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STATE CRIMES

"…[There exists State condoned] organisational norms that reinforce the use of violence against certain types of individuals.  People who come from certain social classes or religious, ethnic, or racial groups are often selected and rationalisations are developed to support abuse against them"

Jeffrey Ian Ross

Besides the above crimes Ross alluded to, there are many other facets to State crime. State crime is a form of criminality that is far more encompassing and destructive than conventional 'street' crime as epitomised in burglary, assault, violence and 'mugging'. In spite of the greater devastation, however, there is much discrepancy between the various terminologies used to define State crime but, from the perspective of (In)Justice International, State crime represents 'crime committed on behalf of a State …while the term Governmental crime …can more naturally be applied to crimes committed within a Governmental context on any level, and not necessarily on behalf of the State' (Friedrichs, 1995).

In the main, though, State crimes involve cover-ups, corruption, disinformation, a lack of accountability and violations of domestic and/or international laws (Ross, 2000) and all can relate to passive collusion or active participation in terrorism within and without States, environmental pollution/destruction, discriminatory practices, misdirection of governmental revenue and domestic impoverishment. Indeed, a unique, protective position which is held by the State pertains to it being both ‘a crime-regulating and crime-generating institution’ (Barak, 1993) whereby the State can modify and adapt legislation so that those acting on its behalf are not technically breaking the law.  When all is said and done, the State is able to avert prosecution simply because the State is responsible for the definition of what constitutes a crime and what does not.

 

Because of this protected position, it becomes difficult to prosecute many iniquitous acts committed by States.  The unspeakable atrocities inflicted upon the Rohingya people and the civilian population of Syria, for instance, have not been effectively prosecuted and prevented.  Neither has the unspeakable treatment of refugees now seeking asylum in Bangladesh, Africa and Europe during the initial threats to their lives/livelihoods where they were habitually resident and their subsequent flight from persecution (to read more click here).

 

Nevertheless, by taking a more longitudinal, geographic social harm approach (click for more details), the immorality of State action can be exposed by (In)Justice International in the first step towards condemnation and prosecution.  Certainly, the social harm approach would conclusively prove that the government backed neoliberalism of the States in the Western (Minority) World are profoundly guilty of condoning the poverty inflicted upon the majority of people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). 

 

In particular, the abundance of the much demanded mineral of cobalt (integral to mobile phone technology, batteries and electric cars) should have made the DRC one of the richest countries in Africa.  That said, the provision of cobalt pampers to the neoliberal consumerism and profiteering of the West. Partly because of that, the majority of the population are exploited and placed in poverty as DRC State officials misdirect the revenues from mining (click here for video). Thus the demand for Coltan, and the desire for big business to dominate the laissez-faire 'market', can be deemed to be a major factor in why neoliberal States have passively accepted this impoverishment rather than proffering a vigorous condemnation of these criminal acts in the DRC.

 

All-in-all, the aim of (In)Justice International is to take a critically holistic approach to condemn and publicise the devastating consequences of most, if not all, these obfuscated State atrocities occurring across the globe so that a more inclusive, equitable world can be created.