crime against humanity

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NounEdit

crime against humanity ‎(plural crimes against humanity)

  1. (now chiefly law) A very destructive and immoral act; later specifically, something causing widespread human misery or loss of life; an atrocity. [from 17th c.]
    • 1629, Richard Baxter, Christian Directory, IV.25:
      Be faithful to your friend that doth entrust you; remembring that perfidiousness or falseness to a friend, is a crime against humanity, and all society.
    • 1929, Siegfried Sassoon, Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man:
      Courage remained a virtue. And that exploitation of courage, if I may be allowed to say a thing so obvious, was the essential tragedy of the War, which, as everyone now agrees, was a crime against humanity.
    • 2015, The Guardian, 27 October:
      A Spanish judge has charged five suspected former leaders of the armed Basque separatist movement ETA with crimes against humanity for attacks carried out by the group after 2004 which killed 12 people.

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