Mar 18, 2013

25th Anniversary of the Halabja Massacre: Recognition as a Tool to Prevent Genocide

The Hague, 18 March 2013 - UNPO brought together scholars, politicians and activists for a Conference to mark the 25th Anniversary of the Halabja Massacre. The Conference, held next to the Dutch Parliament, provided a platform for discussion on key issues regarding the recognition of the Kurdish Genocide. The “Anfal” campaign led to the disappearance of over 180.000 Kurds during Saddam Hussein’s regime.

The Conference was divided into two parts. The first panel was opened by a statement from Mr. Abdollah Hejab, UNPO Presidency Member and also Representative of the Iranian Kurdistan.  The discussion was shaped to explore the description of the Halabja Massacre, and the need for Kurdish organizations to work together to prevent similar events from occurring in the future. The speakers for this panel included Mr. Bakir Lashkari, from the Halabja Committee & Foundation for the Halabja Monument; Mr. Latif Tali, from the Federatie Koerden in Nederland; Mr. Keywan Faramarzi, from Komala; and Dr. Mariwan Kanie, from the University of Amsterdam.

The second panel discussed the necessity to recognize the Kurdish Genocide in the Netherlands. Speakers for this panel included Dr. H. van der Wilt, expert in International Criminal Law and Genocide; Mr. Abdollah Hejab, Representative of Iranian Kurdistan at UNPO; Mr. Khass Naseri, expert on religious minorities in Kurdistan and Mr. Harry van Bommel, Member of the Dutch Parliament (SP).

Speaking from a political viewpoint, Mr. Harry van Bommel shed light on the difference between the political and judicial recognition of the Genocide and also presided as a moderator throughout the discussions. Dr. Kanie and Dr. van der Wilt discussed the subject from an academic viewpoint. Before the closing of the event, Mr. Dana Cheragwandi briefly spoke about the two petitions currently collecting signatures for the recognition of the Kurdish genocide: one in the framework of the Dutch Parliament and the other in the European Parliament.

For more information on the petitions, please visit:


The full conference report in Dutch or English can be downloaded from the right column.


The videos of the speeches can be found at the following links:

Opening Statement by Mr. Abdollah Hejab

Panel 1 - The Halabja Massacre: 25 years later

Speech by Mr. Bakir Lashkari 

Speech by Mr. Latif Tali

Speech by Mr. Keywan Faramarzi

Speech by Mr. Mariwan Kanie


Panel 2 - The Necessity to Recognize Genocide in the Netherlands

Speech by Dr. Harmen van der Wilt

Speech by Mr. Khass Naseri

Speech by Mr. Abdollah Hejab

Speech by Mr. Harry van Bommel

Speech by Mr. Dana Cheragwandi