House of Commons
32nd anniversary of the chemical weapons attack on Halabja
EDM #295
Tabled 13 March 2020
2019-21 Session
That this House marks the 32nd anniversary of one of the worst incidents of mass murder by chemical weapons when the town of Halabja in the Kurdistan Region in Iraq was attacked by Saddam Hussein’s war planes on 16 March 1988; notes that the use of chemical weapons caused agonising death, often in minutes, of 5,000 men, women and children as well as injuring over 10,000 and in many cases inflicting life-long and debilitating illnesses; further notes that the attack on Halabja was accompanied by a wider campaign of genocide known as the Anfal in which about 180,000 Kurds were murdered and thousands of villages razed to the ground in an act of destruction with continuing harm to the agricultural bedrock of the Kurdistan Region; applauds the decision in February 2013 of the UK parliament to formally recognise the Anfal genocide and the decision of the UK government to mark Anfal each year; believes that remembrance is vital not only to mark the memories of those who were murdered, many of whom have yet to be unearthed from so far hidden mass graves, but also to challenge the mentality in parts of Iraq towards the equality of the Kurds; and expresses its full solidarity with the Kurds in Iraq as they seek to overcome their tragic history and forge pluralism and prosperity in a pan-Iraqi context while being key allies in the continuing fight against extremism and bigotry.