There is a photo post going around stating “there is a genocide in Syria, share this if you care.”
The situation in Syria is absolutely terrible, violent state repression. This is indisputable. However, I think that it is irresponsible to assign the word genocide to events that do not seemingly constitute genocide, especially on politically-based blogs. Available documentation suggests that what is going on in Syria is not currently classifiably as genocide. It is a violent crackdown of state repression against civilians.
Article II of the Genocide Convention defines genocide as “[A]ny of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) killing members of the group; (b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”
An example of a Syrian event that could be possible labeled genocide is the scorched earth campaign perpetrated by Assad’s government in the city of Hama in 1982. This attack targeted Sunni Muslims specifically and was intended to massacre the population directly.
Other examples of genocide: the Guatemalan state’s destruction of the Maya population and the Armenian genocide.
Good journalism is honest journalism. Hyperbole does not strengthen an argument, it delegitimizes it.
*If there is evidence of genocide that I am missing in the news reporting, please let me know and I will correct this post.
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