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NADHIM ZAHAWI MP FOR STRATFORD-ON-AVON

“Genocide is the worst crime that can be committed by humanity, and it befell Iraqi Kurds. It is our duty as a civilised society to remember and honour the victims. It’s important that our parliament in the UK leads the way in the European Union and the United Nations to recognise the genocide against the Kurds.”

 

(March 2012)

DR BRIAN BRIVATI, GENOCIDE EXPERT

"Formal recognition by the UK government and the wider international community of the crime of genocide committed against the Kurdish people by the government of Saddam Hussein is long overdue and vitally important. It is important in terms of justice for the victims, it is important in terms of compensation for the survivors but it is a required requisite for judgement of history to be clear and it is an essential element of achieving reconciliation and unity in Iraq. The international community and the UK government have an important role to play in bringing justice, articulating a judgement and enhancing reconciliation. This e-petition is a significant step forward and should be supported by all in the UK human rights world."

 

(March 2012)

ROBERT HALFON, MP AND VICE-CHAIR ALL-PARTY PARLIAMENTARY GROUP ON THE KURDISTAN REGION IN IRAQ

The facts are these: if you define genocide as scientifically planned mass murder with various stages of development - notably, marginalisation, demonisation, and eradication, - then the Kurds suffered genocide.

Whilst the Kurds are a people that learns from the past rather than lives in it, they have waited too long for justice. The state of Iraq has now officially recognised the Iraqi genocide: it is the duty of the rest of the world to do the same, to ensure all the perpetrators are brought to the International Court and help with a programme of education and remembrance, so that the true story of Saddam’s butchery can never be forgotten by future generations.

 

(June 2012)

MS BAYAN SAMI ABDUL RAHMAN,
KRG HIGH REPRESENTATIVE TO THE UK

"The chemical attack on Halabja, which has come to symbolise the entire genocide, was one savage act among many in the genocide against the Kurds which included the targeting of Faylees, the arabisation of Kirkuk, the disappearance of the Barzanis and the Anfal campaign. I urge every British citizen or resident to sign this petition and to encourage their friend to do the same. If we get a debate in parliament and then recognition of the genocide by the British government, your signatures will have made history. It's the least we can do for those who died. By signing this petition, the people of Britain will be giving their support to the men, women and children who were killed while the world remained silent. That silence can end now."

 

(June 2012)

KRG FOREIGN MINISTER FALAH MUSTAFA BAKIR

“For us, the genocide is not history, it's a living memory that is present with every Kurd today. There are survivors with health problems from the use of chemical weapons, victims with psychological problems after the trauma of what they witnessed, after losing loved ones in the most barbaric ways. There are large numbers of widows and orphans. For them, recognition of the genocide is a crucial acknowledgement of what they suffered and continue to suffer. Most importantly, recognition will help prevent such atrocities against the Kurds from ever happening again.”

 

(June 2012)

MAYOR OF HALABJA, GORAN ADHAM RAHIM

On 16 of March 1988, a heinous crime was committed against the people of Halabja and humanity, a crime that led to the deaths of more than 5000 people and injured more than 10,000. About 70,000 people were displaced and forced to take refuge where they could. The people of Halabja are still suffering from the wounds of this crime. We hope and ask for your support and the support of all our friends around the world in recognising the crime of genocide against our people.

We welcome your petition and are ready to support your efforts.

 

(March 2012)

HALABJA CHEMICAL VICTIMS SOCIETY

Almost 24 years ago, the people of Halabja were subjected to a barbaric crime when the  dictator Saddam Hussein’s aircraft bombed the city with chemical gas which led the martyrdom of more than 5,000 people and injured more than 10,000 -- 68 per cent of them were children and women. As a result, the city was destroyed and its inhabitants and those of nearby villages were displaced.

 

To this day, the citizens of Halabja suffer from the psychological and physical effects of this crime, and many of them suffer from long-term diseases that lead to their death over time.

Fortunately, the Iraqi courts, The Iraqi presidency and the parliament have recognised this crime as genocide; therefore we need to work on the recognition of the Kurdish genocide at the international level as soon as possible. 

 

We ask the British Government to bear the responsibility of humanity, to condemn this crime and the perpetrators, to prevent this crime from happening again and to recognize the bombardment of Halabja as genocide.

 

We also ask the European Parliaments and all the centres of decision-making in the world to work on the recognition of the Kurdish genocide in order to protect the lives of citizens, to respect human values ​​and to convict the perpetrators.

 

We in the Halabja Chemical Victims Society thank  all the governments, organisations and international figures who sympathise with our people in order to obtain our legitimate rights and ask them to continue this support.

 

We appreciate and value your meeting in the British Parliament today and ask for your continuing support. We hope that if we will all cooperate and work together to obtain the recognition of the Kurdish genocide at the international level soon.

 

(March 2012)

RICHARD BEESTON, THE TIMES FOREIGN EDITOR

Richard Beeston, Foreign Editor of The Times, who was one of the first journalists to arrive in Halabja just after the bombings took place.

“The Iran-Iraq war may have ended 25 years ago, but for those of us who covered it, the memories remain fresh. Missiles rained down on Tehran. Iranian teenagers, often armed with a single grenade, were sent to their deaths in waves of attacks across the marshes of southern Iraq. But it is the use of chemical weapons against the Kurds of northern Iraq in the closing months of the war that became the most notorious.

The Kurds are right to demand that the campaign to exterminate them should be recognised as genocide. They rightly fear that unless the horrors of the past are recognised they could happen again."

 

(May 2012)

ANN CLWYD MP FOR CYNON VALLEY

Ann Clwyd MP, a long time friend of Kurdistan, spoke of the efforts she and others had made over the past two decades to indict leading figures in Saddam Hussein's regime and to help the victims of Halabja and the Anfal campaign. She spoke of visiting the mass graves in Iraq.

 

"There is nothing more awful than standing on the edge of a mass grave to watch the bodies being dug up and their families looking on, identifying them, saying this is my husband, this is my son."

 

(March 2012)

MEG MUNN MP FOR SHEFFIELD HEELEY

“The true horror of the genocide of the Kurds is little known and understood. Just as we recognise and commemorate the Holocaust in Europe over sixty years ago we must recognise the mass killing of Kurdish people. Commemorating what happened helps us to understand the situation of Kurdish people today and is one step we can take to try and stop it happening again.”

 

(March 2012)

PAUL BLOMFIELD MP FOR SHEFFIELD CENTRAL

“There are many Kurdish people from Iraq living in Sheffield, with whom I have met, and I welcome this opportunity to offer my support to recognising the wrongs committed the Kurdish people. I know that many Kurds have endured terrible ordeals in Iraq and now is the time to build a brighter future by dealing with the issues of the past.”

 

(March 2012)

IAM MEARNS MP FOR GATESHEAD

“I recently had the privilege of visiting the Kurdistan Parliament in Erbil and talking to MPs. I know from them and my own local contacts how big the genocide was and is to the Kurds of Iraq. I support the campaign for it to be recognised as a genocide by the UK and internationally.”

 

(March 2012)

MICHAEL GAPES MP FOR ILFORD SOUTH

“We must never forget the crimes committed by the Baathist Fascist regime of Saddam including the Anfal against the Kurds of Iraq.“

 

(March 2012)

 

FABIAN HAMILTON MP FOR LEEDS NORTH EAST

“There is no doubt that the Kurdish people have suffered from systematic genocide over many decades. The evidence is clear for anyone to see, especially in Northern Iraq. Next year is the 25th anniversary of the horror of Halabja, where Saddam bombed the innocent people of that town with poison gas, killing 5,000 and injuring many more. The mass graves are still contaminated with the poison, posing huge risks for those trying to retrieve the remains of those murdered. It is a tragedy that any people on this earth are still subjected to torture and murder on the grounds of their ethnic and cultural background. At the end of January each year in the UK we remember the Holocaust against the Jewish people and at the same time remind ourselves that, sadly, genocide still continues. The Kurdish people must be allowed their autonomy and freedom from genocide so that, like most peoples in the world, they may live in peace and security wherever they are.”

 

(March 2012)

GREG MULHOLLAND MP FOR LEEDS NORTH WEST

“The Kurds of Iraq have been the victims of a systematic effort to eliminate them as a people. I am glad to say that the British did much to help them survive. It is only right then that the UK takes the lead in formally recognising the Genocide and urging its partners to do the same. “

 

(March 2012)