Tuesday 14 March 2023

KRG Representation hosts commemoration of Halabja genocide 35 years after chemical weapons attack

Washington DC, USA (us.gov.krd) – The KRG Representation in the United States hosted a webinar on the Halabja genocide on March 14, 2023, to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the genocide and discuss the latest developments in the pursuit of justice and accountability.

The webinar was moderated by Representative Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman and featured a panel of experts and officials:

  • Zmnako Ahmad, Halabja genocide survivor
  • Abdullah M. Mohammad, KRG Minister of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs
  • Chris Van Hollen, U.S. Senator from Maryland
  • Jennifer Gavito, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iran, Iraq, and Public Diplomacy
  • Gavriel Mairone, international human rights lawyer
  • Michael Newton, law professor at Vanderbilt University

‘The Halabja genocide was a horrific crime,’ said Ms. Abdul Rahman. ‘We must never forget the victims of this genocide, and we must continue to fight for justice and accountability, even if it takes decades to achieve.’

The Halabja genocide was a chemical weapons attack by the Iraqi government on March 16, 1988. The attack killed an estimated 5,000 people and injured at least 10,000 more. It was the largest chemical weapons attack against a civilian-populated area in history.

The KRG Representation has hosted a commemoration and panel discussion every year on the anniversary of the attack, symbolizing all the genocides that have taken place against the people of Kurdistan. Survivors of the Halabja massacre, American members of Congress, State Department officials and experts on international law or genocide have always been featured in order to bear witness to this crime and to advocate for justice. This year, the theme of the event focused on justice 20 years after the liberation of Iraq.