The human body
Victim, witness and evidence of mass violence
in Human remains and mass violence

This chapter demonstrates that the destruction of the human body is the proof of the perpetration of mass violence. The human body and the fate inflicted on it are absent from the definition of the crime of persecution, which directly concerns the treatment of the body before death, the victimized individual being expelled from both the social and the living spheres. The definition of a crime against humanity protects 'any civilian population', while that of genocide refers to the victim 'group'. The contemporary definition of crimes against humanity, as enshrined in the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court mentions neither human dignity nor the human body as such. If 'physical integrity' and 'body' reflect the reality, the legal norm does not go much further in the perception of the human body, thus neglecting both the significance of the body in the criminal modus operandi and its evidentiary value.

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Human remains and mass violence

Methodological approaches

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