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The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in December 1948. Article II of the Convention defines genocide as the commission of certain acts with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group. The drafters of the Convention seriously considered the possibility of making it applicable to actions against political groups as well; in fact, a reference to such groups was included in Article II throughout most of the drafting stage. However, the word "political" was deleted from the article near the close of debate on the Convention as a whole, and as a result its protection does not extend to political groups.

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