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March 16, 2017 – Commemoration of the Halabja and Al-Anfal Campaign

It is with a deep sense of reverence that I commemorate with you the 29th Anniversary of the Halabja Genocide and the Al-Anfal Campaign.

On this solemn occasion, we pay homage to the victims and express solidarity with the survivors and their descendants.

As we reflect, we must re-commit to fervently work to ensure that such unspeakable acts are never repeated.

On March 16, 2010, the twenty-second Anniversary of the Gas Attack on Halabja, Members of Parliament adopted my Motion to condemn the poisonous gas attack in Halabja, the destruction of Iraqi Kurdish villages and the systematic persecution of Kurds in Iraq by Saddam Hussein as crimes against humanity.

Motion M-505 reads as follows:

That this House acknowledge the actions of Saddam Hussein against the Kurdish people in Iraq including the poison gas attack against Halabja on March 16, 1988, the destruction of Iraqi Kurdish villages and the systematic persecution of Kurds in Iraq and condemn these acts as crimes against humanity.

In 2009, I visited Kurdistan, Iraq and the Monument of Halabja Martyrs. I told the survivors I would ask the House of Commons to declare the actions of the Saddam Hussein government against the Kurdish people to be a crime against humanity. Thanks to all Members of Parliament, I was able to keep my promise.

The Al-Anfal Campaign occurred between 1986 and 1989. Thousands of men, women and children were executed during the systematic extermination of the Kurdish population in Iraq. The Campaign included the use of ground offensives and systematic destruction of settlements

This is a day we solemnly acknowledge as we work toward a better future for all mankind.

 

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