statement on KRG’s genocide conference in Hewler (Arbil)
The Center of Halabja against Anfalization and
Genocide of the Kurds (CHAK) works on issues related
to genocide and crimes against humanity, and
supports attempts to recognize crimes committed
against the Kurdish people; helping the victims;
persecuting perpetrators; and revealing the
contribution and participation of chemical companies
in Iraqi production of chemical weapons in the
In October 2007 CHAK members received a call for
proposals to hold a genocide conference of the
eighth biennial meeting of genocide scholars
suggested by IAGS, the International Association of
Genocide Scholars. The call was sent to the Kurdish
Regional Government (KRG). CHAK believed that
holding a vital genocide conference with
participation by known genocide scholars from
different countries in Kurdistan would be a
considerable help to the genocide case. However, KRG
has given no answer yet to CHAK in this connection.
Unfortunately the opportunity was there and the KRG
should give a Kurdish academic institution the
responsibility to take necessary steps to get the
acceptance of IAGS.
In December 2007 CHAK learned that the KRG wants to
hold a conference on genocide under the auspices of
Nechirvan Barzani, the president of the KRG.
Holding the conference in this way, by the KRG and
under its president, points towards a biased and
unprofessional conference in which several topics
related to Kurdish genocide would not be touched;
the papers would be limited to topics influenced by
the KRG’s policy. A conference that set political
limits on topics and especially on objective
criticism cannot make much of a contribution. This
conference should be held by a neutral academic
institute in Kurdistan without the political
involvement of the KRG, except for financial
CHAK expects the KRG’s conference will avoid several
subjects (listed at the end of the text), and like
other conferences held by the KRG will be used to
promote KRG’s political interests.
CHAK, an active Kurdish organization on genocide, is
a Kurdish organization that has worked on issues of
genocide, ethnic cleansing and other crimes against
humanity committed against the Kurdish people.
Accordingly CHAK has arranged conferences, seminars,
meetings, presentations, annual ceremonies,
demonstrations, and has collected signatures, etc.
CHAK could contribute to the conference actively and
press for a neutral and free genocide conference.
The absence of CHAK at this conference will not help
the case for genocide, nor will it help the
impartiality of the conference. It seems that the
KRG did not dare to involve CHAK in the conference
because of CHAK’s impartiality and criticism
concerning issues forbidden in the KRG’s world. CHAK
will investigate and analyze every aspect of topics
related to Kurdish tragedies, which is not in the
interests of the KRG.
The expected bias of the conference and its lack of
independence as well the aim of using the conference
for party politics has caused writers and
researchers among CHAK members to refuse
participation in the conference.
In brief, the main drawbacks to the conference are:
A neutral academic
institution should take responsibility of the
conference, far from the influence of political
parties and the KRG.
should be held in Halabja, which is the heart of
the crime of Anfal genocide, instead of in
Subjects that are
expected to be ignored are: Kurdish Jashe’s role
in the crime of genocide; the forgotten victims
and families of the victims; the Iraqi state’s
apology to the Kurdish people; the unfair Iraqi
tribunal and its scandals; the reasons for the
KRG’s passivity and ignorance of issues related
to genocide; the Kurdish leaders’ protection of
CHAK wishes an impartial analysis good luck, but
because of the reasons mentioned above and the
expected abuse of the conference created by the non
academic character of the host, the conference can
hardly provide a professional and unbiased forum of
papers on genocide.
The Center of Halabja against
Genocide and Anfalization