Justice4genocide calls on the UK Parliament to follow in Sweden’s footsteps and recognise atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein against Iraqi Kurds, as genocide.
Showing its commitment to safeguarding human rights, recognition by the Swedish Parliament was established following a vote on the subject organised by the Swedish Foreign Policy Committee.
The proposal won unanimous support from the eight political parties in the Parliament.
Delighted at the success, speaking to a Kurdish news website, Green Party MP, Jabbar Amin called the decision an “important beginning towards the recognition of Anfal in the world and in Europe”.
An estimated 180,000 Kurdish people were killed between 1987 and 1988 alone, during Saddam Hussein's genocidal campaign, Anfal. The true scale of the killing from the 1960s to 1990 is not yet known.
It was only when Saddam Hussein was captured in 2003 that the first of hundreds of mass graves were discovered. Nine years later, forensic teams are still excavating the mass graves and identifying the bodies so they can at last be returned home to loved ones for burial.
The trial of Dutch businessman Frans van Anraat in 2005 at the District Court of The Hague is so far the only trial which brought some justice to the victims of the Kurdish genocide by holding the perpetrators to account. Van Anraat was convicted of directly supplying chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein, which he used against the Kurds in the 1980s. Some of the chemicals were used in the 1988 bombing of Halabja, which killed 5,000 and injured thousands of civilians in one day. The attack on the Kurdish town was part of Saddam Hussein’s wider campaign against the Kurds and was one of his worst atrocities.
In 2007, the Iraqi High Tribunal found Sultan Hashim Ahmad, Hussein Rashid al-Tikriti, and Ali Hassan al-Majid (known as Chemical Ali) guilty of genocide.
The Swedish Parliament’s decision comes weeks after the Norwegian government said it recognised the judgement of the Iraqi High Court that the Anfal campaign and the chemical attack on Halabja were genocide.
Justice4Genocide is asking the public to sign a petition urging the British Government to recognise the genocide. It believes that recognition of the atrocities as genocide will not only help achieve justice for the survivors and victims in Iraqi Kurdistan, but send out a message against genocide wherever it is committed.
Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, Kurdistan Regional Government High Representative to the UK, said:
“Britain needs to follow its Scandinavian counterparts in condemning the human rights violations that took place under Saddam Hussein’s regime as genocide. Kurdish families continue to suffer the effects of the chemical attacks and mourn the loss of loved ones who disappeared or suffered horrifically before being killed. The companies that sold these weapons are still operating and need to be brought to justice.”