(WASHINGTON, DC)—U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and U.S. Representative James P. McGovern (D-MA), Chair and Cochair of the bipartisan and bicameral Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), issued today the Commission’s 2021 Annual Report on human rights conditions and rule of law developments in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The full report and anexecutive summary are available for download on the CECC’s website.
“The Chinese government’s horrific abuse of human rights and trampling of human dignity make it more important than ever that the Congressional-Executive Commission on China document abuses of human rights and the rule of law in China, as the Commission has done for the past 20 years,” said CECC Chairman Merkley. “This report calls attention to the limitations of China’s model of governance in meeting the needs of the Chinese people and in respecting fundamental rights both in China and globally. It should serve as a call to action. Those fleeing persecution, facing arbitrary detention, fighting coercion, or fearing the destruction of their culture need to know the United States has their back, and I hope Congress and the Biden Administration will continue to act on the CECC’s recommendations to do so.”
“We have to call this what it is,” Volodymyr Zelensky said, late last month, a few days after Vladimir Putin had ordered the invasion and conquest of Ukraine. “Russia’s criminal actions against Ukraine show signs of genocide.” President Zelensky, who lost family members during the Holocaust, and who also happens to have a law degree, sounded suitably cautious about invoking genocide, and he called for the International Criminal Court in The Hague to send war-crimes investigators as a first step. But such investigations take years, and rarely result in convictions. (Since the I.C.C. was established in 1998, it has indicted only Africans; and Russia, like the United States, refuses its jurisdiction.) The only court that Zelensky can make his case in for now is the court of global public opinion, where his instincts, drawing on deep wells of courage and conviction, have been unerring. And by the end of the invasion’s second week—with Putin’s indiscriminate bombardment of civilian targets intensifying, and the death toll mounting rapidly; with more than two and a half million Ukrainians having fled the country, and millions more under relentless attack in besieged cities and towns; and with no end in sight—Zelensky no longer deferred to outside experts to describe what Ukrainians face in the most absolute terms. “I will appeal directly to the nations of the world if the leaders of the world do not make every effort to stop this war,” he said in a video message on Tuesday. He paused, and looking directly into the camera, added, “This genocide.”
In Lviv, on the western edge of Ukraine, most of the time the war felt very far away. Its shadow appeared, fleetingly, in the beautiful old cavernous Greek Catholic churches throughout the city, where people filled the pews and wept, and the priests, who perform the Byzantine liturgy in Ukrainian, called for God to protect the nation from its enemies; and in the basements and hallways and underground parking garages where people sheltered during the frequent air-raid sirens, most often at night; and in the old city after 8 p.m., when the curfew was approaching and all the many small restaurants and cafés closed; and in the many schools and nonprofits that had been turned into shelters for the people fleeing the bombing in the east of the country; but, still, most of the time, during the fourth week of the war, people in Lviv followed the bloodshed in the same way that everyone else in the world did: on television.
The one place in Lviv where the war was never far away was the train station. Built in the early twentieth century, when Lviv was a cosmopolitan, multiethnic city called Lemberg and was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, it is a grand, attractive building two miles from the old town. It has also been, since the start of the invasion, as the Lviv-based sociologist Alona Liasheva put it to me, “a hell on earth.” It was the westernmost hub of the Ukrainian train system, in a country that still relies primarily on trains; most of the three million people who had fled abroad in the past weeks had passed through it, as did the hundreds of thousands who had fled westward but remained in Ukraine, including in Lviv.
Americans are used to wars against people who don’t so casually speak our language. Zelensky can respond to Russian propaganda by directly addressing the Russian people — in Russian.
By Keith Gessen
NYtime – Published March 11, 2022Updated March 13, 2022
The thing about the videos from the war in Ukraine in 2014 was that there were very few war videos. It was, at least at first, a small-arms war. Fighting, when it erupted, happened on city streets. As soon as shots were fired, whoever was making the video would put away the phone and run.
The videos that characterized the conflict were not of rifle fire but of protests: riot police beating demonstrators as people shouted, “What are you doing?”; later, young men on the same square, outfitted in motley assortments of helmets and kneepads, counterattacking; videos of people arguing; videos of people being forced, in eastern Ukraine, to get on their knees. After pro-Russian forces took over cities in the east and the Ukrainian Army finally moved to restore its authority, there were videos of pro-Russian protesters trying to prevent tanks from entering their towns. These were the images of a country falling apart.
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:
Deportation or forcible transfer of population;
Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law;
Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity;
Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court;
Enforced disappearance of persons;
The crime of apartheid;
Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.
For the purpose of paragraph 1:
‘Attack directed against any civilian population’ means a course of conduct involving the multiple commission of acts referred to in paragraph 1 against any civilian population, pursuant to or in furtherance of a State or organizational policy to commit such attack;
Cho mục đích của Đạo luật Rome về Tòa án Hình sự Quốc tế, “tội chống loài người” nghĩa là bất kỳ hành vi nào sau đây khi được thực hiện như một phần của cuộc tấn công trên diện rộng hoặc tấn công có hệ thống, với ý thức về cuộc tấn công, nhằm vào bất kỳ nhóm dân thường nào:
Nô lệ hóa;
Trục xuất hoặc cưỡng chế chuyển nhóm dân;
Bỏ tù hoặc tước nghiêm trọng quyền tự do thể chất vi phạm các quy tắc cơ bản của luật quốc tế;
Hiếp dâm, nô lệ tình dục, cưỡng bức mại dâm, cưỡng bức mang thai, cưỡng bức triệt sản, hoặc bất kỳ hình thức bạo lực tình dục nào khác có mức nghiêm trọng tương đương;
Bách hại bất kỳ nhóm nào hoặc tập thể nào có thể nhận dạng về chính trị, chủng tộc, quốc gia, dân tộc, văn hóa, tôn giáo, giới tính như được định nghĩa trong đoạn 3, hoặc với các lý do khác được công nhận trên thế giới là bị cấm theo luật quốc tế, trong khi thực hiện bất kỳ hành vi nào được nêu trong đoạn này hoặc bất kỳ hình tội nào thuộc thẩm quyền của Tòa án này;
Cưỡng chế mất tích người;
Tội phân biệt chủng tộc;
Các hành vi tương tự vô nhân đạo khác cố ý gây ra đau đớn lớn, hoặc làm tổn thương nghiêm trọng đến cơ thể hoặc sức khỏe tinh thần hoặc thể chất.
Cho mục đích của đoạn 1:
‘Tấn công nhằm vào bất kỳ nhóm dân thường nào’ nghĩa là một quá trình ứng xử thực hiện nhiều hành động được đề cập trong đoạn 1 chống lại bất kỳ nhóm dân thường nào, thể theo hoặc đẩy mạnh chính sách của Nhà nước hoặc của một tổ chức nhằm thực hiện cuộc tấn công đó;