With its Russian torture chambers and slaughter of civilians, the war in Ukraine is horrifying enough. But what if another country is taking advantage of the distraction to commit its own crimes against humanity?
You probably haven’t heard of Azerbaijan’s brutality toward an ethnic Armenian enclave called Nagorno-Karabakh, but it deserves scrutiny. The former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno Ocampo, whom I got to know years ago when he sought accountability for the genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region, now describes what is happening in Nagorno-Karabakh in a similar fashion.
“There is an ongoing genocide against 120,000 Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh,” he wrote in a recent report.
We tend to think of genocide as the slaughter of an ethnic group. But the legal definition in the 1948 Genocide Convention is broader and doesn’t require mass killing, so long as there are certain “acts committed with intent to destroy” a particular ethnic, racial or religious group.