The continuing legacy of the genocide against the Kurds in Iraq is still a live issue, writes Gary Kent, administrator of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Kurdistan Region.
Most British people were sickened and shocked by the revelations about how nearly 100 fans died at the Hillsborough Football Ground in 1989. We rightly applauded those who have campaigned for the truth to be told about this, however long it has taken them.
I am making this comparison in order to emphasise how important it is for the Iraqi Kurds that the UK and the wider international community recognises other events that finished 25 years ago: the genocide against the Iraqi Kurds which began in 1963 and culminated in the use of weapons of mass destruction, most notoriously at Halabja in 1988.
Some say it is better to move on. My response is that the Kurds are not wallowing in self-pity but that the continuing legacy of the genocide is still a live issue. Many people lost family members and many do not know for certain if they are dead or alive. Agriculture remains a major untapped resource and people who were moved to the cities have lost their farming skills. Above all, it is morally correct that this genocide be added to the roll call of barbarism.
Yet so few know about the events. The force of this came to me at a recent gathering of young political researchers. An old hand said that most people in the room would not have even heard of Halabja. I checked and they hadn't.
Significantly, one said that he hadn't heard of Halabja but had heard of Fallujah, which for him was a symbol of gross American mistakes in the aftermath of ousting the dictator.
Fallujah cannot be ignored but the near absence of memories, especially for people under the age of, say, 40 hinders the campaign to break the silence on the genocide against the Kurds.
Most people are fair-minded. They can see that knowing the truth about the Hillsborough football disaster is healing a terrible wound. How much more so it would be for the people of Iraqi Kurdistan.
An e-petition calling for the Government to recognise the genocide against Kurdish people in Iraq now has over 26,000 signatures. Show your support.