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14 December 2012
The Swedish Parliament has recognized that the atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein against the Iraqi Kurds constituted genocide, demonstrating the country’s commitment to safeguarding human rights. The Justice4genocide campaign in the UK is urging Britain to do the same.
Swedish recognition is the first step towards justice for the hundreds of thousands of Kurdish people who were brutally murdered by Saddam Hussein and previous regimes in Iraq. Swedish recognition was established following a vote organized by the Swedish Foreign Policy Committee on the subject. The proposal to recognize the genocide won unanimous support from the eight political parties which form the Parliament. In response to this success, speaking to a Kurdish news website, Jabbar Amin, a Kurdish MP from the Swedish Green Party, said “This will be an important beginning towards the recognition of Anfal in the world and in Europe.”
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.
During Saddam Hussein’s Anfal campaign an estimated 180,000 Kurdish men, women and children were murdered in a systematic attempt to exterminate the Kurdish population in Iraq. Only after Saddam Hussein was captured in 2003, were the first of hundreds of mass graves discovered, and the true scale of the horror revealed. 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 Justice4Genocide campaign calls on Britain to recognize this targeted act of mass murder as genocide. Today, Justice4Genocide asks the public to sign the petition urging the British Government to recognize the genocide. Recognition will not only help achieve justice for the survivors and victims in Iraqi Kurdistan, it also sends out a message against genocide wherever it is committed.
Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, Kurdistan Regional Government High Representative to the UK, said, “The Swedish Parliament’s recognition follows the Norwegian Government which has also recognized the atrocities against the Kurdish people in Iraq. It is now time for the British Government to do the same and to urge the UN and EU to follow suit. Britain needs to follow its Scandinavian counterparts in condemning the human rights violations that took place under Saddam Hussein’s regime. Kurdish families continue to suffer the effects of the chemical attacks and mourn the loss of 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.”Ms Rahman added, “The people of Britain are compassionate and by signing this petition, British citizens will be giving their support to the Kurdish men, women and children who were killed in Saddam Hussein’s genocide. Please sign the petition today and help us achieve justice for the Iraqi Kurds.”