. As he recalls, "I think at the end of the day he'd made like 500 bucks before she hung herself." The US Army's Criminal Investigation Department has now launched an investigation, but the question remains, is the video real, or is it a hoax along the lines of Jesse Macbeth, the Daily Mirror fake torture photos or the fake beheading video. The video contains few clues to the identity of the alleged soldier, who is shown in silhouette but seems potentially recognizable. A transcript is available.
posted by unSane on Feb 1, 2007 - 67 comments

Rumsfeld: War Crimes Charges

Donald Rumsfeld: The War Crimes Case and TIME: A lawsuit to be filed on Nov. 14th in Germany will seek a criminal prosecution of the outgoing Defense Secretary and other U.S. officials for their alleged role in abuses at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo. Lawyers for the plaintiffs say that one of the witnesses who will testify on their behalf is former Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, the one-time commander of all U.S. military prisons in Iraq. Karpinski… has issued a written statement to accompany the legal filing, which says, in part: “It was clear the knowledge and responsibility [for what happened at Abu Ghraib] goes all the way to the top of the chain of command to the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ”. . . . Rumsfeld's resignation, they say, means that the former Defense Secretary will lose the legal immunity usually accorded high government officials. Previously: Chain of Command, (May 9, 2004); Interview with Abu Ghraib general, (November 8, 2005)
posted by spock on Nov 11, 2006 - 67 comments

Iraqi Death Rate May Top Our Civil War: Deaths in Iraq: How Many, and Why It Matters

...Would it surprise you to learn that if the Johns Hopkins estimates of 400,000 to 800,000 deaths are correct -- and many experts in the survey field seem to suggest they probably are -- that the supposedly not-yet-civil-war in Iraq has already cost more lives, per capita, than our own Civil War (one in 40 of all Iraqis alive in 2003) ? And that these losses are comparable to what some European nations suffered in World War II ? You'd never know it from mainstream press coverage in the U.S. "Everybody knows the boat is leaking, everybody knows the captain lied," Leonard Cohen once sang. The question the new study raises: How many will go down with the ship, and will the press finally hold the captain fully accountable ?
Iraqi Death Rate May Top Our Civil War -- But Will the Press Confirm It ?
See also Debating the Body Count in Iraq
See also Deaths in Iraq: how many, and why it matters
See also The Science of Counting the Dead
See also How the Media Covered The Lancet’s Iraqi Casualty Study
See also More deadly than Saddam
posted by y2karl on Oct 19, 2006 - 80 comments

Six Questions on the American 'Gulag' & Pardon Me, Please

Does the tolerance for abuses committed during the “war on terrorism” have any implications for the health of democracy at home?

The President’s broad new powers in the signing statements that enable him to override Congress have corroded the American system of checks and balances. American law enforcement agencies can now wiretap American civilians and detain citizens and permanent residents without charges, and consequently without evidence. Last week the House passed legislation to build a 700-mile Israeli-style fence on the U.S.–Mexico border and to deploy there many of the surveillance technologies tested in Iraq. Perhaps the domestic installation of wartime technologies and military surveillance in civilian settings has become acceptable to us because we have become accustomed, as Soviet citizens did during the endless Stalinist purges, to open-ended wars—wars with no opening salvo and no concluding treaty. Whether or not one agrees that American detention centers and secret prisons are the “Gulag of our time,” the comparison deserves serious consideration. It might help us shine a torch into the dark corners of repression, where the totalitarian qualities of our own society lurk, before the scale of violence ascends to Gulag dimensions.
Six Questions on the American “Gulag” for Historian Kate Brown
See also Bush seeks immunity for violating War Crimes Act
posted by y2karl on Sep 24, 2006 - 50 comments

Comfort Women

On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives' Committee on International Relations adopted a bipartisan resolution to ask the Japanese government to formally apologize for sexually enslaving up to 200,000 "comfort women" in Imperial brothels during its colonial occupation of Asia from 1932 through the end of World War II. Many were tortured and raped, and only about 30% survived WWII. Japan has stated repeatedly that even though the brothels were established by military policy, the imperial government was not directly involved in operating them. Taking responsibility would be an admission that they committed war crimes -- slavery and trafficking in women and children -- and could give victims a legal basis to sue for reparations.

H Res. 759 does not ask Japan to provide reparations, but it does push them to unambiguously acknowledge what happened and educate future generations, (full text) rather than continue the current practice of denying what really happened. Previously on MeFi.
posted by zarq on Sep 15, 2006 - 56 comments

"This agression will not stand."

Benjamin B. Ferencz, a chief prosecutor in the Nuremberg war crimes trials, believes that President Bush should be put on trial. Mr. Ferencz previously discussed the War On Terror shortly after 9/11.
posted by EarBucket on Aug 28, 2006 - 20 comments

Bush Administration fears war crimes trials

Gonzalez seeks "protection" from War Crimes Act of 1996 Ten years ago, the Republican Congress passed the War Crimes Act, which makes violations of the Geneva Convention by Americans criminal acts. Now, the Attorney General is urging the current Republican Congress to "shield" those who participate in the War On Terror from the Act.
posted by Kirth Gerson on Jul 28, 2006 - 68 comments

Human Rights

The University of Minnesota Human Rights Library is a treasure trove of resources about human rights and war crimes issues.
posted by mlis on Apr 5, 2006 - 3 comments

From the Diary of Adam Czerniakow on the Eve of the Deportation from the Warsaw Ghetto, 1942

"They are demanding that I kill the children of my people with my own hands"
On October 4, 1939, a few days after Warsaw's surrender to the Nazis, Adam Czerniaków was made head of the 24 member Judenrat, the Jewish Council (write "Czerniakow" in the linked page's search box) responsible for implementing German orders in the Jewish community (interactive map of the Warsaw ghetto). On July 22, 1942 -- Tisha B'Av, the "saddest day in Jewish history" -- the Judenrat received instructions that all Warsaw Jews were to be deported to the East (exceptions were to be made for Jews working in German factories, Jewish hospital staff, members of the Judenrat and their families, and members of the Jewish police force and their families. Czerniaków tried to convince the Germans at least not to deport the Jewish orphans). Czerniaków kept a diary from September 6, 1939, until the day of his death. It was published in 1979 in the English language as the "The Warsaw Diary of Adam Czerniaków: Prelude to Doom", edited by one of the most prominent Holocaust scholars, Raul Hilberg. More inside.
posted by matteo on Feb 17, 2006 - 23 comments

Jimmy Massey atrocity stories found to be false

Newsfilter: Iraq atrocity allegations by former Marine sergeant Jimmy Massey investigated, found to be unsubstantiated. Via The Poor Man.
posted by russilwvong on Nov 8, 2005 - 23 comments

Aleksandr Sokurov's "The Sun"

The Emperor's Bunker. "The Japanese, with sadness and irony, stressed that Hirohito couldn't even speak properly. This was partly to do with the fact that he didn't have to speak - people spoke in his name and he was isolated from real life". "The Sun", the third part in Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov's 'Men of Power' tetralogy after the gloom of Moloch (1999), about Hitler and Eva Braun, and the despairing tones of "Taurus" (2001), focused on the wheelchair-bound Lenin in his death throes, "The Sun" seems almost upbeat. This, after all, is a film about reconciliation. More inside.
posted by matteo on Sep 13, 2005 - 21 comments

to export violence to the four corners of the globe

Now here's an interesting story. And well worth the read. It mentions some disturbing facts - he reloads and starts shooting again - but is still sympathetic to our hero. Of course if you compare it with this... "nothing to see here folks, keep moving right along!" Oh, and is "frought" a word?
posted by milkwood on Apr 18, 2005 - 25 comments

President George W. Bush arrested upon arrival in Canada

Canadian authorities have arrested US President George W. Bush and charged him with offences under Canada's War Crimes Act. Says (Canadian Prime Minister) Paul Martin: “This decision was not made lightly. But, it was also a decision that was impossible not to make. The United States is not outside the rule of law, and cannot expect to get an unlimited “free pass”. This decision puts a grave strain upon both our nations, and I urge calm and restraint from our American neighbours, as well as from Canadians. I have met with the cabinet, and with our colleagues in the House. This is a time of great crisis for us as a nation. But as people, we will survive this test. Earlier I enacted the Emergency War Powers Act. This is necessary to guarantee our domestic security. This is not a time for panic, for lawlessness, for anything other than a responsible and sobre focus on what lies immediately ahead.”
posted by 327.ca on Nov 29, 2004 - 75 comments

unmitigated gall

US demands war crimes immunity But human rights campaigners said the Iraq prison abuse scandal proves that the US needs to be held to account. "Given the recent revelations... the US has picked one hell of a moment to ask for special treatment," said Richard Dicker of Human Rights Watch. -- the annual renewal of US protection from international prosecution for war crimes when serving under UN auspices comes to a vote on Monday.
posted by amberglow on May 22, 2004 - 34 comments

George Bush Found Guilty of War Crimes in Japan

Citizens find Bush guilty of Afghan war crimes A citizens' tribunal Saturday in Tokyo found U.S. President George W. Bush guilty of war crimes for attacking civilians with indiscriminate weapons and other arms during the U.S.-led antiterrorism operations in Afghanistan in 2001.
posted by jasenlee on Apr 7, 2004 - 26 comments

Democracy at work?

Washington cuts Serbia Aid, due to Serbian intransigence in cooperating with the Hague war crimes tribunal to extradite key war crimes suspects. Recently, the Serbian Parliament passed a controversial bill which gives taxpayers money to war crimes suspects for "legal and other expenses". In December Serbia elected a new parliament with nationalist sympathies. Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica has said extraditing war crimes suspects to The Hague is not one of his government's priorities. Is this the kind of democracy the US wanted?
posted by knapah on Mar 31, 2004 - 4 comments

The Case Against Miloševic

The Case Against Milosevic (flash)
posted by Ljubljana on Dec 2, 2003 - 3 comments

The ghosts

"We were wrong, terribly wrong. We owe it to future generations to explain why." In The Fog of War, a revelatory new documentary about his life and times, a disquieted Robert McNamara implores us to understand why he did the things he did as an Air Force lieutenant colonel who helped plan the firebombing of Japanese cities in World War II, and, later, as a secretary of defense and pivotal decision-maker during Vietnam, which some Americans came to call "McNamara's War." One of the movie's most powerful passages covers McNamara's little-known service in World War II, when he was attached to Gen. Curtis LeMay's 21st Bomber Command stationed on the Pacific island of Guam. LeMay's B-29s showered 67 Japanese cities with incendiary bombs in 1945, softening up the country for the two atomic blasts to come. McNamara was a senior planning officer. Story by "Killing Fields"' Sydney Schanberg in the American Prospect (more inside)
posted by matteo on Nov 12, 2003 - 83 comments

Murder, Mayhem & Disco

Murder, Mayhem & Disco Sierra Leone warlord Sam Bockarie - if indeed he is dead - will be remembered for allegedly advocating a particularly horrific tactic of war: the deliberate and widespread practice of hacking off the limbs, lips and ears of his victims. The Revolutionary United Front (RUF) - the rebel group of which Mr Bockarie was a general - also received world attention for its systematic rape of women and abduction of thousands of children who were forced to fight. Mr Bockarie who died aged 40 was wanted by the United Nations-backed war crimes tribunal for his alleged part in the atrocities In his time, he was also a disco dancing champion, diamond miner, hairdresser, electrician and waiter.
posted by turbanhead on May 7, 2003 - 1 comment

"War Crimes"

"War Crimes" is a powerful Flash video about the war. "Doctor Bushlove" is darkly comic. Both are by Eric Blumrich, and are well-crafted but quite graphic. And in the interests of fairness, Blumrich has given equal time to his critics. [Via BuzzFlash.]
posted by homunculus on Apr 6, 2003 - 18 comments

The International Criminal Court

That other great bone of transatlantic contention, the International Criminal Court, was finally born today. Dead at birth, or a source of hope for victims??
posted by Doozer on Mar 11, 2003 - 36 comments

Kaliningrad

Kaliningrad is the name of the little dot between Poland and Lithuania which lights up when you select "Russia" in the Axis Applet. It turns out to be a Special Economic Zone entirely surrounded by newly-minted EU members.

But before it was gobbled up by Russia in the wake of World War II, it was named Konigsberg. Founded in 1255 by Ottocar II (Not related to the Ottokars of Syldavia) of Bohemia, Konigsberg was the inspiration for the problem of the 7 Bridges and the name of two famous warships.
posted by hob on Jan 26, 2003 - 24 comments

Goodbye to Kissinger

Harry Kissinger steps down as 9-11 investigation leader. Now lets get someone in there that isn't wanted for war crimes.
posted by Degaz on Dec 14, 2002 - 24 comments

EU officially excludes Americans from war crimes tribunal.

EU officially excludes Americans from war crimes tribunal. "Defusing a trans-Atlantic spat, the European Union agreed Monday to spare U.S. citizens the fate of standing trial on war crimes charges in the newly created International Criminal Court."
posted by botono9 on Sep 30, 2002 - 45 comments

Northern Alliance commander asphyxiated "hundreds" of surrendered Taliban in shipping containers

Northern Alliance commander asphyxiated "hundreds" of surrendered Taliban in shipping containers "The benefit in fighting a proxy-style war in Afghanistan was victory on the cheap—cheap, at any rate, in American blood. The cost, NEWSWEEK’s investigation has established, is that American forces were working intimately with “allies” who committed what could well qualify as war crimes." (via drudge)
posted by Gilbert on Aug 18, 2002 - 21 comments

Japanese Devils

Japanese Devils is a documentary featuring 14 veterans of the Imperial Army testifying to their brutal participation in Japan's 15-year war against China. Director Matsui Minoru presents a powerful historical record of these soldiers' individual crimes, helping to break Japan's long silence about its wartime atrocities in China.
Please also see Iris Chang's "The Rape of Nanking'' and be aware that the Japanese government is still whitewashing their brutal WWII history via school textbooks. We must understand the truth of history so that we are not doomed to repeat it.
posted by gen on Apr 4, 2002 - 5 comments

How do you put a good face on war crimes? You think ahead and hire a PR agency.
posted by feckless on Mar 5, 2002 - 6 comments

Americans to arrest Karadzic soon...

Americans to arrest Karadzic soon...
US intelligence officials and commandos have found Balkans war crimes suspect Mr Radovan Karadzic and he will be arrested soon, the Nezavisne Novine newspaper said today.
posted by tomcosgrave on Jan 25, 2002 - 2 comments

The Trial of Unit 731

The Trial of Unit 731 "is the forgotten war-crimes prosecution of the 20th century." In 1949, Soviet courts tried a unit of the Japanese Imperial Army for wartime biological weapons experimentation on human subjects.

This article contains some gruesome descriptions.

posted by dfowler on Jun 6, 2001 - 8 comments

Republicans Step Up Campaign Against Global Court

Republicans Step Up Campaign Against Global Court

Jesse Helms and co. against international war crimes court treaty.

Guess somebody's got some skeletons to hide.

Bush administration against it too.
posted by Mr. skullhead on Jan 3, 2001 - 7 comments

It's good to know that Castro is still a nutcase.

It's good to know that Castro is still a nutcase. "War crimes tribunal," my tailfeathers.
posted by Steven Den Beste on Apr 13, 2000 - 6 comments

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