Raji Sourani

Persecution is one of the crimes against humanity under international criminal law. As defined by the Statute of the International Criminal Court, it is “the intentional and severe deprivation of fundamental rights contrary to international law by reason of the identity of the group or collectivity” (Art. 7(2)(g) Statute). As with every crime against humanity, persecution is committed in the context of an attack on a civilian population, and must have widespread or systematic character. In other words, there must be a policy element behind the group’s deprivation of fundamental rights.