Kurdistan Alliance and IHD call for the Halabja massacre to be recognized as a genocide

The Kurdistan Alliance and the Human Rights Association (IHD) demanded that the Halabja massacre be recognized as a "genocide".

Today marks the 35th anniversary of the chemical attack on the Kurdish town of Halabja in South Kurdistan. Saddam Hussein was the first leader in modern times to brutally use chemical weapons against the Kurdish people. Between 1987 and 1988, he had chemical attacks directed towards 40 Kurdish villages and tested his weapons on thousands of innocent civilians. The worst of these attacks destroyed the town of Halabja in March 1988. 5000 civilians, among them many women, children and elderly, died within hours of the attack. More than 10.000 people were blinded or injured in other ways that destroyed their lives. Thousands of people lost their lives in epidemics or from birth injuries in the following years. Thousands more were forced to leave their homes. Up to 5,000 people perished that day. Thousands more were injured, most of them civilians. 

In a statement on Thursday, the Kurdistan Alliance commemorated victims of the Halabja Massacre, saying: “As we commemorate the Halabja genocide, our people have faced a new major disaster with the devastating Maraş-centered earthquakes on February 6, 2023. The death toll and the number of the injured are higher than the official figures after the earthquakes that struck cities of Kurdistan from Diyarbakir to Afrin-Jindires. We offer condolences to the families of the victims and wish a quick recovery to the injured. We call on our people and civil institutions to continue solidarity with our people in the earthquake zone.

Criticizing the international silence towards the "Hiroshima of the Middle East", the statement continued: “On that historic day, there was no reaction in the eastern world. Because they were Saddam's allies. In the western world, reactions remained very weak. Not only the USSR and China, but also the USA and the EU preferred to remain silent in the face of the Halabja genocide. Furthermore, while the Saddam regime was still carrying out the Anfal Genocide, no reaction was expressed to condemn the genocide at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit held in Kuwait on January 26-29, 1987. In fact, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which convened only three days after the Halabja massacre, remained silent on the massacre. The world remained silent in the face of the Hiroshima of the Middle East. In other words, our people were completely alone in the world when they were subjected to that genocide!

We see how the colonialists are making repeated attempts to eradicate the current political status of the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Autonomous Rojava, as well as to restrict their spheres of influence and authority. Turkey did not stop its attacks on Rojava even on the first days of the most devastating earthquakes in its history. Our people still face oppression, deportation and the threat of genocide in four parts of Kurdistan.

As the Kurdistan Alliance, we call on Kurdish politicians and our people, in particular the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Autonomous Administration of Rojava, to act in solidarity and unity against this threat. We call on the democratic forces of the world and world public opinion to continue their solidarity with our people during this critical period. Down with the policies of colonialism and genocide!”


The Human Rights Association (IHD) also demanded that Halabja be recognized as a "genocide".

The IHD stated that it had decided to recognize March 16 as the “Kurdish Genocide Day” and demanded the Republic of Turkey to recognize it as a genocide.

The IHD statement on Thursday said: “The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court defines the crime of genocide as murder, bodily or mental harm committed with the aim of destroying a national, ethnic, racial or religious group in whole or in part. The UN Rome Statute states that a deliberate changing of living conditions in an attempt to destroy physical existence, forced migrations, measures to prevent births within the group and forced transfer of children to another group are considered as genocide. The crimes perpetrated by Saddam Hussein's regime, especially Anfal, are crimes of genocide. Therefore, these massacres should be recognized as genocide. On March 1, 2010, the Iraqi High Criminal Court recognized the Halabja massacre as a genocide. Recognition of genocide will be a deterrent to prevent similar crimes in the future. In addition, sharing the pain of the relatives of genocide victims will help them cope with the mourning process.”