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‘They are not human’: ISIS, the Yazidis and Germany

When a five-year-old child was chained and left outside in a courtyard to die by her ISIS captor, her enslaved mother never thought she would see justice done. Six years later, on October 25th, 2021, Jennifer Wenisch, a 30-year old German convert who had joined Islamic State, was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced…
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Why we need to talk about genocide

Menachem Rosensaft lives with ghosts. That’s perhaps not so surprising as one of them is his brother Benjamin. The latter was five and a half when the Nazis sent him to the gas chambers in Birkenau, along with his father and other family members. Ghosts have haunted the Renaissance-like writer, poet, human rights activist, and…
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Giving genocide denial a platform: ISIS, the media and the Yazidis

When the Dutch journalist Judit Neurink and her friends heard of the takeover of northern Iraq by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from her base in Irbil (or Erbil), the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, they were surprised. Neurink, a Middle East specialist and editor of one of the leading Dutch daily papers, Trouw in…
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Remember us: recognising and rediscovering the Armenian Genocide

On 24 April 2021, the American President Joe Biden formally recognised the Armenian Genocide. It had only taken 106 years to the day. April really is the cruellest month, as TS Eliot wrote in The Waste Land. The Armenian Genocide is crucial in understanding other genocides that followed. Until the Nazis, it was the high watermark of…
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Peering into Hell: an interview with Ben Ferencz

Imagine being 27-years-old, having never stepped inside a courtroom and being appointed lead prosecutor in the largest murder trial in history. If this were a riddle, it would be easy for either human rights lawyers or World War Two experts to guess the correct answer. Ben Ferencz was that young man. He made his legal…
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Taliban 2.0: death by government

The world is panicking about Afghanistan. While we don’t know how the Taliban will rule, it’s difficult to believe it will be significantly less brutal than last time, despite the laptops and polished PR. They do want to portray themselves as more in touch with the population. Perhaps it’s not fair to panic a population…
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