The Genocide of Hazaras

14 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2022 Last revised: 12 Feb 2023

See all articles by Mehdi J. Hakimi

Mehdi J. Hakimi

Harvard University - Harvard Law School; Stanford Law School

Date Written: October 30, 2022


Distinguishable by their Asiatic appearance, distinct Farsi dialect, and mainly Shi’a faith, Hazaras form one of the major ethnic groups in the predominantly Sunni Muslim country of Afghanistan. Hazaras have endured numerous mass atrocities throughout Afghanistan’s history. Emboldened by a longstanding culture of impunity, perpetrators have escalated assaults on this community in recent years. This Article argues that the recent and ongoing attacks on Hazaras constitute genocide pursuant to Article II of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Hazaras are members of a protected group within the meaning of the Genocide Convention by belonging to a particular ethnic or religious group. Moreover, the available information provides a reasonable basis to believe that the assaults against Hazaras meet the actus reus and mens rea elements of the crime of genocide. The international community has a legal obligation to recognize the genocide of Hazaras and take meaningful actions to end the relentless violence against this group.

Keywords: International Law, International Humanitarian Law, International Criminal Law, Genocide Convention, Rome Statute, International Criminal Court, ICC, Hazara, Afghanistan, Genocide

Suggested Citation

Hakimi, Mehdi J., The Genocide of Hazaras (October 30, 2022). Virginia Journal of International Law Online, Vol. 63 (2023), Available at SSRN: or

Mehdi J. Hakimi (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Law School

1563 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Stanford Law School

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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