Languages: Kurdî ‏سۆرانی‎

Remembering the Halapja genocide and the use of chemical weapons against Kurds in Iraq

THE CHEMICAL ATTACK AGAINST THE KURDISH NATION: A GENOCIDAL ACT

This spring is the 23rd year ago, when Halabja has been attacked with chemical weapons from the former Ba’athi regime on the 16th of March 1988 in Iraq. Due to this chemical attack, the life of 5 000 innocent Kurds has taken away and more than 100 000 people were injured, which some of these are still suffering from the side effect of the mentioned brutal attack. Also, the new born children after the chemical attack have been suffered enormously from its consequences. However, this inhumane act has not taken seriously by the international public opinion and attempts are failed to prevent such cruel acts in the world after Halabja.

In this respect, the Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal (KRG), Kurdistan National Congress (KNK), the active work and attempts from ‘CHAK’ foundation should be noted, which has supported dozens of Halabja cases and brought them to the attention of the Iraqi High Criminal Court, and other organizations and personalities in order to consider the chemical attack as genocide. Also, the day of 16th of March needs to be recognized as a day to combat chemical weapons and both emotional and material compensation to be provided to the victims of this cruel attack. There is no doubt that activities have been fruitful in Halabja case, such as the Dutch court’s decision to convict the Dutch trade dealer (Frans van Anraat) for 15 years for involvement in providing the chemical material to the former regime in Iraq. In addition, the hard work of the activists should be recognized that have led the Iraqi High Criminal Court in convicting the former regime’s high officials, who were involved in mass murder and cruelty against humanity. Although these attempts are highly appreciate, nevertheless, it does not meet the Kurdish nation’s request in obtaining international recognition of all painful cruelty that have been committed against our nation. Also, our role is to work hard for such recognition through disseminating information and participating in conferences in one hand to raise international awareness on cruelty that occurred in past against us, while on the other hand to hand in hand with other nation in combating crimes against humanity.

Kurdistan National Congress – KNK
GUE/NGL Group in the European Parliament

In cooperation with
European Parliament – Kurds Friendship Group, Kurdocide watch – CHAK, Kurdish Institute of Brussels,
The Confederation of Kurdish Association in Europe-KONKURD

The Halabja Genocide and the Anfal campaigns

REMEMBERING THE HALABJA GENOCIDE AND THE USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS AGAINST KURDS IN IRAQ

Wednesday 16th of March, 2011
Room ASP 3G2, 15h00 – 18h30

European Parliament – Rue Wiertz 60 – 1047 Brussels
(interpretation in Arabic, Turkish, English, also from French and German)

PROGRAMME

15.00 – 16.00 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND and POLITICAL SITUATION IN THE REGION

Moderators:
–    Dr. Faeq Mohammed AHMED, Member of  KNK, Kurdistan-Iraq
–    MEP Jürgen KLUTE, GUE/NGL Group, Germany

Speakers:
–    Mr. Prof. Dr. Jebar GHAFOR, Prof. of History, Iraq-Kurdistan
–    Ms. Sabahat TUNCEL, MP Turkey, BDP Party

16.00 – 18.00 THE HALABJA GENOCIDE

Moderators:
–    Mr. Refik GEFUR, member of KNK, Norway
–    Mr. Jan BEGHIN, Chair of the Belgian inter-parliamentary working group on Kurds, former vice-president of the Brussels’ Parliament

Film on Halabja 10 minutes

Speakers:
Victims & Witness of Halabja Genocide
–    Mr. Fakhralddin Saleem H.YOUSIF, Halabja Victims Committee

The role of the international community in the recognition of the Halabja Genocide
–    Ms. Shlair RASHID, former MP, Kurdistan Regional Government
–    Mr. Jan van AKEN, MP Die Linke, German Parliament

Political significance of the Halabja Genocide
–    Mr. Raouf  Faraj MOHAMMED, former MP, Member of Kurdistan Parliamentarian Union KPU
–    Mr. Fadhil Muhammed QAER, MP, Kurdistan Regional Parliament

EU-IRAQ relation and the international responsibility against genocides
–    MEP Frieda BREPOELS, MEP Greens-EFA
–    Prof. Philip SPENCER, Director of the Helen Bamber Centre for the Study of Rights, Conflict and Mass Violence

18.00 -18.30 Adoption of a Final Declaration

FINAL DECLARATION

We, the speakers and participants of the conference on the 8th of March 2012 on REMEMBERING THE HALABJA GENOCIDE AND THE USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS AGAINST KURDS have decided on the following as our final declaration:

Our conference was held on International Women’s Day (8th of March). All participants celebrated International Women’s day and showed solidarity with the oppressed women and oppressed people of the world by expressing sympathy with the struggle for democracy and human rights across the globe.

The participants of our conference – which consisted of human rights activists, politicians, victims of the Halabja and Roboski massacres and academics from Turkey, Kurdistan and Europe – discussed the genocide policies applied throughout history and presently to the Kurdish people as seen in the massacres of Roboski and Kazan Valley.

Our conference recognized that the most well known of the genocides against the Kurdish people was the genocide carried out by Saddam’s regime in Halabja in 1988. However, it was also said that the Kurds are currently facing policies of genocide on a daily basis.

Our conference has determined that the genocides suffered by the Kurdish people have derived from the denial and annihilation policies of the sovereign states under which the Kurds are living.

Our conference has inferred that these genocides have at times been carried out with the direct or indirect support of European states by overriding their own democratic values; therefore, the approach of EU states and international organizations to the Kurdish question has been condemned. It has been called upon the EU states and international organizations to cease helping these states on grounds of historical and democratic norms.

Our conference is calling on international organizations to officially recognize the Halabja massacre as genocide and move to ensure that the undertakers of the Roboski massacre will be held responsible and brought to account for their actions.

Our demands to the EU, international organizations and Iraqi authorities regarding Halabja:

a.We call upon the EU and UN to formally recognize these crimes as genocide.

b.To be against any policy that may lead to a repeat of such crimes against the Kurdish nation or any other nation.

c.We call upon the Iraqi government to materially compensate the victims and the Kurdish nation. At the same time the Iraqi government should ensure a minute silence for the remembrance of the Halabja Genocide every year on the 16th of March.

d.European Parliament needs to work on requesting the Iraqi government to provide an official apology to the Kurdish nation and undertake steps for such action.

e.The EU governments need to cooperate with the Iraqi government and the KRG – who have already officially accepted Halabja as genocide – for international recognition of crimes against Kurds as genocide and through various policies to support the Kurdish identity in the neighboring countries where Kurds live.

f.We call upon the European Parliament to work for recognizing the 16th of March as an international day against chemical weapons and mass destruction

Our demands to the EU and international organizations regarding Roboski:

On the 28th of December 2011 between the hours of 21:30-22:30 Turkish Fighter Jets bombed a group of civilians in the village of Roboski, Sirnak, who were on their way back having earlier crossed the border into Iraq. As a result of this bombardment a total of 35 civilians of which 17 were children tragically lost their lives, 1 person was injured and 2 people escaped with no injuries. Although the massacre occurred 71 days ago the fact that the details of the massacre have not been fully disclosed shows that the state have played a part in this massacre.

At this present time we are no longer discussing the reality of the massacre, but rather, by who and why this massacre was carried out?

As a result of this attack 35 people’s right to life was taken from them. This, without a doubt, carries this message: if you do not accept the denial and annihilation policies of the Turkish state you will be annihilated.

We demand that the Turkish state finds the people responsible for this massacre and demand that international organizations investigate the incident and make sure the people responsible are brought to justice.

In accordance:

1- We demand that this attack is acknowledged as an extrajudicial killing and due to the numbers killed should be accepted as a mass killing.

2- That this is a continuation of the extrajudicial killings carried out under the name of “struggle against Terror”.

3- That the insistence of force in the solution of the Kurdish question forms the basis of such dark acts of violence, and so the UN and EU should pressurize Turkey to adopt a more peaceful and democratic approach for the solution of the Kurdish question.

4- For national and international civil society organizations to show awareness by investigating further.

5- Finally, we call upon the human rights committees of the UN, EC and EU to send delegations to the region for full investigation