List of war crimes

This article lists and summarizes the war crimes committed since the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 and the crimes against humanity and crimes against peace that have been committed since these crimes were first defined in the Rome Statute.[lower-alpha 1]

Since many war crimes are not ultimately prosecuted (due to lack of political will, lack of effective procedures, or other practical and political reasons[1]), historians and lawyers will often make a serious case that war crimes occurred, even if there was no formal investigations or prosecution of the alleged crimes or an investigation cleared the alleged perpetrators.

War crimes under international law were firmly established by international trials such as the Nuremberg Trials and the Tokyo Trials, in which Austrian, German and Japanese leaders were prosecuted for war crimes committed during World War II.

1899–1902 Second Boer War

The term "concentration camp" was used to describe camps operated by the British Empire in South Africa during the Second Boer War in the years 1900–1902. As Boer farms were destroyed by the British under their "Scorched Earth" policy, many tens of thousands of women and children were forcibly moved into the concentration camps. Over 26,000 Boer women and children were to perish in these concentration camps.[2]

1899–1902 Philippine–American War

In November 1901, the Manila correspondent of the Philadelphia Ledger wrote: "The present war is no bloodless, opera bouffe engagement; our men have been relentless, have killed to exterminate men, women, children, prisoners and captives, active insurgents and suspected people from lads of ten up, the idea prevailing that the Filipino as such was little better than a dog..."[3]

In response to the Balangiga massacre, which wiped out a U.S. company garrisoning Samar town, U.S. Brigadier General Jacob H. Smith launched a retaliatory march across Samar with the instructions: "I want no prisoners. I wish you to kill and burn, the more you kill and burn the better it will please me. I want all persons killed who are capable of bearing arms in actual hostilities against the United States, ..."[4][5]

The war resulted in the deaths of at least 200,000 Filipino civilians.[6] Some estimates for total civilian dead reach up to 1,000,000.[7][8]

1914–1918: World War I

World War I was the first major international conflict to take place following the codification of war crimes at the Hague Convention of 1907, including derived war crimes, such as the use of poisons as weapons, as well as crimes against humanity, and derivative crimes against humanity, such as torture, and genocide. Before, the Second Boer War took place after the Hague Convention of 1899. The Second Boer War (1899 until 1902) is known for the first concentration camps (1900 until 1902) for civilians in the 20th century.

Armed conflict Perpetrator
IncidentType of crimePersons responsibleNotes
World War I German Empire (Imperial Germany)
Rape of Belgium War crimes No prosecutions In defiance of the 1907 Hague Convention on Land Warfare, the German occupiers engaged in mass atrocities against the civilian population of Belgium and looting and destruction of civilian property, in order to flush out the Belgian guerrilla fighters, or francs-tireurs, in the first two months of the war, after the German invasion of Belgium in August 1914.[9]

As Belgium was officially neutral after hostilities in Europe broke out and Germany invaded the country without explicit warning, this act was also in breach of the treaty of 1839 and the 1907 Hague Convention on Opening of Hostilities.[10]

World War IAll major belligerents
Employment of poison gas Use of poisons as weapons No prosecutions Poison gas was introduced by Imperial Germany, and was subsequently used by all major belligerents in the war, in violation of the 1899 Hague Declaration Concerning Asphyxiating Gases and the 1907 Hague Convention on Land Warfare[11][12]
World War IOttoman Empire
Armenian Genocide[13][14][15][16][17][18] War crimes, crimes against humanity, crime of genocide (Extermination of Armenians in Western Armenia) The Turkish Courts-Martial of 1919–20 as well as the incomplete Malta Tribunals were trials of certain of the alleged perpetrators. The Young Turk regime ordered the wholesale extermination of Armenians living within Western Armenia. This was carried out by certain elements of their military forces, who either massacred Armenians outright, or deported them to Syria and then massacred them. Over 1.5 million Armenians perished.

The Republic of Turkey, the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, does not accept the word genocide as an accurate description of the events surrounding this matter.[19]

Assyrian Genocide War Crimes, Crimes against humanity, genocide, ethnic cleansing Turkish Courts-Martial of 1919-20 Mass killing of Assyrian civilians by the Ottoman Empire's forces resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands. Turkey does not call the event genocide.
Greek genocide War Crimes, Crimes against humanity, genocide, ethnic cleansing Turkish Courts-Martial of 1919-20 Violent Ethnic Cleansing campaign against Greeks in Anatolia resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands. Turkey does not call the event genocide.
World War IUnited Kingdom
Baralong Incidents War crimes (murder of shipwreck survivors) No prosecutions On 19 August 1915, a German submarine, U-27, while preparing to sink the British freighter Nicosian, which was loaded with war supplies, after the crew had boarded the lifeboats, was sunk by the British Q-ship HMS Baralong. Afterwards, Lieutenant Godfrey Herbert ordered his Baralong crew to kill the survivors of the German submarine while still at sea, including those who were summarily executed after boarding the Nicosian. The massacre was reported to a newspaper by American citizens who were also on board the Nicosian.[20] Another attack occurred on 24 September a month later when Baralong destroyed U-41, which was in the process of sinking the cargo ship Urbino. According to U41's commander Karl Goetz, the British vessel was flying the American flag even after opening fire on the submarine, and the lifeboat carrying the German survivors was rammed and sunk by the British Q-ship.[21]
World War IRussian Empire
Urkun War Crimes, Crimes against humanity, Genocide No prosecutions

Urkun was not covered by Soviet textbooks, and monographs on the subject were removed from Soviet printing houses. As the Soviet Union was disintegrating in 1991, interest in Urkun grew. Some survivors have begun to label the events a "massacre" or "genocide."[22] In August 2016, a public commission in Kyrgyzstan concluded that the 1916 mass crackdown was labelled as "genocide."[23] Arnold Toynbee alleges 500,000 Central Asian Turks perished under the Russian Empire though he admits this is speculative.[24] Rudolph Rummel citing Toynbee states 500,000 perished within the revolt.[25] Kyrgyz sources put the death toll between 100,000 and 270,000. Russian sources put the figure at 3,000.[26] Kyrgyz historian Shayyrkul Batyrbaeva puts the death toll at 40,000, based on population tallies.[27]

Russian and Armenian democide against Kurds War Crimes, Crimes against humanity No prosecutions Analyst of political killings Rudolph Rummel compiled sources indicting the forces loyal to the Russian empire for killing hundreds of thousands of Turkish and Kurdish civilians. Rummel himself estimated 150,000 Kurds were massacred from consolidating estimates of 128,000 and 600,000 casualties.[28]
Deportation of Volhynia Germans War Crimes, Crimes against humanity Although Germans were permitted to return and attempt to reclaim their land, it is estimated that only one-half of their number did so. Many found their houses destroyed and their farms occupied by strangers.[29] Grand Duke Nicolas (who was still commander-in-chief of the Western forces), after suffering serious defeats at the hands of the German army, decided to implement the decrees for the German Russians living under his army's control, principally in the Volhynia province. The lands were to be expropriated, and the owners deported to Siberia. The land was to be given to Russian war veterans once the war was over. In July 1915, without prior warning, 150,000 German settlers from Volhynia were arrested and shipped to internal exile in Siberia and Central Asia. (Some sources indicate that the number of deportees reached 200,000). Ukrainian peasants took over their lands. The mortality rate from these deportations is estimated to have been 63,000 to 100,000, that is from 30% to 50%, but exact figures are impossible to determine.

1923–1932: Pacification of Libya

  • The Pacification of Libya resulted in mass deaths of the indigenous people in Cyrenaica by Italy. 80,000 or over a quarter[30][31] of the indigenous people in Cyrenaica perished during the pacification.
  • 100,000 Bedouin citizens were ethnically cleansed by expulsion from their land.[32]
  • Specific war crimes alleged to have been committed by the Italian armed forces against civilians include deliberate bombing of civilians, killing unarmed children, women, and the elderly, rape and disembowelment of women, throwing prisoners out of aircraft to their death and running over others with tanks, regular daily executions of civilians in some areas, and bombing tribal villages with mustard gas bombs beginning in 1930.[33]

1935–1941: Second Italo-Abyssinian War

  • Italian use of mustard gas against Ethiopian soldiers in 1936 violated the 1925 Geneva Protocol, which bans the use of chemical weapons in warfare.
  • Yekatit 12—In response to the unsuccessful assassination of Rodolfo Graziani on 19 February 1937, thousands of Ethiopians were killed, including all of the monks residing at Debre Libanos, and over a thousand more detained at Danan who were then exiled either to the Dahlak Islands or Italy.[34]
  • The Ethiopians recorded 275,000 combatants killed in action, 78,500 patriots (guerrilla fighters) killed during the occupation, 17,800 civilians killed by aerial bombardment and 30,000 in the February 1937 massacre, 35,000 people died in concentration camps, 24,000 patriots executed by Summary Courts, 300,000 persons died of privation due to the destruction of their villages, amounting to 760,300 deaths.[35]

1936–1939: Spanish Civil War

At least 50,000 people were executed during the Spanish Civil War.[36][37] In his updated history of the Spanish Civil War, Antony Beevor writes, "Franco's ensuing 'white terror' claimed 200,000 lives. The 'red terror' had already killed 38,000."[38] Julius Ruiz concludes that "although the figures remain disputed, a minimum of 37,843 executions were carried out in the Republican zone with a maximum of 150,000 executions (including 50,000 after the war) in Nationalist Spain."[39]

César Vidal puts the number of Republican victims at 110,965.[40] In 2008 a Spanish judge, Socialist Baltasar Garzón, opened an investigation into the executions and disappearances of 114,266 people between 17 July 1936 and December 1951. Among the murders and executions investigated was that of poet and dramatist Federico García Lorca.[41][42]

1939–1945: World War II

Axis powers

The Axis Powers (Germany, Italy, and Japan) were some of the most systematic perpetrators of war crimes in modern history. Contributing factors included Nazi race theory, a desire for "living space" that justified the eradication of native populations, and militaristic indoctrination that encouraged the terrorization of conquered peoples and prisoners of war. The Holocaust, the German attack on the Soviet Union and occupation of much of Europe, the Japanese occupation of Manchuria and the Philippines and attack on China all contributed to well over half of the civilian deaths in World War II and the conflicts that led up to the war. Even before post-war revelations of atrocities, Axis militaries were notorious for their brutal treatment of captured combatants.

Crimes perpetrated by Germany

According to the Nuremberg Trials, there were four major war crimes that were alleged against German military (and Waffen-SS and NSDAP) men and officers, each with individual events that made up the major charges.

1. Participation in a common plan of conspiracy for the accomplishment of crimes against peace

2. Planning, initiating and waging wars of aggression and other crimes against peace

3. War Crimes Atrocities against enemy combatants or conventional crimes committed by military units (see War crimes of the Wehrmacht), and include:

  • Invasion of Poland: During the period of 1 September – 25 October 1939 German forces in their military actions engaged in executions of Polish POWs, bombing hospitals, murdering civilians, shooting refugees, and executing wounded soldiers. The cautious estimates give a number of at least 16,000 murdered victims.[43]
  • Pacification Operations in German occupied Poland: During the occupation of Poland by German Reich, Wehrmacht forces took part in several pacification actions in rural areas, that resulted in murder of at least 20,000 Polish villagers.
  • Le Paradis massacre: In May 1940, British soldiers of the Royal Norfolk Regiment were captured by the SS and subsequently murdered. Fritz Knoechlein was tried found guilty and hanged.
  • Wormhoudt massacre: In May 1940, British and French soldiers were captured by the SS and subsequently murdered. No one found guilty of the crime.
  • d'Ardenne Massacres: In June 1944 Canadian soldiers were captured by the SS and murdered by the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend. SS General Kurt Meyer (Panzermeyer) was sentenced to be shot 1946. His sentence was commuted and he was released in 1954.
  • Malmedy massacre: In December 1944, United States POWs captured by Kampfgruppe Peiper were murdered outside Malmedy, Belgium.
  • Gardelegen (war crime): The German SS forced 1,016 slave laborers who were part of a transport evacuated from the Dora labor sub-camp into a large barn which was then lit on fire. Most of the prisoners were burned alive; some were shot trying to escape.
  • Marzabotto massacre: The German SS killing of at least 770 civilians of Marzabotto as a collective punishment for their support of Italian partisans and the Italian resistance movement
  • Sant'Anna di Stazzema massacre: A massacre was committed in the hill village of Sant'Anna di Stazzema in Tuscany, Italy, in the course of an operation against the Italian resistance movement during the Italian Campaign of World War II. 560 local villagers and refugees were murdered and their bodies burnt in a scorched earth policy action by the Nazis.
  • Cefalonia Massacre: The mass execution of the men of the Italian 33rd Acqui Infantry Division by the Germans on the island of Cephalonia, Greece was committed after the Italian armistice.
  • Oradour-sur-Glane massacre: On 10 June 1944, the village of Oradour-sur-Glane in Haute-Vienne in then Nazi occupied France was destroyed. 642 of its inhabitants, including women and children, were massacred by a Waffen-SS company.
  • The annihilation of the Czech city of Lidice was committed as an act of vengeance for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich.
  • Massacre of Kalavryta: The extermination of the male population and the total destruction of the town of Kalavryta, in Greece, by German occupying forces during World War II, was committed on 13 December 1943.
  • Distomo massacre: This attack was perpetrated by members of the Waffen-SS in the village of Distomo, Greece, during the Axis occupation of Greece during World War II.
  • Kragujevac massacre: This was a nazi war crime in which Serbs, Jews and Roma men and boys in Kragujevac, Serbia, were murdered by German Wehrmacht soldiers on 20 and 21 October 1941.
  • The suppression of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising and subsequent leveling of the whole city was a war crime.
  • The treatment of Soviet POWs throughout the war, who were not given the protections and guarantees of the Geneva Convention unlike other Allied prisoners was a war crime. Nazi crimes against Soviet POWs, resulted in some 3.3 million to 3.5 million deaths. This accounts for about 60% of all Soviet POWs.[44]
  • Unrestricted submarine warfare against merchant shipping was another war crime.
  • Commando Order which stated that Allied combatants encountered during commando operations were to be executed immediately upon capture and without trial, even if they were properly uniformed, unarmed, or intending to surrender was a war crime.
  • Commissar Order: An order stating that Soviet political commissars found among captured troops were to be executed immediately was a war crime.
  • Vinkt Massacre: In May 1940 at least 86 civilians in Vinkt were killed by the German Wehrmacht.
  • Heusden: A town hall was massacred in November 1944.
  • German war crimes during the Battle of Moscow are another example.

4. Crimes against Humanity Crimes committed well away from the lines of battle and unconnected in any way to military activity, distinct from war crimes

  • The major crime was the Holocaust, including:
    • The construction and use of Vernichtungslagern (extermination camps) to commit genocide, most prominently at Auschwitz, Treblinka, Majdanek, Bełżec, Sobibór, and Chełmno
      • The employment of other concentration camps across Europe, including Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Mauthausen and Bergen-Belsen, which held Soviet POWs and political prisoners in inhuman conditions, and transported Jews and Roma to extermination camps
    • Death marches of prisoners, particularly in the last months of the war when the aforementioned camps were being overrun by the Allies
    • The widespread use of slave labor and forced/unfree labor by the Nazi regime, including the use of concentration camp and extermination camp prisoners as slaves, often with the intent of extermination through labor
    • The establishment of Jewish Ghettos in Eastern Europe intended to isolate Jewish communities for deportation and subsequent extermination
    • The use of SS Einsatzgruppen, mobile extermination squads, to exterminate Jews and anti-nazi "partisans"
      • Babi Yar a series of massacres in Kiev, the most notorious and the best documented of these massacres took place on 29–30 September 1941, wherein 33,771 Jews were killed in a single operation. The decision to kill all the Jews in Kiev was made by the military governor, Major-General Kurt Eberhard, the Police Commander for Army Group South, SS-Obergruppenführer Friedrich Jeckeln, and the Einsatzgruppe C Commander Otto Rasch. It was carried out by Sonderkommando 4a soldiers, along with the aid of the SD and SS Police Battalions backed by the local police.
      • Rumbula a collective term for incidents on two non-consecutive days (November 30 and December 8, 1941) in which about 25,000 Jews were killed in or on the way to Rumbula forest near Riga, Latvia, during the Holocaust
      • Ninth Fort By the order of SS-Standartenführer Karl Jäger and SS-Rottenführer Helmut Rauca, the Sonderkommando under the leadership of SS-Obersturmführer Joachim Hamann, and 8 to 10 men from Einsatzkommando 3, in collaboration with Lithuanian partisans, murdered 2,007 Jewish men, 2,920 women, and 4,273 children in a single day at the Ninth Fort, Kaunas, Lithuania.
      • Simferopol Germans perpetrated one of the largest war-time massacres in Simferopol, killing in total over 22,000 locals—mostly Jews, Russians, Krymchaks, and Gypsies.[45] On one occasion, starting December 9, 1941, the Einsatzgruppen D under Otto Ohlendorf's command killed an estimated 14,300 Simferopol residents, most of them being Jews.[46]
      • The massacre of 100,000 Jews and Poles at Paneriai
    • The suppression of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising which erupted when the SS came to clear the Jewish ghetto and send all of the occupants to extermination camps
    • Izieu Massacre Izieu was the site of a Jewish orphanage during the Second World War. On 6 April 1944, three vehicles pulled up in front of the orphanage. The Gestapo, under the direction of the 'Butcher of Lyon' Klaus Barbie, entered the orphanage and forcibly removed the forty-four children and their seven supervisors, throwing the crying and terrified children on to the trucks. Following the raid on their home in Izieu, the children were shipped directly to the "collection center" in Drancy, then put on the first available train towards the concentration camps in the East.

Other crimes against humanity included:

  • The Porajmos, the mass killings of the Romany peoples of Europe by the Nazis
  • The Łapanka or "Catching Game", – Nazi roundups of Poles in the major cities for slave labor
  • Nikolaev Massacre, which resulted in the deaths of 35,782 Soviet citizens, most of whom were Jews.
  • Operation Tannenberg, the AB Action and the Massacre of Lwów professors, all Nazi actions in Poland meant to mass murder the Polish intelligentsia and other potential leaders of resistance.
  • Both "encouraging" and "compelling" abortion, prosecuted as a crime against the child in the womb. The crime consisted of three parts: (a) providing abortion services, (b) withdrawing the protection of German law from the unborn child, (c) refusing to enforce existing Polish law prohibiting abortion.[48][49]
  • The Nazi T-4 Euthanasia Program, an aborted eugenics program meant to kill German children who were mentally or physically handicapped. 200,000 people were murdered due to this program.

At least 10 million, and perhaps over 20 million perished directly and indirectly due to the commission of crimes against humanity and war crimes by the Nazi regime, of which the Holocaust lives on in particular infamy, for its particularly cruel nature and scope, and the industrialised nature of the genocide of Jewish citizens of states invaded or controlled by the Nazi regime. At least 5.9 million Jews were murdered by the Nazis, or 66 to 78% of Europe's Jewish population, although a complete count may never be known. Though much of Continental Europe suffered under the Nazi occupation, Poland, in particular, was the state most devastated by these crimes, with 90% of its Jews as well as many ethnic Poles slaughtered by the Nazis and their Ukrainian affiliates. After the war, from 1945–49, the Nazi regime was put on trial in two tribunals in Nuremberg, Germany by the victorious Allied powers.

The first tribunal indicted 24 major Nazi war criminals, and resulted in 19 convictions (of which 12 led to death sentences) and 3 acquittals, 2 of the accused died before a verdict was rendered, at least one of which by killing himself with cyanide.[50] The second tribunal indicted 185 members of the military, economic, and political leadership of Nazi Germany, of which 142 were convicted and 35 were acquitted. In subsequent decades, approximately 20 additional war criminals who escaped capture in the immediate aftermath of World War II were tried in West Germany and Israel. In Germany and many other European nations, the Nazi Party and denial of the Holocaust is outlawed.

Crimes perpetrated by Hungary

IncidentType of crimePersons responsibleNotes
Novi Sad massacre[51][52] Crimes against humanity After the war, most of the perpetrators were convicted by the People's Tribunal. The leaders of the massacre, Ferenc Feketehalmy-Czeydner, József Grassy and Márton Zöldy were sentenced to death and later extradited to Yugoslavia, together with Ferenc Szombathelyi, Lajos Gaál, Miklós Nagy, Ferenc Bajor, Ernő Bajsay-Bauer and Pál Perepatics. After a trial at Novi Sad, all sentenced to death and executed. 4,211 civilians (2,842 Serbs, 1,250 Jews, 64 Roma, 31 Rusyns, 13 Russians and 11 ethnic Hungarians) rounded up and killed by Hungarian troops in reprisal for resistance activities.
Kamianets-Podilskyi massacre[53][54] Crimes against humanity; Crime of Genocide After the war, the perpetrator of the massacre, Friedrich Jeckeln was sentenced to death and executed in the Soviet Union. 14000-16000 Jews were deported by Hungarian troops to Kamianets-Podilskyi to be executed by SS troops. Part of the first large-scale mass murder in pursuit of the "Final Solution".
Sarmasu massacre[55][56] Crimes against humanity The People's Tribunal at Cluj sentenced to death 7 Hungarian officer in absentia, two local Hungarian were sentenced to imprisonment. Torture and killing of 126 Jews by Hungarian troops in the village of Sarmasu.
Treznea massacre[57] Crimes against humanity The People's Tribunal at Cluj sentenced to death Ferenc Bay in absentia, 3 local Hungarian were sentenced to imprisonment, 2 person were acquitted. 93 to 236 Romanian and Jewish civilians (depending on sources) executed as reprisal for alleged attacks from locals on the Hungarian troops.
Ip massacre[57] Crimes against humanity A Hungarian officer was sentenced to death by the People's Tribunal at Cluj in absentia, 13 local Hungarians were sentenced to imprisonment, 2 person were acquitted. 150 Romanian civilians executed by Hungarian rogue troops and paramilitary formations as reprisal for the death of two Hungarian soldiers in an explosion.
Hegyeshalom death march[58][59] Crimes against humanity; Crime of genocide After the war most of the responsibles were sentenced by the Hungarian people's tribunals, including the whole Szálasi-government About 10,000 Budapest Jews died as a result of exhaustion and executions while marching toward Hegyeshalom at the Austrian border.

Crimes perpetrated by Italy

  • Invasion of Abyssinia: Waging a war of aggression for territorial aggrandisement, war crimes, use of poisons as weapons, crimes against humanity; in violation of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, and the customary law of nations, Italy invaded the Kingdom of Abyssinia in 1936 without cause cognizable by the law of nations, and waged a war of annihilation against Ethiopian resistance, using poisons against military forces and civilian persons alike, not giving quarter to POWs who had surrendered, and massacring civilians.
  • Invasion of Albania: Waging a war of aggression for territorial aggrandisement; Italy invaded the Kingdom of Albania in 1939 without cause cognizable by the law of nations in a brief but bloody affair that saw King Zog deposed and an Italian proconsul installed in his place. Italy subsequently acted as the suzerain of Albania until its ultimate liberation later in World War II.
  • Invasion of Yugoslavia: Aerial bombardment of civilian population; concentration camps (Rab, Gonars)
  • No one has been brought to trial for war crimes, although in 1950 the former Italian defense minister was convicted for collaboration with Nazi Germany.

Crimes perpetrated by the (first) Slovak Republic (1939–1945)

  • deportation of around 70 000 Slovak Jews into German Nazi concentration camps
  • annihilation of 60 villages and their inhabitants[60]
  • deportation of Slovak Jews, Roma and political opponents into Slovak forced labour camps in Sereď, and Nováky
  • brought to trial and sentenced to death: Jozef Tiso, Ferdinand Ďurčanský (he fled), Vojtech Tuka and 14 others[61]

Crimes perpetrated by Japan

This section includes war crimes from 7 December 1941 when the United States was attacked by Japan and entered World War II. For war crimes before this date which took place during the Second Sino-Japanese War, please see the section above which is titled 1937–1945: Second Sino-Japanese War.

IncidentType of crimePersons responsibleNotes
World War II Crimes against peace (Overall waging and/or conspiracy to wage a war of aggression for territorial aggrandisement, as established by the Tokyo Trials) General Doihara Kenji, Baron Hirota Koki, General Seishirō Itagaki, General Kimura Heitaro, General Matsui Iwane, General Muto Akira, General Hideki Tōjō, General Araki Sadao, Colonel Hashimoto Kingoro, Field Marshal Hata Shunroku, Baron Hiranuma Kiichiro, Hoshino Naoki, Kaya Okinori, Marquis Kido Kōichi, General Koiso Kuniaki, General Minami Jiro, Admiral Takasumi Oka, General Oshima Hiroshi, General Kenryo Sato, Admiral Shimada Shigetaro, Shiratori Toshio, General Teiichi Suzuki, General Yoshijirō Umezu, Togo Shigenori, Shigemitsu Mamoru The persons responsible were tried by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East.
Attack on the United States in 1941[62] Crimes against peace (Waging aggressive war against the United States (count 29 at the Tokyo Trials)[62] Kenji Doihara, Shunroku Hata, Hiranuma Kiichirō, Naoki Hoshino, Seishirō Itagaki, Okinori Kaya, Kōichi Kido, Heitarō Kimura, Kuniaki Koiso, Akira Mutō, Takasumi Oka, Kenryo Sato, Mamoru Shigemitsu, Shigetarō Shimada, Teiichi Suzuki, Shigenori Tōgō, Hideki Tōjō, Yoshijirō Umezu[62] Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Combined Fleet was ordered by his militarist superiors to start the war with a bloody sneak attack on a U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941. The attack was in violation of the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact, which prohibited war of aggression, and the 1907 Hague Convention (III), which prohibited the initiation of hostilities without explicit warning, since the U.S. was officially neutral and was attacked without a declaration of war or an ultimatum at that time.[63] In addition, Japan violated the Four-Power Treaty by attacking and invading the U.S. territories of Wake Island, Guam, and the Philippines which began simultaneously with the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Attack on the British Commonwealth in 1941[62] Crimes against peace (Waging aggressive war against the British Commonwealth (count 31 at the Tokyo Trials)[62] Kenji Doihara, Shunroku Hata, Hiranuma Kiichirō, Naoki Hoshino, Seishirō Itagaki, Okinori Kaya, Kōichi Kido, Heitarō Kimura, Kuniaki Koiso, Akira Mutō, Takasumi Oka, Kenryo Sato, Mamoru Shigemitsu, Shigetarō Shimada, Teiichi Suzuki, Shigenori Tōgō, Hideki Tōjō, Yoshijirō Umezu[62] Simultaneously with the bombing of Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 (Honolulu time), Japan invaded the British colonies of Malaya and bombed Singapore and Hong Kong, without a declaration of war or an ultimatum, which was in violation of the 1907 Hague Convention (III) and the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact since Britain was officially neutral with Japan at the time.[64][65]
Crimes against peace (Waging aggressive war against the Netherlands (count 32 at the Tokyo Trials)[62] Kenji Doihara, Shunroku Hata, Hiranuma Kiichirō, Naoki Hoshino, Seishirō Itagaki, Okinori Kaya, Kōichi Kido, Heitarō Kimura, Kuniaki Koiso, Akira Mutō, Takasumi Oka, Kenryo Sato, Mamoru Shigemitsu, Shigetarō Shimada, Teiichi Suzuki, Shigenori Tōgō, Hideki Tōjō, Yoshijirō Umezu[62]
Crimes against peace (Waging aggressive war against France in Indochina (count 33 at the Tokyo Trials)[62] Mamoru Shigemitsu, Hideki Tōjō[62]
Crimes against peace (Waging aggressive war against the USSR (counts 35 and 36 or both at the Tokyo Trials)[62] Kenji Doihara, Hiranuma Kiichirō, Seishirō Itagaki[62]
Nanjing Massacre; Narcotics Trafficking; Bacteriological Warfare[62] War crimes ("ordered, authorised, and permitted" inhumane treatment of Prisoners of War (POWs) and others (count 54 at the Tokyo Trials)[62] Kenji Doihara, Seishirō Itagaki, Heitarō Kimura, Akira Mutō, Hideki Tōjō[62]
Nanjing Massacre; Narcotics Trafficking; Bacteriological Warfare[62] War crimes, Crimes against humanity, torture ("deliberately and recklessly disregarded their duty" to take adequate steps to prevent atrocities (count 55 at the Tokyo Trials)[62] Shunroku Hata, Kōki Hirota, Heitarō Kimura, Kuniaki Koiso, Iwane Matsui, Akira Mutō, Mamoru Shigemitsu[62]
"Black Christmas", Hong Kong, December 25, 1941,[66] Crimes against humanity (Murder of civilians; mass rape, looting) no specific prosecutions, although the conviction and execution of Takashi Sakai included some activities in Hong Kong during the time frame On the day of the British surrender of Hong Kong to the Japanese, the Japanese committed atrocities against the local Chinese, most notably thousands of cases of rape. During the three-and-a-half-year Japanese occupation, an estimated 10,000 Hong Kong civilians were executed, while many others were tortured, raped, or mutilated.[67]
Banka Island Massacre, Dutch East Indies, 1942 War crimes no prosecutions The merchant ship Vyner Brooke was sunk by Japanese aircraft. The survivors who made it to Banka Island were all shot or bayonetted, including 22 nurses ordered into the sea and machine-gunned. Only one person survived the massacre, nurse Vivian Bullwinkel, who later testified at a war crimes trial in Tokyo in 1947.[68]
Bataan Death March, Philippines, 1942 Crime of torture, war crimes (Torture and murder of POWs) General Masaharu Homma was convicted by an Allied commission of war crimes, including the atrocities of the death march out of Bataan, and the atrocities at Camp O'Donnell and Cabanatuan that followed. He was executed on April 3, 1946 outside Manila. Approximately 75,000 Filipino and US soldiers, commanded by Major General Edward P. King Jr. formally surrendered to the Japanese, under General Masaharu Homma, on April 9, 1942. Captives were forced to march, beginning the next day, about 100 kilometers north to Nueva Ecija to Camp O'Donnell, a prison camp. Prisoners of war were beaten randomly and denied food and water for several days. Those who fell behind were executed through various means: shot, beheaded or bayoneted. Deaths estimated at 650-1,500 U.S. and 2,000 to over 5,000 Filipinos,[69][70]
Enemy Airmen's Act War crimes (Murder of POWs) General Shunroku Hata Promulgated on August 13, 1942 to try and execute captured Allied airmen taking part in bombing operations against targets in Japanese-held territory. The Act contributed to the murder of hundreds of Allied airmen throughout the Pacific War.
Operation Sankō (Three Alls Policy) Crimes against humanity General Yasuji Okamura Authorised in December 1941 to implement a scorched earth policy in North China by Imperial General Headquarters. According to historian Mitsuyoshi Himeta, "more than 2.7 million" civilians were killed in this operation that began in May 1942.[71]
Parit Sulong massacre, Malaysia, 1942 War crimes (Murder of POWs) Lieutenant General Takuma Nishimura, was convicted for this crime by an Australian Military Court and hanged on June 11, 1951.[72] Recently captured Australian and Indian POWs, who had been too badly wounded to escape through the jungle, were murdered by Japanese soldiers. Accounts differ on how they were killed. Two wounded Australians managed to escape the massacre and provide eyewitness accounts of the Japanese treatment of wounded prisoners of war, as did locals who witnessed the massacre. Official records indicate that 150 wounded men were killed.
Laha massacre, 1942War crimes (Murder of POWs) In 1946, the Laha massacre and other incidents which followed the fall of Ambon became the subject of the largest ever war crimes trial, when 93 Japanese personnel were tried by an Australian tribunal, at Ambon. Among other convictions, four men were executed as a result. Commander Kunito Hatakeyama, who was in direct command of the four massacres, was hanged; Rear Admiral Koichiro Hatakeyama, who was found to have ordered the killings, died before he could be tried.[73] After the battle Battle of Ambon, more than 300 Australian and Dutch prisoners of war were chosen at random and summarily executed, at or near Laha airfield in four separate massacres. "The Laha massacre was the largest of the atrocities committed against captured Allied troops in 1942".[74]
Palawan Massacre, 1944War crimes (Murder of POWs) In 1948, in Lt. Gen. Seiichi Terada was accused of failing to take command of the soldiers in the Puerto Princesa camp. Master Sgt. Toru Ogawa and Superior Private Tomisaburo Sawa were the only few soldiers who were charged for the actual involvement since most of the soldiers garrisoned in the camp had either died or went missing in the days following the victory of the Philippines campaign. In 1958, all charges were dropped and sentences were reduced. Following the US invasion of Luzon in 1944, the Japanese high command ordered that all POWs remaining in the island are to be exterminated at all cost. As a result, on December 14, 1944, units from the Japanese Fourteenth Area Army stationed in the Puerto Princesa POW camp in Palawan rounded up 150 remaining POWs still garrisoned in the camp, herded them into air raid shelters, before dousing the shelters with gasoline and setting it on fire. Of the handful of POWs that were able to escape the flames were hunted before being gunned down, bayonetted, or burned alive. Only 11 POWs survived the ordeal and were able to escape to Allied lines to report the incident.[75]
Alexandra Hospital massacre, Battle of Singapore, 1942 War crimes no prosecutions At about 1pm on February 14, Japanese approached Alexandra Barracks Hospital. Although no resistance was offered, some staff members and patients were shot or bayoneted. The remaining staff and patients were murdered over the next two days, 200 in all.[76]
Sook Ching Massacre, 1942 Crimes against humanity (mass murder of civilians) In 1947, the British Colonial authorities in Singapore held a war crimes trial to bring the perpetrators to justice. Seven officers, were charged with carrying out the massacre. While Lieutenant General Saburo Kawamura, Lieutenant Colonel Masayuki Oishi received the death penalty, the other five received life sentences. The massacre (estimated at 25,000–50,000)[77][78] was a systematic extermination of perceived hostile elements among the Chinese in Singapore by the Japanese military administration during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore, after the British colony surrendered in the Battle of Singapore on 15 February 1942.
Changjiao massacre, China, 1943 Crimes against humanity, War crimes (Mass murder of civilian population & POWs, rape, looting) General Shunroku Hata, commander, China Expeditionary Army, Imperial Japanese Army.War crimes were committed including mass rape, looting, arson, the killing of civilians and prisoners of war.[79][80][81]
Manila Massacre Crimes against humanity (mass murder of civilians) General Tomoyuki Yamashita (and Chief of Staff Akira Mutō) As commander of the 14th Area Army of Japan in the Philippines, General Yamashita failed to stop his troops from killing over 100,000 Filipinos in Manila[82] while fighting with both native resistance forces and elements of the Sixth U.S. Army during the capture of the city in February 1945.

Yamashita pleaded inability to act and lack of knowledge of the massacre, due to his commanding other operations in the area. The defense failed, establishing the Yamashita Standard, which holds that a commander who makes no meaningful effort to uncover and stop atrocities is as culpable as if he had ordered them. His chief of staff Akira Mutō was condemned by the Tokyo tribunal.

Wake Island Massacre War crimes 98 US civilians killed on Wake Island October 7, 1943 by order of Rear Admiral Shigematsu Sakaibara Sakaibara executed June 18, 1947; subordinate, Lieutenant-Commander Tachibana sentenced to death - later commuted to life imprisonment
Unit 100 War crimes; use of poisons as weapons (biological warfare experiments on humans) no prosecutions
Unit 731 Crimes against humanity; War crimes; Crime of torture; Use of poisons as weapons (biological warfare testing, manufacturing, and use) 12 members of the Kantogun were found guilty for the manufacture and use of biological weapons. Including: General Yamada Otsuzo, former Commander-in-Chief of the Kwantung Army and Major General Kawashima Kiyoshi, former Chief of Unit 731. During this biological and chemical weapons' program over 10,000 were experimented on without anesthetic and as many as 200,000 died throughout China. The Soviet Union tried some members of Unit 731 at the Khabarovsk War Crime Trials. However, those who surrendered to the Americans were never brought to trial as General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, secretly granted immunity to the physicians of Unit 731 in exchange for providing the United States with their research on biological weapons.[83]
Unit 8604 War crimes; Use of poisons as weapons (biological warfare experiments on humans) no prosecutions
Unit 9420 War crimes; Use of poisons as weapons (biological warfare experiments on humans) no prosecutions
Unit Ei 1644 War crimes; Use of poisons as weapons; Crime of torture (Human vivisection & chemical and biological weapon testing on humans) no prosecutions Unit 1644 conducted tests to determine human susceptibility to a variety of harmful stimuli ranging from infectious diseases to poison gas. It was the largest germ experimentation center in China. Unit 1644 regularly carried out human vivisections as well as infecting humans with cholera, typhus, and bubonic plague.
Construction of Burma-Thai Railway, the "Death Railway" War crimes; Crimes against humanity (Crime of Slaving) no prosecutions The estimated total number of civilian labourers and POWs who died during construction is about 160,000.
Comfort women Crimes against humanity; (Crime of Slaving; mass rape) no prosecutions Up to around 200,000 women were forced to work in Japanese military brothels.[84]
Sandakan Death Marches Crimes against humanity (Crime of Slaving), War crimes (Murder of civilian slave laborers and POWs) Three Allied POWs survived to give evidence at war crimes trials in Tokyo and Rabaul. Hokijima was found guilty and hanged on April 6, 1946 Over 6,000 Indonesian civilian slave laborers and POWs died.
War Crimes in Manchukuo Crimes against humanity (Crime of Slaving) Kōa-in According to historian Zhifen Ju, more than 10 million Chinese civilians were mobilised by the Imperial Japanese Army for slave labor in Manchukuo under the supervision of the Kōa-in.[85]
Kaimingye germ weapon attack War crimes, Use of poisons as weapons (Use of biological weapons) no prosecutions These bubonic plague attacks killing hundreds were a joint Unit 731 and Unit Ei 1644 endeavor.
Alleged Changde Bacteriological Weapon Attack April and May, 1943 War crimes; Use of poisons as weapons (Use of chemical and biological weapons in massacre of civilians) Prosecutions at the Khabarovsk War Crimes Trials Chemical weapons supplied by Unit 516. Bubonic plague and poison gas were used against civilians in Chengde, followed by further massacres and burning of the city.[86] Witold Urbanowicz, a Polish pilot fighting in China, estimated that nearly 300,000 civilians alone died in the battle.

Crimes perpetrated by Romania

Incidenttype of crimePersons responsibleNotes
Iași pogrom[87] Crimes against humanity; Crime of genocide 57 people were tried and sentenced in the People's Tribunals Iaşi trial[88] including General Emanoil Leoveanu, General Gheorghe Barozzi, General Stamatiu, former Iași Prefect Colonel Coculescu, former Iași Mayor Colonel Captaru, and Gavrilovici Constantin (former driver at the Iași bus depot). resulted in the murder of at least 13,266 Jews
Odessa massacre[89] Crimes against humanity; Crime of genocide 28 people were tried and sentenced in the People's Tribunals Odessa trial[88] including General Nicolae Macici The mass murder of Jewish and Romani population of Odessa and surrounding towns in Transnistria (now in Ukraine) during the autumn of 1941 and winter of 1942 while under Romanian control.Depending on the accepted terms of reference and scope, the Odessa massacre refers either to the events of October 22–24, 1941 in which some 25,000 to 34,000 Jews were shot or burned, or to the murder of well over 100,000 Ukrainian Jews in the town and the areas between the Dniester and Bug rivers, during the Romanian and German occupation. In the same days, Germans and Romanians killed about 15,000 Romani people.
Aita Seaca massacre[90] War crime Gavril Olteanu Retaliation by Romanian paramilitaries for the locals killing of 20 Romanian soldiers on September 4, 1944. Eleven ethnic Hungarian civilians executed on September 26, 1944.

Crimes perpetrated by the Chetniks

Chetnik ideology revolved around the notion of a Greater Serbia within the borders of Yugoslavia, to be created out of all territories in which Serbs were found, even if the numbers were small. A directive dated 20 December 1941, addressed to newly appointed commanders in Montenegro, Major Đorđije Lašić and Captain Pavle Đurišić, outlined, among other things, the cleansing of all non-Serb elements in order to create a Greater Serbia:[91]

  1. The struggle for the liberty of our whole nation under the scepter of His Majesty King Peter II;
  2. the creation of a Great Yugoslavia and within it of a Great Serbia which is to be ethnically pure and is to include Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Srijem, the Banat, and Bačka;
  3. the struggle for the inclusion into Yugoslavia of all still unliberated Slovene territories under the Italians and Germans (Trieste, Gorizia, Istria, and Carinthia) as well as Bulgaria, and northern Albania with Skadar;
  4. the cleansing of the state territory of all national minorities and a-national elements;
  5. the creation of contiguous frontiers between Serbia and Montenegro, as well as between Serbia and Slovenia by cleansing the Muslim population from Sandžak and the Muslim and Croat populations from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
    Directive of 20 December 1941[91]

The Chetniks systemically massacred Muslims in villages that they captured.[92] In late autumn of 1941 the Italians handed over the towns of Višegrad, Goražde, Foča and the surrounding areas, in south-east Bosnia to the Chetniks to run as a puppet administration and NDH forces were compelled by the Italians to withdraw from there. After the Chetniks gained control of Goražde on 29 November 1941, they began a massacre of Home Guard prisoners and NDH officials that became a systematic massacre of the local Muslim civilian population.[93]

Several hundred Muslims were murdered and their bodies were left hanging in the town or thrown into the Drina river.[93] On 5 December 1941, the Chetniks received the town of Foča from the Italians and proceeded to massacre around 500 Muslims.[93] Additional massacres against the Muslims in the area of Foča took place in August 1942. In total, more than 2000 people were killed in Foča.[94]

In early January, Chetniks entered Srebrenica and killed around 1000 Muslim civilians there and in nearby villages. Around the same time the Chetniks made their way to Višegrad where deaths were reportedly in the thousands.[95] Massacres continued in the following months in the region.[96] In the village of Žepa alone about three hundred were killed in late 1941.[96] In early January, Chetniks massacred fifty-four Muslims in Čelebić and burned down the village. On 3 March, Chetniks burned forty-two Muslim villagers to death in Drakan.[95]

In early January 1943 and again in early February, Montenegrin Chetnik units were ordered to carry out "cleansing actions" against Muslims, first in the Bijelo Polje county in Sandžak and then in February in the Čajniče county and part of Foča county in southeastern Bosnia, and in part of the Pljevlja county in Sandžak.[97]

Pavle Đurišić, the officer in charge of these operations, reported to Mihailović, Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command, that on 10 January 1943: "thirty-three Muslim villages had been burned down, and 400 Muslim fighters (members of the Muslim self-protection militia supported by the Italians) and about 1,000 women and children had been killed, as against 14 Chetnik dead and 26 wounded".[97]

In another report sent by Đurišić dated 13 February 1943, he reported that: "Chetniks killed about 1,200 Muslim fighters and about 8,000 old people, women, and children; Chetnik losses in the action were 22 killed and 32 wounded".[97] He added that "during the operation the total destruction of the Muslim inhabitants was carried out regardless of sex and age".[98] The total number of deaths caused by the anti-Muslim operations between January and February 1943 is estimated at 10,000.[97] The casualty rate would have been higher had a great number of Muslims not already fled the area, most to Sarajevo, when the February action began.[97] According to a statement from the Chetnik Supreme Command from 24 February 1943, these were countermeasures taken against Muslim aggressive activities; however, all circumstances show that these massacres were committed in accordance with implementing the directive of 20 December 1941.[94]

Actions against the Croats were of a smaller scale but comparable in action.[99] In early October 1942 in the village of Gata, where an estimated 100 people were killed and many homes burnt in reprisal taken for the destruction of roads in the area carried out on the Italians' account.[94] That same month, formations under the command of Petar Baćović and Dobroslav Jevđević, who were participating in the Italian Operation Alfa in the area of Prozor, massacred over 500 Croats and Muslims and burnt numerous villages.[94] Baćović noted that "Our Chetniks killed all men 15 years of age or older. ... Seventeen villages were burned to the ground."[100] Mario Roatta, commander of the Italian Second Army, objected to these "massive slaughters" of noncombatant civilians and threatened to halt Italian aid to the Chetniks if they did not end.[100]

Crimes perpetrated by the Ustashas

The Ustaša intended to create an ethnically "pure" Greater Croatia, and they viewed those Serbs then living in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina as the biggest obstacle to this goal. Ustasha ministers Mile Budak, Mirko Puk and Milovan Žanić declared in May 1941 that the goal of the new Ustasha policy was an ethnically pure Croatia. The strategy to achieve their goal was:[101][102]

  1. One-third of the Serbs were to be killed
  2. One-third of the Serbs were to be expelled
  3. One-third of the Serbs were to be forcibly converted to Catholicism

The Independent State of Croatia government cooperated with Nazi Germany in the Holocaust and exercised their own version of the genocide against Serbs, as well as Jews and Gypsies (Roma) (aka "gypsies") inside its borders. State policy towards Serbs had first been declared in the words of Milovan Žanić, a minister of the NDH Legislative council, on 2 May 1941:

This country can only be a Croatian country, and there is no method we would hesitate to use in order to make it truly Croatian and cleanse it of Serbs, who have for centuries endangered us and who will endanger us again if they are given the opportunity.[103]

According to the Simon Wiesenthal Center (citing the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust), "Ustasa terrorists killed 500,000 Serbs, expelled 250,000 and forced 250,000 to convert to Roman Catholicism. They murdered thousands of Jews and Gypsies."[104] The execution methods used by the Ustasha were particularly brutal and sadistic and often included torture, dismemberment or decapitation.[105] A Gestapo report to Heinrich Himmler from 1942 stated, "The Ustaše committed their deeds in a bestial manner not only against males of conscript age but especially against helpless old people, women and children."[106]

Numerous concentration camps were built in the NDH, most notably Jasenovac, the largest, where around 100,000 Serbs, Jews, Roma, as well as a number of Croatian political dissidents, died, mostly from torture and starvation.[107] It was established in August 1941 and not dismantled until April 1945, shortly before the end of the war. Jasenovac was a complex of five subcamps and three smaller camps spread out over 240 square kilometers (93 sq mi), in relatively close proximity to each other, on the bank of the Sava river.[108] Most of the camp was at Jasenovac, about 100 km (62 mi) southeast of Zagreb. The complex also included large grounds at Donja Gradina directly across the Sava River, the Jastrebarsko children's camp to the northwest, and the Stara Gradiška camp (Jasenovac V) for women and children to the southeast.

Unlike Nazi camps, most murders at Jasenovac were done manually using hammers, axes, knives and other implements.[109] According to testimony, on the night of August 29th, 1942, guards at the camp organized a competition to see who could slaughter the most inmates, with guard and former Franciscan priest Petar Brzica winning by cutting the throats of 1,360 inmates.[109] A special knife called called a "Srbosjek" (Serb-cutter) was designed for the slaughtering of prisoners.[110] Prisoners were sometimes tied with barbed wire, then taken to a ramp near to the Sava River where weights were placed on the wires, their throats and stomachs slashed before their bodies were dumped into the river.[109] After unsuccessful experiments with gas vans, camp commander Vjekoslav Luburić had a gas chamber built at Jasenovac V, where a considerable number of inmates were killed during a three-month experiment with sulfur dioxide and Zyklon B, but this method was abandoned due to poor construction.[111] The Ustashe cremated living inmates as well as corpses.[112][113] Other methods of torture and killing done included: inserting hot nails under finger nails, mutilating parts of the body including plucking out eyeballs, tightening chains around ones head until the skull fractured and the eyes popped and also, placing salt in open wounds.[114] Women were subjected to rape and torture,[115] including breast mutilation.[116] Pregnant women had their wombs cut out.[117]

An escape attempt on 22 April 1945 by 600 male inmates failed and only 84 male prisoners escaped successfully.[118] The remainder and about 400 other prisoners were then murdered by Ustasha guards, despite the fact that they knew the war was ending with Germany's capitulation.[119] All the female inmates from the women's camp (more than 700) had been massacred by the guards the previous day.[119] The guards then destroyed the camp and everything associated with it was burned to the ground.[119] Other concentration camps were the Đakovo camp, Gospić camp, Jadovno camp, Kruščica camp and the Lepoglava camp.

Ustasha militias and death squads also burnt villages and killed thousands of civilian Serbs in the country-side in sadistic ways with various weapons and tools. Men, women, children were hacked to death, thrown alive into pits and down ravines, or set on fire in churches.[120] Some Serb villages near Srebrenica and Ozren were wholly massacred, while children were found impaled by stakes in villages between Vlasenica and Kladanj.[121] The Glina massacres, where thousands of Serbs were killed, are among the more notable instances of Ustasha cruelty.

Ante Pavelić, leader of the Ustasha, fled to Argentina and Spain which gave him protection, and was never extradited to stand trial for his war crimes. Pavelić died on 28 December 1959 at the Hospital Alemán in Madrid, where the Roman Catholic church had helped him to gain asylum, at the age of 70 from gunshot wounds sustained in an earlier assassination attempt by Montenegrin Blagoje Jovović.[122] Some other prominent Ustashe figures and their respective fates:

  • Andrija Artuković, Croatian Minister of Interior. Died in Croatian custody.
  • Mile Budak, Croatian politician and chief Ustashe ideologist. Tried and executed by Yugoslav authorities.
  • Petar Brzica, Franciscan friar who won a throat-cutting contest at Jasenovac. Post-war fate unknown.
  • Miroslav Filipović, camp commander and Franciscan friar notorious for his cruelty and sadism. Tried and executed by Yugoslav authorities.
  • Slavko Kvaternik, Ustashe military commander-in-chief. Tried and executed by Yugoslav authorities.
  • Vjekoslav "Maks" Luburić, commander of the Ustaše Defence Brigades (Ustaška Odbrana) and Jasenovac camp. Murdered in Spain.
  • Dinko Šakić, Ustashe commander of Jasenovac. Fled to Argentina, extradited to Croatia for trial in 1998. Sentenced to 20 years and died in prison in 2008.

Most Ustashe fled the country following the war, mainly with the help of Father Krunoslav Draganović, secretary of the College of Sian Girolamo who helped Ustasha fugitives immigrate illegally to South America.[123]

Crimes perpetrated by the Ukrainians

The Ukrainian OUN-B group, along with their military force – Ukrainian Insurgent Army(UPA) – are responsible for a genocide on the Polish population in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia. Starting in March 1943, with its peak in the summer 1943, as many as 130,000 people (according to Ewa Siemaszko) were murdered, mostly women, children and elderly. Although the main target were Poles, many Jews, Czechs and those Ukrainians unwilling to participate in the crimes, were massacred as well. Lacking good armament and ammunition, UPA members commonly used tools such as axes and pitchforks for the slaughter. As a result of these massacres, almost the entire non-Ukrainian population of Volhynia was either killed or forced to flee.

UPA commanders responsible for the genocide:

  • Roman Shukhevych - general of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. As a leader of the UPA he was to be aware and to approve the project of ethnic cleansing in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia.
  • Dmytro Klyachkivsky - colonel of the UPA. He gave the order "to wipe out an entire Polish male population between 16 and 60 years old". Klyachkivsky is regarded as the main initiator of the massacres.
  • Mykola Lebed - one of the OUN leaders, and UPA fighter. By the National Archives, he is described as "Ukrainian fascist leader and suspected Nazi collaborator"
  • Stepan Bandera - leader of the OUN-B. His view was to remove all Poles, who were hostile towards the OUN, and assimilate the rest of them. The role of the main architect of the massacres is often assigned to him. However, he was imprisoned in German concentration camp since 1941, so there is a strong suspicion, that he wasn't fully aware of events in Volhynia.

Allied powers

Crimes perpetrated by the Soviet Union

Concurrent with World War II
Incidenttype of crimePersons responsibleNotes
Katyń massacre War crimes (Murder of Polish intelligentsia) Lavrenty Beria, Joseph Stalin[124][125][126] An NKVD-committed massacre of tens of thousands of Polish officers and intelligentsia throughout the spring of 1940. Originally believed to have been committed by the Nazis in 1941 (after the invasion of eastern Poland and the USSR), it was finally admitted by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 that it had been a Soviet operation.
Invasion of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania War crimes Vladimir Dekanozov, Andrey Vyshinsky, Andrei Zhdanov, Ivan Serov, Joseph Stalin An NKVD-committed deportation of hundreds of thousands of Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian intelligentsia, land owners and their families in June 1941 and again in March 1949.
Bombing of Helsinki in World War II War crimes No prosecution
NKVD prisoner massacres War crimes; torture; mass murder Ivan Serov, Joseph Stalin An NKVD-committed mass murder.
Deportation of the Chechens and Ingush Crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, genocide No prosecutions Deportation of the entire Chechen and Ingush population to Siberia or Centra Asia in 1944. It was acknowledged by the European Parliament as an act of genocide.[127]
Deportation of the Crimean Tatars Crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing No prosecutions Forced transfer of the entire Crimean Tatar population to Central Asia or Siberia in 1944.
Nemmersdorf massacre, East Prussia War crimes No prosecutions Nemmersdorf (today Mayakovskoye in Kaliningrad) was one of the first German settlements to fall to the advancing Red Army on October 22, 1944. It was recaptured by the Germans soon afterwards and the German authorities reported that the Red Army killed civilians there. Nazi propaganda widely disseminated the description of the event with horrible details, supposedly to boost the determination of German soldiers to resist the general Soviet advance. Because the incident was investigated by the Nazis and reports were disseminated as Nazi propaganda, discerning the facts from the fiction of the incident is difficult.
Invasion of East Prussia

Flight and expulsion of Germans from Poland during and after World War II

Expulsion of Germans after World War II
War crimes

Crimes against humanity (mass expulsion)
War crimes committed against German civilian population by the Red Army in occupied Eastern and Central Germany, and against ethnic-German populations of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Jugoslavia. The number of civilian victims in the years 1944–46 is estimated in at least 300,000, not all victims of war crimes; many died from starvation, cold weather and diseases.[128][129][130][131]
Treuenbrietzen War crimes Following the capture of the German city of Treuenbrietzen after fierce fighting. Over a period of several days at the end of April and beginning of May roughly 1000 inhabitants of the city, most of them men, were executed by Soviet troops.[132]
Rape during the Soviet occupation of Poland (1944–1947) War crimes (mass rape) Joanna Ostrowska and Marcin Zaremba of the Polish Academy of Sciences wrote that rapes of the Polish women reached a mass scale during the Red Army's Winter Offensive of 1945.[133]
Battle of Berlin War crimes (Mass rape)[134]
Przyszowice massacre War crimes; crimes against humanity No prosecution A massacre perpetrated by the Red Army against civilian inhabitants of the Polish village of Przyszowice in Upper Silesia during the period January 26 to January 28, 1945. Sources vary on the number of victims, which range from 54[135] to over 60 – and possibly as many as 69.[136]

Crimes perpetrated by the United Kingdom

IncidentType of crimePersons responsibleNotes
Unrestricted submarine warfare against merchant shipping Breach of London Naval Treaty (1930) no prosecutions; Allied representatives admitted responsibility at Nuremberg Trials; questionable whether war crime or a breach of a treaty. It was the conclusion of the Nuremberg Trials of Karl Dönitz that Britain had been in breach of the Treaty "in particular of an order of the British Admiralty announced on 8 May 1940, according to which all vessels should be sunk at sight in the Skagerrak."[137]
HMS Torbay incident War crimes (Murder of shipwreck survivors) no prosecutions In July 1941, the submarine HMS Torbay (under the command of Anthony Miers) was based in the Mediterranean where it sank several German ships. On two occasions, once off the coast of Alexandria, Egypt, and the other off the coast of Crete, the crew attacked and killed dozens of shipwrecked German sailors and troops. None of the shipwrecked survivors posed a major threat to Torbay's crew. Miers made no attempt to hide his actions, and reported them in his official logs. He received a strongly worded reprimand from his superiors following the first incident. Meir's actions violated the Hague Convention of 1907, which banned the killing of shipwreck survivors under any circumstances.[138][139]

Crimes perpetrated by the United States

IncidentType of crimePersons responsibleNotes
Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki War crimes (Mass destruction of civilians and protected edifices)


no prosecutions See Debate over the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki §§ Bombings as war crimes and International law, and Ryuichi Shimoda v. The State (holding that "the attacks upon Hiroshima and Nagasaki caused such severe and indiscriminate suffering that they did violate the most basic legal principles governing the conduct of war"); see also Hague Convention (IV) Articles 23, 25, & 27; Nuremberg Principle VI (b) (war crimes) & (c) (crimes against humanity).
Unrestricted submarine warfare against merchant shipping Breach of London Naval Treaty (1930) no prosecutions; Chester Nimitz admitted responsibility at Nuremberg Trials; questionable whether war crime or a breach of a treaty. During the post war Nuremberg Trials, in evidence presented at the trial of Karl Dönitz on his orders to the U-boat fleet to breach the London Rules, Admiral Chester Nimitz stated that unrestricted submarine warfare was carried on in the Pacific Ocean by the United States from the first day that nation entered the war.[137]
Canicattì massacre War crimes (Murder of civilians) no prosecutions During the Allied invasion of Sicily, eight civilians were killed, though the exact number of casualties is uncertain.[140]
Biscari massacre War crimes (Murder of POWs) Sergeant Horace T. West: court-martialed and was found guilty, stripped of rank and sentenced to life in prison, though he was later released as a private. Captain John T. Compton was court-martialed for killing 40 POWs in his charge. He claimed to be following orders. The investigating officer and the Judge Advocate declared that Compton's actions were unlawful, but he was acquitted. Following the capture of Biscari Airfield in Sicily on July 14, 1943, seventy-six German and Italian POWs were shot by American troops of the 180th Regimental Combat Team, 45th Division during the Allied invasion of Sicily. These killings occurred in two separate incidents between July and August 1943.
Dachau liberation reprisals War crimes (Murder of POWs) Investigated by U.S. forces, found lack of evidence to charge any individual, and a lack of evidence of any practice or policy; however, did find that SS guards were separated from Wehrmacht (regular German Army) prisoners before their deaths. Some Death's Head SS guards of the Dachau concentration camp allegedly attempted to escape, and were shot.
Salina, Utah POW massacre War crimes (Murder of POWs) Private Clarence V. Bertucci determined to be insane and confined to a mental institution Private Clarence V. Bertucci fired a machine gun from one of the guard towers into the tents that were being used to accommodate the German prisoners of war. Nine were killed and 20 were injured.
Rheinwiesenlager[141] War crimes (Deaths of POWs from starvation and exposure) no prosecutions The Rheinwiesenlager (Rhine meadow camps) were transit camps for millions of German POWs after World War II; there were at least thousands and potentially tens of thousands of deaths from starvation and exposure. Estimates range from just over 3,000 to as many as 71,000.
American mutilation of Japanese war dead[142][143][144] War crimes (Abuse of Remains) Though there are no known prosecutions, the occasional mutilation of Japanese remains were recognised to have been conducted by U.S. forces, declared to be atrocities, and explicitly forbidden by order of the U.S. Judge Advocate General in 1943–1944. Many dead Japanese were desecrated and/or mutilated, for example by taking body parts (such as skulls) as souvenirs or trophies. This is in violation of the law and custom of war, as well as the 1929 Geneva Convention on the Sick and Wounded which was paraphrased as saying "After every engagement, the belligerent who remains in possession of the field shall take measures to search for wounded and the dead and to protect them from robbery and ill-treatment." in a 1944 memorandum for the U.S. Assistant Chief of the Staff.[145][146]

Crimes perpetrated by Canada

IncidentType of crimePersons responsibleNotes
Razing of Friesoythe Breach of The 1907 Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague IV), Article 23, which prohibits acts that "destroy or seize the enemy's property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war."[147] No investigation; no prosecutions. Major-general Christopher Vokes commander of the Canadian 4th Armoured Division freely admitted ordering the action, commenting in his autobiography that he had "No feeling of remorse over the elimination of Friesoythe."[148][149] In April 1945 the town of Friesoythe in north-west Germany was deliberately destroyed by the Canadian 4th Armoured Division acting on the orders of its commander, Major-general Christopher Vokes. The destruction was ordered in retaliation for the killing of a Canadian battalion commander. Vokes may have believed at the time that this killing had been carried out by German civilians. The rubble of the town was used to fill craters in the local roads.

Crimes perpetrated by the Yugoslav Partisans

Armed conflict Perpetrator
World War II in Yugoslavia Yugoslavian partisans
IncidentType of crimePersons responsibleNotes
Bleiburg repatriations War crimes No prosecutions. The victims were Yugoslav collaborationist troops (ethnic Croats, Serbs, and Slovenes), executed without trial as an act of vengeance for the genocide committed by the pro-Axis collaborationist regimes (in particular the Ustaše) installed by the Nazis during the World War II occupation of Yugoslavia. Estimates vary significantly, questioned by a number of historians.
Foibe massacres War crimes No prosecutions. Following Italy's 1943 armistice with the Allied powers up to 1945, Yugoslav resistance forces executed an unknown number of ethnic Italians accused of collaboration.[150]
1944–1945 killings in Bačka War crimes, Crimes against humanity, Ethnic cleansing No prosecutions. 1944–1945 killings of ethnic Hungarians in Bačka.
Persecution of Danube Swabians War crimes, Crimes against humanity, Ethnic cleansing In a unanimously approved motion in 1950, the Federal Council called on the Federal Government to commit itself, based on the prisoner of war agreement, to the return of German prisoners of war condemned in the Soviet Union and in Yugoslavia. Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer described in January 1950 the convictions of German prisoners of war in Yugoslavia as "crimes and crimes against humanity".[151]

In Yugoslavia in particular, with many exceptions, the Danube Swabian minority "collaborated . . . with the occupation".[152] Consequently, on November 21, 1944 the Presidium of the AVNOJ (the Yugoslav parliament) declared the ethnic German minority in Yugoslavia collectively hostile to the Yugoslav state. The AVNOJ Presidium issued a decree that ordered the government confiscation of all property of Nazi Germany and its itizens in Yugoslavia, persons of ethnic German nationality (regardless of citizenship), and collaborators. The decision acquired the force of law on February 6, 1945.[153] Of a pre-war population of about 350,000 ethnic Germans in the Vojvodina, the 1958 census revealed 32,000 left. Officially, Yugoslavia denied the forcible starvation and killing of their Schwowisch populations, but reconstruction of the labor camps reveals that of the 170,000 Danube Swabians interned from 1944 to 1948, over 50,000 died of mistreatment.[154] About 55,000 people died in the concentration camps, another 31,000 died serving in the German armed forces, and about 31,000 disappeared, mostly likely dead, with another 37,000 still unaccounted for. Thus the total victims of the war and subsequent ethnic cleansing and killings comprised about 30% of the pre-war German population.[155] In addition, 35,000–40,000 Swabian children under age sixteen were separated from their parents and force into prison camps and re-education orphanages. Many were adopted by Serbian Partisan families.[156]

1946–1954: Indochina War

The French Union's struggle against the independence movement backed by the Soviet Union and China claimed 500,000 to 1.5 million Vietnamese lives from 1945 to 1954.[157] In the Haiphong massacre of 1946, about 6,000 Vietnamese were killed by naval artillery.[157] The French employed electric shock treatment during interrogations of the Vietnamese, and nearly 10,000 Vietnamese perished in French concentration camps.[157]

1947–1948: Malagasy Uprising

The French repressed the independence movement with killings and village burnings. Up to 90,000 local residents died in the fighting, along with about 800 French and other Europeans.[157]

1948 Arab–Israeli War

Several massacres were committed during this war which could be described as war crimes. Nearly 15,000 people, mostly combatants and militants, were killed during the war, including 6,000 Jews and about 8,000 Arabs.

1945–1949: Indonesian War of Independence

  • South Sulawesi Campaign, about 4.500 civilians killed by Pro-Indonesian and Indonesian forces and Pro -Dutch and Dutch Colonial forces (KNIL)
  • Rawagede massacre, about 431 civilians killed by Dutch forces
  • Bersiap massacre, about 25.000 Indo-European civilians, Dutch, and loyalists killed by Indonesian nationalist forces
  • Indonesian National Revolution About 100–150,000 Chinese, Communists, Europeans (French, German, British, Americans), pro Dutch etc. By Indonesian nationalist forces and Indonesian youth.

1948–1960: Malayan Emergency

  • War crimes: In the Batang Kali massacre, about 24 unarmed villagers were killed by British troops. The British government claimed that these villagers were insurgents attempting to escape but this was later known to be entirely false as they were unarmed, nor actually supporting the insurgents nor attempting to escape after being detained by British troops. No British soldier was prosecuted for the murder at Batang Kali.[158][159][160][161]
  • War crimes: includes beating, torturing, and killing by British troops and communist insurgents of non-combatants.[162]
  • War crimes: As part of the Briggs' Plan devised by British General Sir Harold Briggs, 500,000 people (roughly ten percent of Malaya's population) were eventually removed from the land, had tens of thousands of their homes destroyed, and were interned in guarded camps called "New Villages". The intent of this measure was to inflict collective punishments on villages where people were deemed to be aiding the insurgents and to isolate villagers from contact with insurgents. While considered necessary, some of the cases involving the widespread destruction went beyond justification of military necessity. This practice was prohibited by the Geneva Conventions and customary international law which stated that the destruction of property must not happen unless rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.[162][163][164]

1950–1953: Korean War

United States perpetrated crimes

Armed conflict Perpetrator
Korean War United States
IncidentType of crimePersons responsibleNotes
No Gun Ri massacre War crimes United States In July 1950, during the early weeks of the Korean War, an undetermined number of South Korean refugees were killed by the 2nd Battalion, 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, and a U.S. air attack at a railroad bridge near the village of No Gun Ri, 100 miles (160 km) southeast of Seoul, South Korea. Commanders feared enemy infiltrators among such refugee columns. Estimates of the dead have ranged from dozens to 500. In 2005, a South Korean government committee certified the names of 163 dead or missing and 55 wounded and added that many other victims' names were not reported; the U.S. Army cites the number of casualties as "unknown".[165]

North Korean perpetrated crimes

Armed conflict Perpetrator
Korean War North Korea and China
IncidentType of crimePersons responsibleNotes
Seoul National University Hospital Massacre War crimes North Korea The Seoul National University Hospital Massacre (Korean: 서울대학교 부속병원 학살 사건 Hanja: 서울國立大學校附属病院虐殺事件) was a massacre committed by the North Korean Army on June 18, 1950, of 700 to 900 doctors, nurses, inpatient civilians and wounded soldiers at the Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul district of South Korea.[166][167][168] During the First Battle of Seoul, the North Korean Army wiped out one platoon which guarded Seoul National University Hospital on June 28, 1950.[166][167] They massacred medical personnel, inpatients and wounded soldiers.[166][167] The North Korean Army shot or buried people alive.[166][167] The victims amounted to 900.[166][167] According to the South Korean Ministry of National Defense, the victims included 100 South Korean wounded soldiers.[167]
Chaplain–Medic massacre War crimes (Murder of wounded military personnel and a chaplain) North Korea On July 16, 1950, 30 unarmed, critically wounded U.S. Army soldiers and an unarmed chaplain were killed by members of the North Korean People's Army during the Battle of Taejon.
Bloody Gulch massacre War crimes (Murder of prisoners of war) North Korea On August 12, 1950, 75 captured U.S. Army prisoners of war were executed by members of the North Korean People's Army on a mountain above the village of Tunam, South Korea, during one of the smaller engagements of the Battle of Pusan Perimeter.
Hill 303 massacre War crimes (Murder of prisoners of war) North Korea On August 17, 1950, following a UN airstrike on Hill 131 which was already occupied by the North Korean Army from the Americans, a North Korean officer said that the American soldiers were closing in on them and they could not continue to hold the captured American prisoners. The officer ordered the men shot, and the North Koreans then fired into the kneeling Americans as they rested in the gully, killing 41.
Sunchon Tunnel Massacre North Korea 180 American prisoners of war, survivors of the Seoul-Pyongyang death march, were loaded onto a railroad car and brought to the Sunchon tunnel on October 30, 1950. Prisoners, who were already suffering from lack of food, water, and medical supplies were brought in groups of approximately 40 ostensibly to receive food and were shot by North Korean soldiers. 138 Americans in total died; 68 were murdered, 7 died of malnutrition, and the remainder died in the tunnel of pneumonia, dysentery, and malnutrition on the trip from Pyongyang.[169]
  • Rudolph Rummel estimated that the North Korean Army executed at least 500,000 civilians during the Korean War with many dying in North Korea's drive to conscript South Koreans to their war effort. Throughout the conflict, North Korean and Chinese forces routinely mistreated U.S. and UN prisoners of war. Mass starvation and diseases swept through the Chinese-run POW camps during the winter of 1950–51. About 43 percent of all U.S. POWs died during this period. In violation of the Geneva Conventions which explicitly stated that captor states must repatriate prisoners of war to their homeland as quickly as possible, North Korea detained South Korean POWs for decades after the ceasefire. Over 88,000 South Korean soldiers were missing and the Communists' themselves had claimed they had captured 70,000 South Koreans.[170][171]:141

South Korean perpetrated crimes

Armed conflict Perpetrator
Korean War South Korea
IncidentType of crimePersons responsibleNotes
Jeju uprising War crimes, Crimes against humanity (mass murder of civilians) South Korea The island of Jeju was considered a stronghold of the Korean independence movement and the South Korean Labor Party. .[172]:166–167[173] Syngman Rhee had proclaimed martial law to quell an insurgency.[174]

Up to 10% of the island's population died (14,000 to 30,000) as a result of the conflict,[172]:195[175]:13 and another 40,000 fled to Japan.[176]

Bodo League massacre War crimes, Crimes against humanity (mass murder of civilians) South Korea The Bodo League massacre (Korean: 보도연맹 사건; Hanja: 保導聯盟事件) was a massacre and war crime against communists and suspected sympathisers that occurred in the summer of 1950 during the Korean War. Estimates of the death toll vary. According to Prof. Kim Dong-Choon, Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, at least 100,000 people were executed on suspicion of supporting communism;[177] others estimate 200,000 deaths.[178] The massacre was wrongly blamed on the communists for decades.[179]
Goyang Geumjeong Cave Massacre War crimes South Korea The Goyang Geumjeong Cave Massacre (Korean: 고양 금정굴 민간인 학살[180][181] Hanja: 高陽衿井窟民間人虐殺[180][181] Goyang Geunjeong Cave civilian massacre[180][181]) was a massacre conducted by the police officers of Goyang Police Station of the South Korean Police under the commanding of head of Goyang police station between 9 October 1950 and 31 October 1950 of 150 or over 153 unarmed citizens in Goyang, Gyeonggi-do district of South Korea.[180][181][182] After the victory of the Second Battle of Seoul, South Korean police arrested and killed people and their families who they suspected had been sympathisers during North Korean rule.[181] During the massacre, South Korean Police conducted Namyangju Massacre in Namyangju near Goyang.[183]
Sancheong-Hamyang massacre War Crimes South Korea The Sancheong-Hamyang massacre (Korean: 산청・함양 양민 학살 사건; Hanja: 山清・咸陽良民虐殺事件) was a massacre conducted by a unit of the South Korean Army 11th Division during the Korean War. On February 7, 1951, 705 unarmed citizens in Sancheong and Hamyang, South Gyeongsang district of South Korea were killed. The victims were civilians and 85% of them were women, children, and elderly people.
Ganghwa massacre War crimes South Korea The Ganghwa (Geochang) massacre (Korean: 거창 양민 학살 사건; Hanja: 居昌良民虐殺事件) was a massacre conducted by the third battalion of the 9th regiment of the 11th Division of the South Korean Army between February 9, 1951, and February 11, 1951, on 719 unarmed citizens in Geochang, South Gyeongsang district of South Korea. The victims included 385 children.

1952–1960: Mau Mau uprising

  • In attempt to suppress the insurgency in Kenya, British colonial authorities suspended civil liberties within the country. In response to the rebellion, many Kikuyu were relocated. 320,000–450,000 of them were moved into concentration camps. Most of the remainder – more than a million – were held in "enclosed villages". Although some were Mau Mau guerillas, many were victims of collective punishment that colonial authorities imposed on large areas of the country. Thousands suffered beatings and sexual assaults during "screenings" intended to extract information about the Mau Mau threat. Later, prisoners suffered even worse mistreatment in an attempt to force them to renounce their allegiance to the insurgency and to obey commands. Significant numbers were murdered; official accounts describe some prisoners being roasted alive. Prisoners were questioned with the help of "slicing off ears, boring holes in eardrums, flogging until death, pouring paraffin over suspects who were then set alight, and burning eardrums with lit cigarettes". British soldiers used a "metal castrating instrument" to cut off testicles and fingers. "By the time I cut his balls off", one settler boasted, "he had no ears, and his eyeball, the right one, I think, was hanging out of its socket. Too bad, he died before we got much out of him." According to David Anderson, the British hanged over 1,090 suspected rebels: far more than the French had executed in Algeria during the Algerian War. It was found out that over half of them executed were not rebels at all. Thousands more were killed by British soldiers, who claimed they had "failed to halt" when challenged.[184][185][186]
  • The Chuka Massacre, which happened in Chuka, Kenya, was perpetrated by members of the King's African Rifles B Company in June 1953 with 20 unarmed people killed during the Mau Mau uprising. Members of the 5th KAR B Company entered the Chuka area on June 13, 1953, to flush out rebels suspected of hiding in the nearby forests. Over the next few days, the regiment had captured and executed 20 people suspected of being Mau Mau fighters for unknown reasons. It is found out that most of the people executed were actually belonged to the Kikuyu Home Guard – a loyalist militia recruited by the British to fight an increasingly powerful and audacious guerrilla enemy. In an atmosphere of atrocity and reprisal, the matter was swept under the carpet and nobody ever stood trial for the massacre.
  • The Hola massacre was an incident during the conflict in Kenya against British colonial rule at a colonial detention camp in Hola, Kenya. By January 1959 the camp had a population of 506 detainees of whom 127 were held in a secluded "closed camp". This more remote camp near Garissa, eastern Kenya, was reserved for the most uncooperative of the detainees. They often refused, even when threats of force were made, to join in the colonial "rehabilitation process" or perform manual labour or obey colonial orders. The camp commandant outlined a plan that would force 88 of the detainees to bend to work. On 3 March 1959, the camp commandant put this plan into action – as a result, 11 detainees were clubbed to death by guards.[187] 77 surviving detainees sustained serious permanent injuries. The British government accepts that the colonial administration tortured detainees, but denies liability.[188]
  • The Lari massacre in the settlement of Lari occurred on the night of 25–26 March 1953, in which Mau Mau militants herded Kikuyu men, women and children into huts and set fire to them, killing anyone who attempted to escape. Official estimates place the death toll from the Lari massacre at 74 dead.[189]
  • Mau Mau militants also tortured, mutilated and murdered Kikuyu on many occasions.[190] Mau Mau racked up 1,819 murders of their fellow Africans, though again this number excludes the many additional hundreds who 'disappeared', whose bodies were never found.[191]

1954–1962: Algerian War

The insurgency began in 1945 and was revived in 1954, winning independence in the early 1960s. The French army killed thousands of Algerians in the first round of fighting in 1945.[157] After the Algerian independence movement formed a National Liberation Front (FLN) in 1954, the French Minister of the Interior joined the Minister of National Defense in 1955 in ordering that every rebel carrying a weapon, suspected of doing so, or suspected of fleeing, must be shot.[157] French troops executed civilians from nearby villages when rebel attacks occurred, tortured both rebels and civilians, and interned Arabs in camps, where forced labor was required of some of them.[157] 2,000,000 Algerians were displaced or forcibly resettled during the war.[192] French sources estimated that 70,000 Muslim civilians were killed, or abducted and presumed killed, by the FLN during the war. The FLN also killed 30,000 to 150,000 in people in post-war reprisals.[193]

1955–1975: Vietnam War

United States perpetrated crimes

During the war 95 U.S. Army personnel and 27 U.S. Marine Corps personnel were convicted by court-martial of the murder or manslaughter of Vietnamese.[194]:33

Armed conflict Perpetrator
Vietnam War United States
IncidentType of crimePersons responsibleNotes
Marion McGhee, Chu Lai Murder Lance Corporal Marion McGhee On 12 August 1965 Lcpl McGhee of Company M, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, walked through Marine lines at Chu Lai Base Area toward a nearby village. In answer to a Marine sentry's shouted question, he responded that he was going after a VC. Two Marines were dispatched to retrieve McGhee and as they approached the village they heard a shot and a woman's scream and then saw McGhee walking toward them from the village. McGhee said he had just killed a VC and other VC were following him. At trial Vietnamese prosecution witnesses testified that McGhee had kicked through the wall of the hut where their family slept. He seized a 14-year-old girl and pulled her toward the door. When her father interceded, McGhee shot and killed him. Once outside the house the girl escaped McGhee with the help of her grandmother. McGhee was found guilty of unpremeditated murder and sentenced him to confinement at hard labor for ten years. On appeal this was reduced to 7 years and he actually served 6 years and 1 month.[194]:33–4
Xuan Ngoc (2) Murder and rape PFC John D. Potter, Jr.
Hospitalman John R. Bretag
PFC James H. Boyd, Jr.
Sergeant Ronald L. Vogel
On 23 September 1966, a nine-man ambush patrol from the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, left Hill 22, northwest of Chu Lai. Private First Class John D. Potter, Jr. took effective command of the patrol. They entered the hamlet of Xuan Ngoc (2) and seized Dao Quang Thinh, whom they accused of being a Viet Cong, and dragged him from his hut. While they beat him, other patrol members forced his wife, Bui Thi Huong, from their hut and four of them raped her. A few minutes later three other patrol members shot Dao Quang Thinh, Bui, their child, Bui's sister-in-law, and her sister in- law's child. Bui Thi Huong survived to testify at the courts-martial. The company commander suspicious of the reported "enemy contact" sent Second Lieutenant Stephen J. Talty, to return to the scene with the patrol. Once there, Talty realized what had happened and attempted to cover up the incident. A wounded child was discovered alive and Potter bludgeoned it to death with his rifle. Potter was convicted of premeditated murder and rape, and sentenced to confinement at hard labor for life, but was released in February 1978, having served 12 years and 1 month. Hospitalman John R. Bretag testified against Potter and was sentenced to 6 month's confinement for rape. PFC James H. Boyd, Jr., pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 4 years confinement at hard labor. Sergeant Ronald L. Vogel was convicted for murder of one of the children and rape and was sentenced to 50 years confinement at hard labor, which was reduced on appeal to 10 years of which he served 9 years.Two patrol members were acquitted of major charges, but were convicted of assault with intent to commit rape and sentenced to 6 months' confinement. Lt Talty was found guilty of making a false report and dismissed from the Marine Corps, but this was overturned on appeal.[194]:53–4[195]
Charles W. Keenan and Stanley J. Luczko Murder PFC Charles W. Keenan
CPL Stanley J. Luczko
PFC Charles W. Keenan was convicted of murder by firing at point-blank range into an unarmed, elderly Vietnamese woman, and an unarmed Vietnamese man. His life sentence was reduced to 25 years confinement. Upon appeal, the conviction for the woman's murder was dismissed and confinement was reduced to five years. Later clemency action further reduced his confinement to 2 years and 9 months. Corporal Stanley J. Luczko, was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to confinement for three years[194]:79–81
Thuy Bo incident Murder (disputed) Company H, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines From 31 January to 1 February 1967 145 civilians were purported to have been killed by Company H, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines. Marine accounts record 101 Viet Cong and 22 civilians killed during a 2-day battle.
My Lai Massacre War crimes Lt. William Calley convicted in 1971 of premeditated murder of 22 civilians for his role in the massacre and sentenced to life in prison. He served 3½ years under house arrest. Others were indicted but not convicted. On March 16, 1968, a US army platoon led by Lt. William Calley killed (and in some cases beat, raped, tortured, or maimed) 347 to 504 unarmed civilians – primarily women, children, and old men – in the hamlets of My Lai and My Khe of Sơn Mỹ. The My Lai Massacre was allegedly an operation of the Phoenix Program. 26 US soldiers, including 14 officers, were charged with crimes related to the My Lai massacre and its coverup. Most of the charges were eventually dropped, and only Lt. Calley was convicted.
Huế Murder Lcpl Denzil R. Allen
Pvt Martin R. Alvarez
Lcpl John D. Belknap
Lcpl James A. Maushart
PFC Robert J. Vickers
On 5 May 1968, Lcpl Denzil R. Allen led a 6-man ambush patrol from the 1st Battalion, 27th Marines near Huế. They stopped and interrogated 2 unarmed Vietnamese men who Allen and Private Martin R. Alvarez then executed. After an attack on their base that night the unit sent out a patrol who brought back 3 Vietnamese men. Allen, Alvarez, Lance Corporals John D. Belknap, James A. Maushart, PFC Robert J. Vickers, and two others then formed a firing squad and executed 2 of the Vietnamese. The third captive was taken into a building where Allen, Belknap, and Anthony Licciardo, Jr., hanged him, when the rope broke Allen cut the man's throat, killing him. Allen pleaded guilty to five counts of unpremeditated murder and was sentenced to confinement at hard labor for life reduced to 20 years in exchange for the guilty plea. Allen's confinement was reduced to 7 years and he was paroled after having served only 2 years and 11 months confinement. Maushart pleaded guilty to one count of unpremeditated murder and was sentenced to 2 years confinement of which he served 1 year and 8 months. Belknap and Licciardo each pleaded guilty to single murders and were sentenced to 2 years confinement. Belknap served 15 months while Licciardo served his full sentence. Alvarez was found to lack mental responsibility and found not guilty. Vickers was found guilty of 2 counts of unpremeditated murder, but his convictions were overturned on review


Ronald J. Reese and Stephen D. Crider Murder Cpl Ronald J. Reese
Lcpl Stephen D. Crider
On the morning of 1 March 1969 an eight-man Marine ambush was discovered by three Vietnamese girls, aged about 13, 17, and 19, and a Vietnamese boy, about 11. The four shouted their discovery to those being observed by the ambush. Seized by the Marines, the four were bound, gagged, and led away by Corporal Ronald J. Reese and Lance Corporal Stephen D. Crider. Minutes later, the 4 children were seen, apparently dead, in a small bunker. The Marines tossed a fragmentation grenade into the bunker, which then collapsed the damaged structure atop the bodies. Reese and Crider were each convicted of 4 counts of murder and sentenced to confinement at hard labor for life. On appeal both sentences were reduced to 3 years confinement.[194]:140
Son Thang massacre murder Company B, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines. One person was sentenced to life in prison, another sentenced to 5 years, but both sentences were reduced to less than a year.[196] 16 unarmed women and children were killed in the Son Thang Hamlet, on February 19, 1970, with those killed reported as enemy combatant.[196]
Tiger Force War crimes; Crime of Torture (disputed) Tiger Force LRRP Tiger Force was a unit of the US military which engaged in months of routine terror and massacres in the Song Ve Valley. Upwards of 1000 individuals were killed, primarily women, children, infants, crippled and blind individuals, elderly individuals and so-on.[197][198]
Operation Speedy Express War Crimes (disputed) 9th Infantry Division (US Army)

Commander: General Julian Ewell

A six-month operation across several provinces in the Mekong Delta, which were internally reported to have killed at least 5,000 to 7,000 civilians. A campaign of terror which targeted people running away, people active past night-time, people wearing black pajamas, and had utilized a devastating assortment of B-52, artillery, aerial support against civilian targets.[199]
Brigadier General John W. Donaldson Murder 11th Infantry Brigade

Commander: Brigadier General John W. Donaldson

On 2 June 1971, Donaldson was charged with the murder of six Vietnamese civilians but was acquitted due to lack of evidence. In 13 separate incidences John Donaldson was reported to have flown over civilian areas shooting at civilians. He was the first U.S. general charged with war crimes since General Jacob H. Smith in 1902 and the highest ranking American to be accused of war crimes during the Vietnam War.[200] War photographer Tony Swindell serving with the unit has stated to have documented the civilian shootings committed by Donaldson. According to Colonel Henry Tufts in charge of investigations with the CID, Donaldson had pressured witnesses under his command to recant their story in which the case had fell apart.[201][202] including images of shooting a teenage girl from a helicopter, which was according to Swindell operating procedure, and to later attribute them to Viet Cong.[203]
  • "Vietnam War Crimes Working Group"[204] – Briefly declassified (1994) and subsequently reclassified (2002) documentary evidence compiled by a Pentagon task force detailing endemic war crimes committed by U.S. soldiers in Vietnam. Substantiating 320 incidents by Army investigators, includes seven massacres from 1967 through 1971 in which at least 137 South Vietnamese civilians died (not including the ones at My Lai), 78 other attacks on noncombatants in which at least 57 were killed, 56 wounded and 15 sexually assaulted, and 141 instances in which U.S. soldiers tortured civilian detainees or prisoners of war.

South Korean perpetrated crimes

Armed conflict Perpetrator
Vietnam War South Korea
IncidentType of crimePersons responsibleNotes
Bình An/Tây Vinh massacre massacre South Korea (disputed) Around 1,004 civilians were purported to have been killed between 12 February and 17 March 1966, as part of Operation Masher.[205][206]
Binh Tai Massacre massacre South Korea (disputed) This was a massacre purportedly conducted on 9 October 1966 of 168 citizens in Binh Tai village in South Vietnam.[207][208][209]
Bình Hòa massacre massacre South Korea (disputed) This was a massacre purportedly conducted between December 3–6, 1966, of 430 unarmed citizens in Bình Hòa village, Quảng Ngãi Province in South Vietnam.[210][211][212]
Hà My massacre massacre South Korea (disputed) This was a massacre purportedly conducted by the South Korean Marines on 25 February 1968 of civilians in Hà My village, Quảng Nam Province in South Vietnam.[213]
Phong Nhị and Phong Nhất massacre massacre South Korea This was a massacre conducted by the 2nd Marine Division of the South Korean Marines on 12 February 1968 of unarmed citizens in Phong Nhị and Phong Nhất village, Điện Bàn District of Quảng Nam Province in South Vietnam.[214][215]

North Vietnamese and Vietcong perpetrated crimes

Armed conflict Perpetrator
Vietnam War North Vietnam and Vietcong
IncidentType of crimePersons responsibleNotes
Massacre at Huế War crimes; Crime of Torture North Vietnam and Viet Cong During the months and years that followed the Battle of Huế, which began on January 31, 1968, and lasted a total of 28 days, dozens of mass graves were discovered in and around Huế. North Vietnamese troops executed between 2,800 and 6,000 civilians and prisoners of war.[216] Victims were found bound, tortured, and sometimes apparently buried alive.[217][218][219]
Đắk Sơn massacre War crimes Viet Cong On December 5, 1967, two battalions of Viet Cong were reported to have killed 252 civilians in a "vengeance" attack on the hamlet of Đắk Sơn, home to over 2,000 Montagnards. Its alleged that the Vietcong believed that the hamlet had at one point given aid to refugees fleeing Viet Cong forces.[220]
  • VC terror squads, in the years 1967 to 1972, were claimed by the US Department of Defense as having assassinated at least 36,000 people and abducted almost 58,000 people.[221] Statistics for 1968–72 suggest that "about 80 percent of the terrorist victims were ordinary civilians and only about 20 percent were government officials, policemen, members of the self-defence forces or pacification cadres."[222] NVA/VC forces murdered between 106,000 and 227,000 civilians between 1954 and 1975 in South Vietnam.[223] Up to 155,000 refugees fleeing the final North Vietnamese Spring Offensive were alleged to have been killed or abducted on the road to Tuy Hòa in 1975.[224] See: VC/NVA use of terror

Late 1960s–1998: The Troubles

  • War crimes: Various unarmed male civilians (some of whom were named during a 2013 television programme) were shot, two of them (Patrick McVeigh, Daniel Rooney) fatally, in 1972, allegedly by the Military Reaction Force (MRF), an undercover military unit tasked with targeting Irish Republican Army paramilitaries during the last installment of the Troubles. Two brothers, whose names and casualty status were not mentioned in an article regarding the same matter in The Irish Times, ran a fruit stall in west Belfast, and were shot after being mistaken for IRA paramilitaries.[225]
  • War crimes: The British Army had employed widespread torture and waterboarding on prisoners in Northern Ireland during interrogations in the 1970s. Liam Holden was wrongfully arrested by British forces for the murder of a British soldier and became the last person in the United Kingdom to be sentenced to hang after being convicted in 1973, largely on the basis of an unsigned confession produced by torture.[226] His death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment and he spent 17 years behind bars. On 21 June 2012, in the light of CCRC investigations which confirmed that the methods used to extract confessions were unlawful,[227] Holden had his conviction quashed by the Court of Appeal in Belfast, at the age of 58.[228][229] Former Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) interrogators during the Troubles admitted that beatings, the sleep deprivation, waterboarding, and the other tortures were systematic, and were, at times, sanctioned at a very high level within the force.[230]
  • War crimes: The British Army and the RUC also operated under a shoot-to-kill policy in Northern Ireland, under which suspects were alleged to have been deliberately killed without any attempt to arrest them. In four separate cases considered by the European court of human rights – involving the deaths of ten IRA men, a Sinn Féin member and a civilian – seven judges ruled unanimously that Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights guaranteeing a right to life had been violated by Britain.[231]

1971 Bangladesh Liberation War

Armed conflict Perpetrator
1971 Bangladesh War Pakistan
IncidentType of crimePersons responsibleNotes
1971 Bangladesh genocide War crimes, Crimes against humanity, Crime of genocide (murder of civilians; genocide) Allegedly the Pakistan Government, and the Pakistan Army and its local collaborators. A case was filed in the Federal Court of Australia on September 20, 2006 for crimes of Genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.[232] During the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, widespread atrocities were committed against the Bengali population of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). With 1–3 million people killed in nine months, 'genocide' is the term that is used to describe the event in almost every major publication and newspaper.[233][234] Although the word 'genocide' was and is still used frequently amongst observers and scholars of the events that transpired during the 1971 war, the allegations that a genocide took place during the Bangladesh War of 1971 were never investigated by an international tribunal set up under the auspices of the United Nations, due to complications arising from the Cold War. A process is underway in 2009–2010 to begin trials of some local war collaborators.
Civilian Casualties War crimes no prosecutions The number of civilians that died in the liberation war of Bangladesh is not known in any reliable accuracy. There has been a great disparity in the casualty figures put forth by Pakistan on one hand (26,000, as reported in the now discredited Hamoodur Rahman Commission[235]) and India and Bangladesh on the other hand (From 1972 to 1975 the first post-war prime minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, estimated that 3 million died[236]). This is the figure officially maintained by the Government of Bangladesh. Most scholarship on the topic estimate the number killed to be between 1 and 3 million.[237] A further eight to ten million people fled the country to seek safety in India.[238]
Atrocities on women and minorities Crimes against humanity; Crime of genocide; Crime of torture (torture, rape and murder of civilians) no prosecutions The minorities of Bangladesh, especially the Hindus, were specific targets of the Pakistan army.[239] Numerous East Pakistani women were tortured, raped and killed during the war. The exact numbers are not known and are a subject of debate. Bangladeshi sources cite a figure of 200,000 women raped, giving birth to thousands of war-babies. Some other sources, for example Susan Brownmiller, refer to an even higher number of over 400,000. Pakistani sources claim the number is much lower, though having not completely denied rape incidents.[240][241][242]
Killing of intellectuals War crimes no prosecutions During the war, the Pakistan Army and its local supporters carried out a systematic execution of the leading Bengali intellectuals. A number of university professors from Dhaka University were killed during the first few days of the war.[243][244] However, the most extreme cases of targeted killing of intellectuals took place during the last few days of the war. On December 14, 1971, only two days before surrendering to the Indian military and the Mukhti Bahini forces, the Pakistani army – with the assistance of the Al Badr and Al Shams – systematically executed well over 200 of East Pakistan's intellectuals and scholars.[245][246]

Bihari and pro Pakistanis massacre in Bangladesh

It is estimated that Bangladesh guerilla army killed about 1,000 to 150,000 biharis or pro-Pakistani razakars.

1970–1975: Cambodian civil war

The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia for the Prosecution of Crimes Committed During the Period of Democratic Kampuchea, commonly known as the Cambodia Tribunal, is a joint court established by the Royal Government of Cambodia and the United Nations to try senior members of the Khmer Rouge for crimes against humanity committed during the Cambodian Civil War. The Khmer Rouge killed many people due to their political affiliation, education, class origin, occupation, or ethnicity.[247][248]

Indonesian Invasion of East Timor

During the 1975 invasion and the subsequent occupation, Indonesian forces murdered tens of thousands of civilians.

1975–1990: Lebanese Civil War

Armed conflict Perpetrator
Lebanese Civil War Various
IncidentType of crimePersons responsibleNotes
Black Saturday War crime (200 to 600 killed) Kataeb Party On December 6, 1975, Black Saturday was a series of massacres and armed clashes in Beirut, that occurred in the first stages of the Lebanese Civil War.
Karantina massacre War crime (Estimated 1,000 to 1,500 killed) Kataeb Party, Guardians of the Cedars, Tigers Militia Took place early in the Lebanese Civil War on January 18, 1976. Karantina was overrun by the Lebanese Christian militias, resulting in the deaths of approximately 1,000–1,500 people.
Tel al-Zaatar massacre War Crime (Estimated 1,000 to 3,000 killed) Lebanese Front, Tigers Militia, Syrian Army, Lebanese Armed Forces The Tel al-Zaatar Battle took place during the Lebanese Civil War from June 22 – August 12, 1976. Tel al-Zaatar was a UNRWA administered Palestinian Refugee camp housing approximately 50,000–60,000 refugees in northeast Beirut. Tel al-Zaatar massacre refers to crimes committed around this battle.
Damour massacre War crime (Estimated 684 civilians killed) PLO, Lebanese National Movement Took place on January 20, 1976. Damour, a Christian town on the main highway south of Beirut. It was attacked by the Palestine Liberation Organisation units. Part of its population died in battle or in the massacre that followed, and the remainder were forced to flee.
Sabra and Shatila massacre War crime (762 to 3,500 (number disputed)) Kataeb Party Took place in Sabra and the Shatila refugee camp Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut, Lebanon between September 16 and September 18, 1982. Palestinian and Lebanese civilians were massacred in the camps by Christian Lebanese Phalangists while the camp was surrounded by the Israel Defense Forces. Israeli forces controlled the entrances to the refugee camps of Palestinians and controlled the entrance to the city. The massacre was immediately preceded by the assassination of Bachir Gemayel, the leader of the Lebanese Kataeb Party. Following the assassination, an armed group entered the camp and murdered inhabitants during the night. It is now generally agreed that the killers were "the Young Men", a gang recruited by Elie Hobeika.[249]
1983 Beirut barracks bombing War crimes, crimes against peace (Attacks against parties not involved in a war), Islamic Jihad Organization On October 23, 1983, 241 American servicemen and 58 French paratroopers were killed in their barracks at the Beirut International Airport when Islamic militants drove their trucks filled with bombs and struck separate buildings housing United States and French members of the Multinational Force in Lebanon.
October 13 massacre War crime (500–700 killed during the fighting. Additionally at least 240 unarmed prisoners executed, including civilians) Syrian Army, Hafez al-Assad Took place on October 13, 1990, during the final moments of the Lebanese Civil War, when hundreds of Lebanese soldiers were executed after they surrendered to Syrian forces.[250]

1978–present: Civil war in Afghanistan

This war has ravaged the country for over 30 years, with several foreign actors playing important roles during different periods. Since 2001 US and NATO troops have been fighting in Afghanistan in the "War on Terror" that is also treated in the corresponding section below.

Armed conflict Perpetrator
Civil war in Afghanistan Taliban
IncidentType of crimePersons responsibleNotes
Executions and torture after fall of Mazar-i-Sharif on August 8, 1998 War crimes; Crime of torture (Murder, cruel or degrading treatment and torture; Summary execution) Taliban Mass killing of the locals; 4,000 to 5,000 civilians were executed, and many more reported tortured.
Assassination of Iranian diplomats War crimes; offenses against the customary law of nations (outrages upon diplomatic plenipotentiaries and agents) Taliban 8 Iranian diplomats were assassinated and an Iranian press correspondent was murdered by the Taliban.
Murder of Ahmed Shah Massoud, on September 9, 2001 War crimes (Perfidious use of suicide bombers disguised as journalists (who are protected persons) in murder.) Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Al Qaeda Perfidiously used suicide bombers disguised as television journalists to murder Ahmed Shah Massoud, leader of the Northern Alliance, the leader of the only remaining military opponent of the Taliban, two days before the September 11th Attacks, constituting a failure to bear arms openly, and misuse of the status of protected persons, to wit, journalists in war zones.
Civil war in AfghanistanNorthern Alliance
IncidentType of crimePersons responsibleNotes
Atrocities against Taliban prisoners of war War crimes (Maltreatment leading to death of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan POWs (Taliban)) Northern Alliance partisans Allegedly did place captured Taliban POWs in cargo containers, and did seal them, leading to deaths of those within due to suffocation and excessive heat, thereby constituting war crimes.
Civil war in AfghanistanUnited States Army / British Royal Marines
IncidentType of crimePersons responsibleNotes
Torture of prisoners War crimes (Maltreatment leading to death of prisoners) United States Armed Forces homicides of at least two unarmed prisoners, allegations of widespread pattern of abuse
Kandahar massacre Murder and wounding of civilians United States Armed Forces Nine of the victims were children. Some of the corpses were partially burned.
Maywand District murders Murder of at least 3 Afghans United States Armed Forces Five members of a platoon were indicted for murder and collecting body parts as trophies. In addition, seven soldiers were charged with crimes such as hashish use, impeding an investigation, and attacking their team member who blew the whistle after he had participated in the crimes.
2011 Helmand Province incident Murder of a wounded prisoner British Royal Marines

1980–1988: Iran–Iraq War

Armed conflict Perpetrator
Iran–Iraq War Iraq
IncidentType of crimePersons responsibleNotes
Iran – Iraq War Crimes against peace (Waging a war of aggression) no prosecutions In 1980, Iraq invaded neighboring Iran, allegedly to capture Iraqi territory held by Iran.
Use of chemical weaponsWar crimes, Use of poisons as weapons (Violation of the 1925 Geneva Protocol[251])No prosecutionsIraq made extensive use of chemical weapons, including mustard gas and nerve agents such as tabun. Iraqi chemical weapons were responsible for over 100,000 Iranian casualties (including 20,000 deaths).[252]
Al-Anfal CampaignCrimes against humanity; Crime of GenocideNo prosecutionsA genocidal campaign by Baathist Iraq against the Kurdish people (and other non-Arab populations) in northern Iraq, led by President Saddam Hussein and headed by Ali Hassan al-Majid in the final stages of Iran–Iraq War. The campaign also targeted other minority communities in Iraq including Assyrians, Shabaks, Iraqi Turkmens, Yazidis, Mandeans, and many villages belonging to these ethnic groups were also destroyed.[253]
Halabja poison gas attack Dutch court has ruled that the incident involved War Crimes and Genocide (part of the Al-Anfal Campaign); also may involve the Use of poisons as weapons and Crimes against humanity. Ali Hassan Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti, officially titled Secretary General of the Northern Bureau of the Ba'ath Party from March 1987 to April 1989, and advisor to Saddam Hussein, was convicted in June 2007 of war crimes and was sentenced to death by an Iraqi court, along with accomplices Sultan Hashem Ahmed and Hussein Rashid Mohammed.
Frans van Anraat war crime.
Iraq also used chemical weapons against their own Kurdish population causing casualties estimated between several hundred up to 5,000 deaths.[254] On December 23, 2005 a Dutch court ruled in a case brought against Frans van Anraat for supplying chemicals to Iraq, that "[it] thinks and considers legally and convincingly proven that the Kurdish population meets the requirement under the genocide conventions as an ethnic group. The court has no other conclusion that these attacks were committed with the intent to destroy the Kurdish population of Iraq." and because he supplied the chemicals before 16 March 1988, the date of the Halabja attack, he is guilty of a war crime but not guilty of complicity in genocide.[255][256]
Armed conflict Perpetrator
Iran–Iraq War Iran
IncidentType of crimePersons responsibleNotes
Attacks on neutral shipping War crimes, crimes against peace (Attacks against parties not involved in the war) no prosecutions Iran attacked oil tankers from neutral nations in an attempt to disrupt enemy trade.
Using child soldiers in suicide missions War crimes (Using child soldiers) no prosecutions Iran allegedly used volunteers (among them children) in high risk operations for example in clearing mine fields within hours to allow the advancement of regular troops.

One source estimates 3% of the Iran–Iraq War's casualties were under the age of 14.[257]

Laid mines in international waters no prosecutions Mines damaged the US frigate USS Samuel B. Roberts

Over 100,000 civilians other than those killed in Saddam's genocide are estimated to have been killed by both sides of the war by R.J.Rummel.

1985–present: Uganda

The Times reports (November 26, 2005 p. 27):

Almost 20 years of fighting... has killed half a million people. Many of the dead are children... The LRA [a cannibalism cult][258] kidnaps children and forces them to join its ranks. And so, incredibly, children are not only the main victims of this war, but also its unwilling perpetrators... The girls told me they had been given to rebel commanders as "wives" and forced to bear them children. The boys said they had been forced to walk for days knowing they would be killed if they showed any weakness, and in some cases forced even to murder their family members... every night up to 10,000 children walk into the centre of Kitgum... because they are not safe in their own beds... more than 25,000 children have been kidnapped ...this year an average of 20 children have been abducted every week.

1991–1999: Yugoslav wars

1991–1995: Croatian War of Independence

Also see List of ICTY indictees for a variety of war criminals and crimes during this era.

Armed conflict Perpetrator
Croatian War of Independence Yugoslav People's Army, Army of Serbian Krajina and paramilitary units.
IncidentType of crimePersons responsibleNotes
Battle of Vukovar War crimes (indiscriminate shelling of city for 87 days until it was leveled to the ground. At least 1,798 killed, civilians and soldiers)[259] JNA, Serb Volunteer Guard. Mile Mrkšić and Veselin Šljivančanin sentenced by the ICTY. August 25-November 18, 1991
Ovčara massacre[260] War crimes (Over 264 civilians and wounded POWs executed after Battle of Vukovar) Serb Territorial Defense and paramilitary units. Mile Mrkšić sentenced to 20 years, Veselin Šljivančanin sentenced to 10 years. Miroslav Radić acquitted. 18–21 November 1991; bodies buried in a mass grave
Stajićevo camp, Morinj camp, Sremska Mitrovica camp, Velepromet camp, Knin camp Torture of POWs and illegal detention of civilians Milosevic indicted by the ICTY. November 1991-March 1992
Dalj killings[261] War crimes (Execution of 11 detainees) Territorial Defense of SAO SBWS under Željko Ražnatović. Dalj was also one of the charges on the Slobodan Milošević ICTY indictment. September 21, 1991; bodies buried in a mass grave in the village of Celija
Dalj massacre[261] War crimes (Massacre of 28 detainees) Territorial Defense of SAO SBWS under Željko Ražnatović. Dalj was also one of the charges on the Slobodan Milošević ICTY indictment. October 4, 1991
Lovas massacre[262] War crimes Yugoslav People's Army, Territorial Defense of SAO SBWS and Dušan Silni paramilitary unit. Ljuban Devetak and 17 individuals are being tried by Croatian courts. Lovas was also one of the charges on the Slobodan Milošević ICTY indictment. On October 10, 1991
Široka Kula massacre[263] War crimes JNA and Krajina Serb Territorial Defense. Široka Kula near Gospić on October 13, 1991.
Baćin massacre[263] War crimes Serb Territorial Defense forces and SAO Krajina militia. Milan Babić and Milan Martić convicted by ICTY. Baćin was also one of the charges on the Slobodan Milošević ICTY indictment. On October 21, 1991.
Saborsko massacre[263] War crimes Serb-led JNA (special JNA unit from Niš), TO forces, rebel Serbs militia. Milan Babić and Milan Martić convicted. On October 28, November 7, and November 12, 1991.
Erdut massacre War crimes (killing of 37 civilians)[264] Željko Ražnatović, Slobodan Milošević, Goran Hadžić, Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović indicted by the ICTY. November 1991-February 1992
Škabrnja massacre[265] War crimes Serb forces. Milan Babić and Milan Martić convicted. On November 18, 1991.
Siege of Dubrovnik[266] War crimes JNA and Montenegrin territorial forces. Several JNA commanders sentenced. Shelling of UNESCO protected World Heritage site. October 1991.
Voćin massacre[267] War crimes White Eagles paramilitary group under Vojislav Šešelj, indicted by ICTY. Voćin was also one of the charges on the Slobodan Milošević ICTY indictment. 13 December 1991.
Bruška massacre[268] War crimes Serb forces. Milan Babić and Milan Martić convicted. On December 21, 1991.
Zagreb rocket attack[269] War crimes RSK Serb forces. Leader Milan Martić bragged on Television about ordering the assault, the videotape being used against him at ICTY, convicted. Rocket attack was started as revenge for Serb military defeat in Operation Flash.
Ethnic cleansing in Serb Krajina[263] Crimes against humanity (Serb forces forcibly removed virtually all non-Serbs living there-nearly a quarter of a million people (mostly Croats))[270] JNA and Serb paramilitaries. Many people, including leaders Milan Babić and Milan Martić, convicted at ICTY and Croatian courts. June–December 1991
Armed conflict Perpetrator
Croatian War of IndependenceCroatian Army and paramilitary units
IncidentType of crimePersons responsibleNotes
Lora prison camp Crime of torture, War crimes (Torture of POWs) Croatian army. Several people convicted by Croatian courts. Croatian internment camp for Serb soldiers and civilians between 1992 and 1997
Gospić massacre War crimes Croatian Army. Commander Mirko Norac and others convicted by Croatian courts. 16–18 October 1991
Operation Otkos 10[271] War crimes Croatian Army. No prosecutions 31 October – November 4, 1991
Paulin Dvor massacre War crimes Croatian Army December 11, 1991
Miljevci plateau incident War crimes (killings of 40 militiamen) Croatian Army. No prosecutions 21 June 1992; invasion and permanent occupation of territory under international protection; bodies buried in mass graves nearby
Battle for Maslenica BridgeWar crimes (Killings of 490 or 491 individuals, including civilians) Croatian Army. No prosecutions 22 January – 1 February 1993; invasion of territory under international protection
Mirlovic Polje incident[272] War crimes Croatian paramilitaries. No prosecutions 6 September 1993; 5 men and 2 women, four shot dead; three burned alive
Operation Medak Pocket War crimes, Crime against peace (killings of 29 civilians and 71 soldiers;[273] wounding 4 UN peacekeepers) Croatian Army. Commanders Janko Bobetko, Rahim Ademi and Mirko Norac. Ademi acquitted, Bobetko died in the meantime, Norac sentenced to 7 years. 9–17 September 1993; invasion of territory under international protection and assault on UN peacekeeping forces
Operation Flash War crimes Croatian Army. No prosecutions 1–3 May 1995; invasion and permanent occupation of territory under international protection; Western Slavonia fully taken from RSK; 53 were killed in their own homes, while 30 during the Croatian raids of the refugee colons.
Operation Storm War crimes (Killings of at least 677 civilians, 150–200,000 Serbian refugees[274]) Croatian Army. Generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markač ultimately acquitted by the ICTY.[275][276] 4–8 August 1995
Varivode massacre War crimes Croatian Army. No prosecutions September 28, 1995

1992–1995: Bosnian War

Armed conflict Perpetrator
Bosnian War Serb forces, Army of Republika Srpska, Paramilitary units from Serbia, local Serb police and civilians.
IncidentType of crimePersons responsibleNotes
Srebrenica massacre[277] Crimes against humanity;Crime of genocide (Murder of over 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys) Army of Republika Srpska. President Radovan Karadžić sentenced to 40 years and General Ratko Mladić to a life in prison for genocide by the ICTY;[278] later Radovan Karadžić was sentenced to life imprisonment on appeal.[279] Following the fall of the eastern Bosnian enclave of Srebrenica the men were separated from the women and executed over a period of several days in July 1995.
Prijedor massacre[280] Crimes against humanity (5,200 killed and missing) Army of Republika Srpska. Milomir Stakić convicted. Numerous war crimes committed during the Bosnian war by the Serb political and military leadership mostly on Bosniak civilians in the Prijedor region of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Višegrad massacre[281] Crimes against humanity (Murder of over 3,000 civilians) Serbian police and military forces. Seven officers convicted. Acts of ethnic cleansing and mass murder of Bosniak civilians that occurred in the town of Višegrad in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, committed by Serb police and military forces at the start of the Bosnian War during the spring of 1992.
Foča massacres[282] Crimes against humanity (Murder of over 2,704 civilians) Army of Republika Srpska. Eight officers and soldiers convicted. A series of killings committed by Serb military, police and paramilitary forces on Bosniak civilians in the Foča region of Bosnia-Herzegovina (including the towns of Gacko and Kalinovik) from April 7, 1992 to January, 1994. In numerous verdicts, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia ruled that these killings constituted crimes against humanity and acts of genocide.
Markale massacre[283] War crimes Army of Republika Srpska. Stanislav Galić convicted The victims were civilians who were shopping in an open-air market in Sarajevo when Serb forces shelled the market. Two separate incidents. February 1994; 68 killed and 144 wounded and August 1995; 37 killed and 90 wounded.
Siege of Sarajevo[284] War crimes Army of Republika Srpska. Stanislav Galić and Dragomir Milošević, were sentenced to life imprisonment and to 33 years imprisonment, respectively. The longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare. Republika Srpska and the Yugoslav People's Army besieged Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, from April 5, 1992 to February 29, 1996.
Siege of Bihać War crimes Army of Republika Srpska. From April 1992 to August 1995.
Tuzla massacre[285] War crimes Army of Republika Srpska. ARS Officer Novak Đukić on trial. On May 25, 1995 the Serb army shelled the city of Tuzla and killed 72 people with a single shell.
Korićani Cliffs massacre[286][287] War crimes Serbian reserve police. Darko Mrđa was convicted. Mass murder of more than 200 Bosniak men on 21 August 1992 at the Korićani Cliffs (Korićanske Stijene) location on Mount Vlašić, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Ahatovići massacre[288] War crimes; Crime of torture (64 men and boys tortured, 56 killed) Army of the Republika Srpska. No prosecutions. Rounded up in an attack on a village, they were tortured. Claiming they were going to be exchanged, Serb forces put them on a bus, which they attacked with machine guns and grenades on June 14, 1992. 8 survived by hiding under bodies of the dead.
Paklenik Massacre[289] War crimes Army of the Republika Srpska. Four indicted. Massacre of at least 50 Bosniaks by Bosnian Serb Army in the Rogatica Municipality on June 15, 1992.
Bosanska Jagodina massacre[290] War crimes Army of the Republika Srpska. No prosecutions. The execution of 17 Bosniak civilians from Višegrad on May 26, 1992, all men.
Armed conflict Perpetrator
Bosnian WarCroat forces, HVO.
IncidentType of crimePersons responsible-
Ahmići massacre[291] Crimes against humanity according to ICTY, (ethnic cleansing, murder of civilians) Croatian Defence Council, Tihomir Blaškić convicted. On April 16, 1993, the Croatian Defence Council attacked the village of Ahmići and killed 116 Bosniaks.
Stupni Do massacre[292] Crimes against humanity according to ICTY (murder of 37 civilians) Croatian Defence Council, Ivica Rajić convicted. On October 23, 1993, the Croatian Defence Council attacked the village of Stupni do and killed 37 Bosniaks
Lašva Valley ethnic cleansing[293] Crimes against humanity according to ICTY. (2,000 civilians killed and missing) Croatian Defence Council. Nine politicians and officers convicted, among them Dario Kordić. Numerous war crimes committed by the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia's political and military leadership on Bosnian Muslim (Bosniak) civilians in the Lašva Valley region of Bosnia-Herzegovina, from April 1993 to February 1994.
Armed conflict Perpetrator
Bosnian WarBosniak forces, Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Incidenttype of crimePersons responsible-
Massacre in Grabovica[294] War crimes (13 civilians murdered) Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Nihad Vlahovljak, Sead Karagićm and Haris Rajkić convicted. 13 Croatian inhabitants of Grabovica village by members of the 9th Brigade and unidentified members of the Bosnian Army on the 8th or 9 September 1993.
Gornja Jošanica massacre[295] War crimes (56 civilians murdered) Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. No prosecutions. 56 Bosnian Serb civilians, including 21 women and three children, in the village of Gornja Jošanica. Victims were stabbed multiple times, had their throats slit, skulls and body parts crushed or mutilated.

1998–1999: Kosovo War

Armed conflict Perpetrator
Kosovo War Yugoslav army, Serbian police and paramilitary forces
Incidenttype of crimePersons responsibleNotes
Račak massacre[296] War crimes Serbian police, no prosecutions 45 Kosovo Albanians were killed in the village of Račak in central Kosovo. The government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia asserted that the casualties were all members of the Kosovo Liberation Army who had been killed in a clash with state security forces.
Izbica massacre[297] War crimes Serbian police and paramilitaries, no prosecutions. 120 Albanian civilians killed by Serbian forces in the village of Izbica, in the Drenica region of central Kosovo on 28 March 1999.
Suva Reka massacre War crimes Serbian police. Four former-policemen were convicted and received prison sentences ranging from 13 to 20 years. The massacre took place in Suva Reka, in central Kosovo on 26 March 1999. The victims were locked inside a pizzeria into which two hand grenades were thrown. Before taking the bodies out of the pizzeria, the police allegedly shot anyone still showing signs of life.
Ćuška massacre War crimes Yugoslav Army, Serbian police, paramilitary and Bosnian Serb volunteers, no prosecutions. Serbian forces summarily executed 41 Albanians in Ćuška on 14 May 1999, taking three groups of men into three different houses, where they were shot with automatic weapons and set on fire.
Massacre at Velika Kruša[298] War crimes Serbian special forces, no prosecutions. Massacre at Velika Kruša near Orahovac, Kosovo, took place during the Kosovo War on the afternoon of March 25, 1999, the day after the NATO air campaign began.
Podujevo massacre War crimes Serbian paramilitaries. Four convicted and sentenced to lengthy prison sentences. 19 Kosovo Albanian civilians, all women and children, were executed by Serbian paramilitary forces in March, 1999 in Podujevo, in eastern Kosovo.
Kosovo WarKosovo Liberation Army
Incidenttype of crimePersons responsibleNotes
Lapušnik prison camp[299] War crimes Kosovo Liberation Army; Haradin Bala sentenced to 13 years. Detention camp (also referred to as a prison and concentration camp) near the city of Glogovac in central Kosovo during the Kosovo War, in 1998. The camp was used by Kosovo Albanian insurgents to collect and confine hundreds of male prisoners of Serb and non-Albanian ethnicity.
Klečka killings War crime; (murder of 22 Serbian civilians) Kosovo Liberation Army, no prosecutions 22 Kosovo Serb civilians were killed by Albanian insurgents in the village of Klečka, and their remains were cremated in a lime kiln.[300]
Lake Radonjić massacre[301][302] War crime; (murder of 34 civilians) Kosovo Liberation Army, no prosecutions 34 Serbs, non-Albanians and moderate Kosovo Albanians were killed by members of the Kosovo Liberation Army near Lake Radonjić[303]
Staro Gračko massacre[304] War crime; (murder of 14 Serb civilians) Kosovo Liberation Army, no prosecutions 14 Kosovo Serb farmers were executed by Kosovo Liberation Army gunmen, who then disfigured their corpses with blunt instruments.

1990–2000: Liberia / Sierra Leone

From The Times March 28, 2006 p. 43:

"Charles Taylor, the former Liberian President who is one of Africas most wanted men, has gone into hiding in Nigeria to avoid extradition to a UN war crimes tribunal... The UN war crimes tribunal in Sierra Leone holds Mr Taylor responsible for about 250,000 deaths. Throughout the 1990s, his armies and supporters, made up of child soldiers orphaned by the conflict wreaked havoc through a swath of West Africa. In Sierra Leone he supported the Revolutionary United Front (R.U.F) whose rebel fighters were notorious for hacking off the limbs of civilians.
  • Current action – Indicted on 17 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity by the UN, which has issued an international warrant for his arrest. As of April 2006 located, extradited, and facing trial in Sierra Leone but then transferred to the Netherlands as requested by the Liberian government. As of the status of the main state actor in the war crimes in Liberia, Sierra Leone and the ongoing war crimes tribunal in the Hague for violating the UN sanctions, Libya's Muamar Gaddafi was elected to the post of President of the African Union. As of late January, 2011, Exxon/Mobile has resumed explorationary drilling in Libya after the exchange of the Lockerbie bombing terrorist was returned to Libya and Libya was taken off terrorist list by the Bush administration with the legal stipulation that Libya could never be prosecuted for past war crimes(regardless of guilt)in the future.

1990: Invasion of Kuwait

Armed conflict Perpetrator
1990:Invasion of Kuwait Iraq
IncidentType of crimePersons responsibleNotes
Invasion of Kuwait Crimes against peace (waging a war of aggression for territorial aggrandisement; "breach of international peace and security" (UN Security Council Resolution 660)) no prosecutions Did conspire to levy and did levy a war of aggression against Kuwait, a sovereign state, took it by force of arms, did occupy it, and did annex it, by right of conquest, a right utterly alien, hostile, and repugnant to all extant international law, being a grave breach of the Charter of the United Nations, and the customary international law, adhered to by all civilised nations and armed groups, thus constituting Crimes against peace.

1991–2000/2002: Algerian Civil War

During the Algerian Civil War of the 1990s, a variety of massacres occurred through the country, many being identified as war crimes. The Armed Islamic Group (GIA) has avowed its responsibility for many of them, while for others no group has claimed responsibility. In addition to generating a widespread sense of fear, these massacres and the ensuing flight of population have resulted in serious depopulation of the worst-affected areas. The massacres peaked in 1997 (with a smaller peak in 1994), and were particularly concentrated in the areas between Algiers and Oran, with very few occurring in the east or in the Sahara.

1994–1996/1999–2009: Russia-Chechnya Wars

During the First Chechen War (1994–1996) and Second Chechen War (1999–2000 battle phase, 2000–2009 insurgency phase) there were many allegations of war crimes and terrorism against both sides from various human rights organizations.

Armed conflict Perpetrator
First Chechen War, Second Chechen War Russian Federation
IncidentType of crimePersons responsibleNotes
1995 Shali cluster bomb attack War crimes, crimes against peace (attacks against parties not involved in the war), crimes against humanity no prosecutions Russian fighter jets dropped cluster munitions on the town of Shali. Targets included a school; cemetery, hospital, fuel station and a collective farm.
Samashki massacre War crimes, crimes against peace (attacks against parties not involved in the war), crimes against humanity no prosecutions The massacre of 100–300 civilians in the village of Samashki by Russian paramilitary troops.
Elistanzhi cluster bomb attack War crimes, crimes against peace (attacks against parties not involved in the war), crimes against humanity no prosecutions Two Russian Air Force Sukhoi Su-24 use cluster munitions on the remote mountain village of Elistanzhi. The local school is destroyed with 9 children inside.
Grozny ballistic missile attack War crimes, crimes against peace (attacks against parties not involved in the war), crimes against humanity no prosecutions Over a 100 Chechen civilians die in indiscriminate bombing on the Chechen capital of Grozny by the Strategic Missile Troops.
Siege of Grozny War crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity no prosecutions Thousands civilians die from bombings
Baku–Rostov highway bombing Crimes against humanity no prosecutions Low flying Russian Air Force helicopters perform repeated attack runs on a large numbers refugees trying to enter Ingushetia.
1999 Grozny refugee convoy shooting War crimes, crimes against humanity no prosecutions OMON officers use automatic rifles on a convoy of refugees at a federal roadblock on the road to Ingushetia.
Alkhan-Yurt massacre War crimes, crimes against humanity no prosecutions Over two weeks drunken Russian troops under the command of General Vladimir Shamanov went on the rampage after taking the town from the forces of Akhmed Zakayev.
Staropromyslovski massacre War crimes, crimes against humanity no prosecutions Summary executions of at least 38 confirmed civilians by Russian federal soldiers in Grozny, Chechnya.
Bombing of Katyr-Yurt War crimes, crimes against humanity no prosecutions Indiscriminate bombing by the Russian Air Force of the village of Katyr-Yurt and a refugee convoy under white flags.
Novye Aldi massacre War crimes, crimes against humanity no prosecutions The killings, including executions, of 60 to 82 local civilians by special police unit, OMON, and rapes of at least six women along with arson and robbery in Grozny, Chechnya.
Komsomolskoye massacre War crimes, crimes against humanity no prosecutions Chechen combantants who surrendered after the Battle of Komsomolskoye on the public promise of amnesty are killed and "disappeared" shortly after.

1998–2006: Second Congo War

  • Civil war 1998–2002, est. 5 million deaths; war "sucked in" Rwanda, Uganda, Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia, as well as 17,000 United Nations peacekeepers, its "largest and most costly" peace mission and "the bloodiest conflict since the end of the Second World War."
  • Fighting involves Mai-Mai militia and Congolese government soldiers. The Government originally armed the Mai-Mai as civil defence against external invaders, who then turned to banditry.
  • 100,000 refugees living in remote disease ridden areas to avoid both sides
  • Estimated 1000 deaths a day according to Oxfam:
"The army attacks the local population as it passes through, often raping and pillaging like the militias. Those who resist are branded Mai-mai supporters and face detention or death. The Mai-mai accuse the villagers of collaborating with the army, they return to the villages at night and extract revenge [sic]. Sometimes they march the villagers into the bush to work as human mules."[305]
  • In 2003, Sinafasi Makelo, a representative of Mbuti Pygmies, told the UN's Indigenous People's Forum that during the Congo Civil War, his people were hunted down and eaten as though they were game animals. Both sides of the war regarded them as "subhuman". Makelo asked the UN Security Council to recognise cannibalism as a crime against humanity and an act of genocide.[306][307]

2001-present: US Invasion of Afghanistan

Armed conflict Perpetrator
United States invasion of Afghanistan United States
IncidentType of crimePersons responsibleNotes
Bagram torture and prisoner abuse War crimes On October 14, 2004, the Criminal Investigation Command forwarded its report from its investigation to the commanders of 28 soldiers. As of November 15, 2005, 15 soldiers have been charged. Some interrogators involved in this incident were sent to Iraq and were assigned to Abu Ghraib prison. The torture and homicide of prisoners.

2003–2011: Iraq War

During the Iraq War

2006 Lebanon War

Allegations of war crimes in the 2006 Lebanon War refer to claims of various groups and individuals, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and United Nations officials, who accused both Hezbollah and Israel of violating international humanitarian law during the 2006 Lebanon War, and warned of possible war crimes.[317] These allegations included intentional attacks on civilian populations or infrastructure, disproportionate or indiscriminate attacks in densely populated residential districts.

According to various media reports, between 1,000 and 1,200 Lebanese citizens were reported dead; there were between 1,500 and 2,500 people wounded and over 1,000,000 were temporarily displaced. Over 150 Israelis were killed (120 military); thousands wounded; and 300,000–500,000 were displaced because of Hezbollah firing tens of thousands of rockets at major cities in Israel.[318][319][320]

2003–2009/2010: Darfur conflict; 2005–2010: Civil war in Chad

During the Darfur conflict, Civil war in Chad (2005–2010) The conflict in Darfur has been variously characterised as a genocide.

Sudanese authorities claim a death toll of roughly 19,500 civilians[321] while many non-governmental organizations, such as the Coalition for International Justice, claim over 400,000 people have been killed.[322]

In September 2004, the World Health Organization estimated there had been 50,000 deaths in Darfur since the beginning of the conflict, an 18-month period, mostly due to starvation. An updated estimate the following month put the number of deaths for the 6-month period from March to October 2004 due to starvation and disease at 70,000; These figures were criticised, because they only considered short periods and did not include deaths from violence.[323] A more recent British Parliamentary Report has estimated that over 300,000 people have died,[324] and others have estimated even more.

2008–2009 Gaza War

There were allegations of war crimes by both the Israeli military and Hamas. Criticism of Israel's conduct focused on the proportionality of its measures against Hamas, and on its alleged use of weaponised white phosphorus. Numerous reports from human right groups during the war claimed that white phosphorus shells were being used by Israel, often in or near populated areas.[325][326][327] In its early statements the Israeli military denied using any form of white phosphorus, saying "We categorically deny the use of white phosphorus". It eventually admitted to its limited use and stopped using the shells, including as a smoke screen. The Goldstone report investigating possible war crimes in the 2009 war accepted that white phosphorus is not illegal under international law but did find that the Israelis were "systematically reckless in determining its use in build-up areas". It also called for serious consideration to be given to the banning of its use as an obscurant.[328]

2009 Sri Lankan Civil War

There are allegations that war crimes were committed by the Sri Lankan military and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam during the Sri Lankan Civil War, particularly during the final months of the conflict in 2009. The alleged war crimes include attacks on civilians and civilian buildings by both sides; executions of combatants and prisoners by the government of Sri Lanka; enforced disappearances by the Sri Lankan military and paramilitary groups backed by them; acute shortages of food, medicine, and clean water for civilians trapped in the war zone; and child recruitment by the Tamil Tigers.[329][330] It is widely accused that the Secretary of Defense Gotabaya Rajapakse (brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa) ordered troops under his command to "Kill them All" when the troops on the grounds asked him for direction for handling the surrendering Tamil combatants.

A panel of experts appointed by UN Secretary-General (UNSG) Ban Ki-moon to advise him on the issue of accountability with regard to any alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law during the final stages of the civil war found "credible allegations" which, if proven, indicated that war crimes and crimes against humanity were committed by the Sri Lankan military and the Tamil Tigers.[331][332][333] The panel has called on the UNSG to conduct an independent international inquiry into the alleged violations of international law.[334][335] The Sri Lankan government has denied that its forces committed any war crimes and has strongly opposed any international investigation. It has condemned the UN report as "fundamentally flawed in many respects" and "based on patently biased material which is presented without any verification".[336]

2011–present: Syrian civil war

International organizations have accused the Syrian government, ISIL and other opposition forces of severe human rights violations, with many massacres occurring.[337][338][339][340][341] Chemical weapons have been used many times during the conflict as well.[342][343][344] The Syrian government is reportedly responsible for the majority of civilian casualties and war crimes, often through bombings.[337][339][345][346] In addition, tens of thousands of protesters and activists have been imprisoned and there are reports of torture in state prisons.[347][348][349][350] Over 470,000 people were killed in the war by 2017.[351]

Armed conflict Perpetrator
Syrian Civil War Syrian Government
IncidentType of crimePersons responsibleNotes
Civil uprising phase of the Syrian Civil War Violent suppression of peaceful protests Crimes against peace (armed suppression of popular uprising leading to war) no prosecutions
Use of mass detention and torture of Syrian civilians and political prisoners Crime of torture, war crimes no prosecutions Amnesty International estimated in February 2017 "that between 5,000 and 13,000 people were extrajudicially executed at Saydnaya Prison between September 2011 and December 2015."[352]
Houla massacre Crimes against humanity no prosecutions In August 2012, U.N. investigators released a report which stated that it was likely that Syrian troops and Shabiha militia were responsible for the massacre.[353]
Siege of Aleppo Crimes against humanity, mass murder, massacre, attacks against civilians, use of banned chemical and cluster weapons no prosecutions War crimes emerged during the battle, including the use of chemical weapons by both Syrian government forces and rebel forces,[354][355] the use barrel bombs by the Syrian Air Force,[356][357][358][359] the dropping of cluster munitions on populated areas by Russian and Syrian forces, the carrying out of "double tap" airstrikes to target rescue workers responding to previous strikes,[360] summary executions of civilians and captured soldiers by both sides,[361] indiscriminate shelling and use of highly inaccurate improvised artillery by rebel forces.[362][363] During the 2016 Syrian government offensive, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights warned that "crimes of historic proportions" were being committed in Aleppo.[364]
Ghouta chemical attack War crimes; use of poison gas as a weapon no prosecutions The Ghouta chemical attack occurred during the Syrian Civil War in the early hours of 21 August 2013. Several opposition-controlled areas in the suburbs around Damascus, Syria, were struck by rockets containing the chemical agent sarin. Estimates of the death toll range from at least 281 people to 1,729.
2015 Douma market massacre War crimes no prosecutions The Syrian Air Force launched strikes on the rebel-held town of Douma, northeast of Damascus, killing at least 96 civilians and injuring at least 200 others.
Atarib market massacre Crimes against humanity, attacks on civilians no prosecutions
2017 Khan Shaykhun chemical attack War crimes; use of poison gas as a weapon no prosecutions. President Trump ordered a launch of 59 missiles on the Shayrat Syrian military airbase that allegedly deployed the chemical weapons.[365] The Syrian Government ordered an attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Shaykhun in Northwestern Syria in the early morning of 4 April 2017. The chemical caused at least 80 civilians deaths, and three medical workers were injured. The chemical caused asphyxiation and mouth foaming. It is suspected by Turkish authorities to be the poison Sarin.
Siege of Eastern Ghouta War crimes; use of poison gas as a weapon; bombardments; starvation of population under siege; attacks against protected objects (schools, hospitals)[366] no prosecutions.
Armed conflict Perpetrator
Syrian Civil War Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant
IncidentType of crimePersons responsibleNotes
ISIL beheading incidents Murder of neutral civilians; journalists; and aid workers Crimes against peace (murder of uninvolved parties); war crimes no prosecutions
Chemical attacks on YPG War crimes; use of poison as a weapon no prosecutions
Genocide of Yazidis by ISIL Crimes against humanity (ethnic cleansing, systematic forced conversions, crime of slaving); War crimes (Murder of Yazidi POWs); Crime of Genocide (recognized by the UN as an attempted genocide) no prosecutions

See also


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