Displaying items by tag: Genocide
Armenian-Lebanese Vicken Euljekjian, a civilian prisoner of war captured when Azerbaijan invaded Nagorno-Karabakh and seized new territory, has been indicted on three counts: participation as a mercenary in a military conflict, committing terrorism, and illegally crossing into Azerbaijan. These charges are falsely leveled against Euljekjian. They are part of the joint attempt by Azerbaijan and Turkey to justify their genocidal actions in Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan invaded Nagorno-Karabakh in September 2020, with the support of Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries. The brutality of the invasion demonstrated an intent of ethnic-religious cleansing towards Karabakh’s Armenian Christian community, whose presence in the region predates the Islamic Turkish presence.
In 1915 two million Armenians lived in Turkey; today there are fewer than 60,000. Successive regimes deny that there was such a thing as an Armenian genocide. Turkey now appears intent on reigniting the hatred by helping Azerbaijan wage war on Armenia in the context of the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute, which erupted into armed conflict in late 2020. Turkish mercenaries and their Azerbaijani partners have ISIS-like behavior. They tortured beyond recognition an intellectually disabled 58-year-old Armenian woman before murdering her. Her family identified her by her clothes. When a random pedestrian was asked, ‘If you could get away with one thing, what would you do?’ She looked at the video camera and smiled saying, ‘What would I do? Behead twenty Armenians.’ 24 April was Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, marking the start of the period in which Ottoman Turks massacred 1.5 million Armenians during World War I. On 27 April that Turkey said relations with the US had sunk to a new low after Joe Biden formally acknowledged that Armenians suffered genocide 100 years ago.
The Azeri-Turkey offensive is worsening, with cluster bombs falling on innocent civilians even as they sheltered in churches. There is justifiable concern among Armenian Christians of a rising threat of ethnic cleansing from their historic Christian land. On 1 November the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights warned that the indiscriminate attacks on densely populated areas with associated loss of civilian life and destruction of infrastructure ‘contravenes international humanitarian law’ and ‘could be a war crime’. Recent reports indicate that large supplies of Israeli-built weapons, including devastating ‘kamikaze drones’ and unmanned aerial vehicles have been supplied to Azerbaijan and deployed against Christian civilians. Since September 90,000 Armenians, over half the region’s population of 144,000, have fled the conflict to take refuge in Armenia. Pray that the supply of military weapons to Azerbaijan will cease immediately and for guarantees that Israeli technology, including lethal drone strikes, will not be used in the conflict.
The Myanmar army is waging a ‘genocidal campaign’ against Kachin Christians, using the same tactics that forced nearly a million Rohingya to flee the country. ‘What we found in this forgotten part of the world was worrying evidence of a second genocidal campaign, this time against the Kachin’, stated a Sky News correspondent on 4 June. Attacks on Kachin areas have increased substantially since January. The forces that spent months driving the Rohingya Muslim ethnic minority out of western Myanmar are now deployed in the north and applying similar tactics, including helicopters, heavy artillery, and burning villages to the ground. The most recent attacks have displaced 10,000 from the mainly-Christian Kachin ethnic minority. One mother of four told journalists, ‘The Burmese government is trying to carry out ethnic cleansing of the Kachin people. Whenever they see Kachin civilians they kill them. If they see a Kachin woman they will rape her, even a pregnant woman.'
Rebels are not going to win Syria’s war, but neither will they quit while Assad's forces continue to target suburbs of Eastern Ghouta. Warplanes back his bombardment. Starving people in the besieged regions are ‘awaiting their turn to die’ as the most ferocious attacks in Syria’s history continue. Eastern Ghouta was among the first Syrian regions to shake off government rule after demonstrations against President Assad’s regime swept through the country and led to civil war. The UN has now described the situation there as ‘beyond imagination’. Amnesty International said ‘flagrant war crimes’ are being committed as civilians die. The UN secretary general is supporting a resolution that calls for a 30-day Syrian ceasefire to allow the wounded to leave and supplies to enter. Meanwhile, Assad's forces were sent to the northern Afrin region, where they came under fire from Turkish forces attacking the Kurdish-controlled area. See
Dear President Trump,
Thank you for taking the time to hear my plea for peace on the Korean Peninsula.
I was a US prisoner of the Kim Jong-il regime from December 2009 to February 2010. The sole reason why I entered North Korea via Hoeryung city on Dec. 25, 2009 was to call attention to human rights violations that have occurred against innocents in the region and to demand better conditions -- conducive to life -- for North Koreans.
On a personal level, I have been profoundly wounded and suffered loss on an incalculable and irretrievable scale as a result of these efforts to highlight the North Korean populace’s severe victimization and unjust suffering. Accordingly, I sincerely beg that whatever you decide to do in concert with South Korean authorities and the international community that none of the ordinary people of both North and South Korea will ever get hurt; Koreans have already endured and sacrificed far too much.
It’s been brought to my attention that persons who have advised you and are within your administration profess to be Christians. Please kindly be reminded that a large number of underground Christians are within North Korea. They are the most persecuted religious group in the world, according to multiple watchdogs of religious rights internationally. As I pray your team accepts upon deep reflection, it would be decidedly un-Christian to countenance indiscriminate killings of those who are among the people in the world who suffer the most.
As was recorded by a 2013 United Nations Commission of Inquiry, an estimated 200,000 to 400,000 “Christians still professing their religion secretly” despite “high risks” are in North Korea today.
Another ethical dilemma vis-a-vis military strikes would be that North Korea’s political prison camps -- where thousands of Christians are imprisoned and suffering grievously -- are near weapons of mass destruction facilities and test sites.
For instance, as was written in the above-cited UN report: “Political Prison Camp No. 16 covers about 560 square kilometres of rugged terrain in Myonggan, North Hamgyong Province. It is located in close proximity to the Punggye-ri nuclear test site. ... The GeoCoordinates for the central area of Camp 16 are 41.1849N 129.2032E.”
Furthermore, an estimated 10 million Korean families were heartbreakingly severed by the brutal realities engendered through Korea’s division. Fewer than 1 percent have been permitted to see or even hear from their missing or displaced loved ones to date. As the artificial border became fixed, whether Koreans discovered themselves in the North or the South amid the tumult and upheaval of the period was in innumerable cases but a question of chance.
The South’s President Moon Jae-in -- like a multitude of South Koreans, Korean-Americans and other Koreans worldwide -- has family in North Korea.
Therefore, it is my sincere and tearful prayer that you, Mr. President, would take into serious consideration these excruciatingly painful and unresolved tragedies, while honoring the moral imperative to determine a peaceful resolution vis-a-vis the security predicament.
We must remember Kim Jong-un disallows North Koreans all of the basic freedoms most of us take for granted. North Koreans of all classes and backgrounds are not permitted to read what they wish. Neither are they able to travel freely within their own territory. Going abroad is simply out of the question for the overwhelming majority. Punishments in retaliation for being caught with books such as the Bible, or accidentally speaking out of turn or appearing irreverent, for example, are draconian and routinely deadly. These are but a few of the reasons the whole area is often referred to as a single enormous prison.
High-level escapee Thae Yong-ho, who defected to the South last year with his immediate family, characterizes North Korea as a “gigantic slave society that exists only for the hereditary succession of the Kim family.” Although once among Kim Jong-un’s most entrusted -- having been Pyongyang’s diplomat in London for 10 years -- he bravely declared subsequent to escaping, “I am very determined to do everything possible to pull down the regime to save not only my family members but also the whole North Korean people from slavery.”
There are countless individuals -- even among North Korea’s elite and military -- who confidentially share Thae’s hunger and thirst for reform and transformation within the North today. I know this with certainty.
Here is my earnest, wholehearted and tearful plea to you, Mr. President: Please unconditionally preserve the lives of both North and South Korea’s general population. Under no circumstances -- if international laws, norms and principles professing to safeguard innocents’ most sacred right to life contain any substance -- can the loss of their lives be tolerated.
There is a thoroughly workable and peaceable solution to the North Korea crisis. It involves reaching out to the general populace of North Korea in sympathy and supporting their internal unseating of Kim Jong-un -- one individual. This procedure must be accompanied by the freeing of all political prisoners -- who are victims of crimes against humanity and possibly genocide -- which can be achieved via the mediation of those North Koreans who assume interim administrative responsibilities in the immediate aftermath of Kim’s indigenous and peaceful ouster.
Elite or senior-level defections are conspicuously rising. The South’s Ministry of Unification recently reported that this year, North Korean elites -- including party officials, diplomats, and university professors -- are defecting twice as often as in 2016. Numerous members of the North’s military have been defecting to the South as of late, as well. Countless more have died while attempting to flee.
In July, an elite-level family of five -- including a former North Korean party official, his wife, son and two daughters -- struggled courageously to defect to the South. They carried poison with them to kill themselves -- as an alternative to Kim Jong-un’s systematic cruelty -- if Chinese authorities forcibly repatriated them. Heartbreakingly, these refugees deserving of protection were apprehended en route. To avoid inhumanity and torture, all five members of this senior-level family committed suicide.
As Thae Yong-ho has emphasized, high-ranking North Koreans are in actual fact slaves and are suffering gravely also.
The overwhelming majority of North Koreans hope and yearn to be reunified with the South, to live in a gentler and more egalitarian society and to bid adieu to Kim Jong-un. Those who suggest otherwise, Mr. President, unfortunately retain an inaccurate assessment of the overall situation on the ground.
Accordingly, we must reach out to the North Korean people if a peaceable solution is veritably what we seek. The native and nonviolent ousting of Kim Jong-un is distinctly achievable.
I’ve been praying through an outpouring of tears and wholeheartedly plead for you and your administration to remember the acute suffering and unparalleled victimization of tens of millions of warm-hearted, gentle and benevolent North Koreans -- who deserve compassion and require grace -- and to please pursue a peaceable answer with regard to the security quandary.
Thank you once again for your time and attentiveness to the above concerns.
By Robert Park
A day of mourning has been declared for the victims of killings in Kaduna, which is to be observed on Sunday, 8 January, 2017. This is following a massacre that occurred on the evening on Monday, 26 December, 2016, in the Sanga Local Government Area of the state. The Secretary General of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Musa Asake, made the call for a special prayer for the victims, reported to be 38 in number. ‘In view of the present predicament, the president of CAN has directed that Sunday, 8 January, be declared a national day of mourning by all Christians. We are to pray fervently for our southern Kaduna brothers and sisters who are victims of these wanton killings and also for the peace of our dear country, Nigeria.’ Asake thinks the presidency is not doing anything substantial in response to the mass killing of innocent people. ‘While we commend President Muhammadu Buhari for waging war against the Boko Haram fundamentalists since his assumption of office, his silence in the ongoing genocide in the last few weeks speaks volumes over the perceived official endorsement of the dastardly and ungodly acts. The security operatives in the area appear to be turning blind eyes to the killings.’