Thursday, March 17, 2011

Iraq parliament recognizes chemical attack on Halabja as genocide

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Erbil, March 17 (AKnews) - The Iraqi parliament has officially recognized the chemical attack on the Kurdish town of Halabja in 1988 as genocide.Halabja .
Halabja .The chemical bombardment of the city of Halabja
The decision came during a parliamentary session on Thursday where the proposal was put to vote and was approved by the majority of the parliament.

Halabja, situated 81km south east of Sulaimaniyah and 364 km north east of  the Iraqi capital Baghdad, was subjected to an airborne chemical weapon attack in March 1988 by the former Iraqi regime. The death toll was widely estimated at 5,000, with more than 10,000 injuries.

On Tuesday, on the 23rd anniversary of the attack on the Kurdish town, the Kurdish MPs in Baghdad commemorated the gassing of Halabja by opening a photo gallery of images depicting the attack and displaying video footage showing the victims. They also called on parliament to recognize it as genocide.

On March 16, 1988 Iraqi jets swooped over Halabja and sprayed it with a cocktail of mustard gas and the nerve agents Tabun, Sarin and VX for five hours.

The Iraqi Supreme Criminal Court sentenced Saddam Husein's cousin, Ali Hasan Majid notoriously known as "chemical Ali" to death for ordering the chemical attack.

Mr Majid had been earlier sentenced to death four times for crimes against humanity, his last sentence was in January 2010 - the same month he was executed.

The Iraqi Supreme Criminal Court was set up to try former members of Hussein's government. It was the same one that sentenced Saddam Hussein to death.

Many people from Halabja still suffer the after-effects of the gas attack, and since 2007, 17 victims of the gas attack have died of resulting medical complications.


Thursday, March 17th 2011 11:46 AM