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Guest Editorial: Genocide and Repentance
Guest Editorial: Genocide and Repentance

Assyrian International News Agency
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Stockholm (AINA) -- His father was one of the perpetrators; he is the first to ask for forgiveness through action

Four Kurdish men gathered a group of Christian female survivors in the cathedral's yard. They pointed their weapons at the women while forcing them to carry out all the books they could find in the cathedral's library and pile them up in the yard. Quickly, the yard was full with books lying on top of each other. When the library was emptied, one of the men took out a match and set the books on fire. One of the other men closed the gate to the yard as the other men gripped and pulled the women's frightened children from their arms and threw them into the fire. The mothers instinctively rushed to save their children, as the men opened fire and shot the women who fell into the flames. The men didn't stop throwing women into the fire until all were dead. In the yard, there were now only ashes left. A ten-year-old girl survived the massacre and related the story.
THINK-ISRAEL
THINK-ISRAEL
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THINK-ISRAEL features essays, analyses and commentaries that provide context for current events in Israel. We try to make sense of what's going on. The war Islamists ar e waging against Israel and the West is a top priority.


We have new articles on the Think Israel website. Please take a look.
This is what's in the March-April 2009 issue. You can access any article from the home page of http://www.Think-Israel.org by scrolling down to its introduction. This has the advantage of providing context for the article. Or you can go directly to the article by clicking its highlighted area in this email.

EDITORIAL: A THIRD WAY

The Peace Process, the 2-State Solution and Israel's Irrevocable Right to the Land

WHO NEEDS A PALESTINIAN STATE? by Sultan Knish
WHITHER THE "PEACE PROCESS"? by Ted Belman
THE QUESTION OF THE APPLICABILITY OF THE FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION ON OCCUPATION TO JUDEA, SAMARIA AND GAZA by Howard Grief
ON TWISTED HIGHWAYS TO "PALESTINE" WHY "OCCUPATION" IS STILL A LIE by Louis Rene Beres
FORCED TO CONCEDE A BIRTHRIGHT? by Victor Sharpe
WHY TIME IS ON ISRAEL'S SIDE: A LONG-TERM PERSPECTIVE ON ISRAEL'S SECURITY CHALLENGES by Max Singer
THE ROLE OF RADICAL ISLAMIC GROUPS IN ISRAEL: IMPLICATIONS FOR ISRAELI-ARAB COEXISTENCE by Dr. Mordechai Kedar
BASIC THOUGHTS FOR THE NEW PRIME MINISTER by Louis René Beres
Israeli Problems

POLITICS OF PALESTINIAN DEMOGRAPHY by Yakov Faitelson
USING THE PRESENT TO FABRICATE HISTORY; USING HISTORY TO FABRICATE THE PRESENT by Seth J. Frantzman
PESSACH COMES by Moshe and Rachel Saperstein
THERE'S ROOM AT THE 'TREE' FOR YOU by Catriel Sugarman
THE SYRIAN FOOL'S ERRAND by Bruce Thornton
A REALITY CHECK ABOUT GAZA by Martin Sherman
THE FAITHFUL CHILDREN by Patricia Berlyn
Character studies of Muslims

JIHADI PIRATES ON HIGH SEAS: WHAT'S THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND THEM? by Walid Phares
BARAKA by Boris Zubry
PALESTINIAN MODERATES WANT PEACE — WITH HAMAS, NOT ISRAEL by Barry Rubin
THE USE OF MOSQUES FOR MILITARY AND POLITICAL PURPOSES BY HAMAS AND OTHER TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS AND ISLAMIC GROUPS by Reuven Erlich
ISLAM SHOULD PROVE IT'S A RELIGION OF PEACE by Tawfik Hamid
Shari'a is gaining ground globally

WHAT IS MARXISM? by Steven Plaut
SHARIAH'S BROTHERHOOD by Frank Gaffney, Jr.
WARFARE THROUGH MISUSE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW by Elizabeth Samson
SHARIA'S INROADS AROUND THE WORLD by Olivier Guitta
EUROPE'S RIGHT TURN by Bruce Bawer
IRAN SETTING UP SHOP SOUTH OF THE BORDER by Todd Bensman
NAIVETE KILLS by Barry Rubin
TEXTBOOK LIES ABOUT ISLAM by Raymond Ibrahim
THE VOICE OF AMERICA SILENCED ON RADICAL ISLAM by Daniel Pipes
ISLAM AND THE WEST: LINES OF DEMARCATION by Roger Scruton
Useful idiots. Fellow travellors.

FOLLOWING THE HERD by Barbara Barron
EXPOSED: HOW PALESTINIAN FIXERS MANIPULATE THEIR MEDIA BOSSES by Honest Reporting Staff
POISONING THE AMERICAN MIND by Daniel Doron
WHO WAS IT THAT DEMOLISHED THE WORLD TRADE CENTER (WTC)? by Ron Mossad
A METAPOLITICAL VIEW OF USEFUL IDIOTS by Professor Paul Eidelberg
OBAMA AS MUSLIM APOLOGIST: AMERICA "ENRICHED" BY ISLAM by PauL L. Williams with Michael Travis
U. PENN HILLEL WORKING WITH HAMAS-SUPPORTING MUSLIM STUDENT ASSOCIATION (MSA) by Beila Rabinowitz and William Mayer
IS SELF-HATE A GOD OF THE JEWS? by Seth J. Frantzman
History Section

WAVES OF FREEDOM by Steve Kramer
ESPIONAGE AND THE ZIONIST ENDEAVOR by Meir Zamir
REMEMBERING THE MASSACRE OF THE HADASSAH CONVOY APRIL 13, 1948 by Dr. Alex Grobman
And, finally, the Readers' Blog-Ed page. The monthly Blog-Ed page is updated every few days. You can click on the Blog-Eds List (middle item, top Blue Banner), find any author/title posted, click and go directly to that blog-ed.

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Bernice Lipkin
Editor, Think-Israel
Iran: Ensure free presidential election
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
Public Statement

AI Index: MDE 13/046/2009
15 May 2009


Iran: Ensure free presidential election


Amnesty International has today called on the Iranian authorities to ensure that the forthcoming presidential election to be held on 12 June 2009 are free of discrimination – particularly against women - and that candidates and voters are guaranteed effective exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and assembly during the election campaign. The organization’s appeal was made in a letter addressed to Ayatollah Jannati, the Chair of the Council of Guardians Council of Guardians is a body which interprets the Constitution, supervises elections, and vets legislation for conformity to Islamic Law and the Constitution., following the recent closure of registration of candidates for the presidential election.

The Council of Guardians screens all candidates for election to “ensure their suitability for the Presidency”. Article 115 of the Constitution stipulates that candidates must be from amongst “religious and political personalities” [Persian: rejal] and possess: “Iranian origin; Iranian nationality; administrative capacity and resourcefulness; a good past-record; trustworthiness and piety; convinced belief in the fundamental principles of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the official religion of the country.” In previous elections, the majority of candidates registered were disqualified under these criteria, including all women. The exclusion of women appears to have been on an interpretation of the word rejal as meaning “men”.
Yugoslav tribunal increases sentence in Vukovar caseRNW International Justice Desk
Yugoslav tribunal increases sentence in Vukovar caseRNW International Justice Desk

The Yugoslav war crimes court has ruled that former Yugoslav army officer Veselin Sljivancanin should serve an additional 12 years in prison for his role in the 1991 Vukovar killings.

The appeals chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) found Sljivancanin's original conviction for torture inadequate and jailed him for aiding and abetting the murder of prisoners of war after the fall of the Croatian town of Vukovar in 1991.

His sentence was increased from 5 years to 17 years.

Sljivancanin (56) was provisionally released in December after four years in custody in The Hague.

He returned to The Hague for Tuesday's ruling which also upheld a sentence against his superior, Mile Mrksic.

Mrksic (62), a former Yugoslav army colonel, is serving 20 years for aiding and abetting the murder and torture of prisoners, as well as allowing inhumane conditions of detention.

The two men were convicted in September 2007 for their role in the execution of 194 non-Serbs seeking refuge at a Vukovar hospital in 1991.

A third accused in the Vukovar case, Miroslav Radić, was acquitted of all charges and the Prosecution filed no appeal.

Prosecutors had appealed for heavier sentences against both convicted men, who had also appealed against their convictions.

The appeals chamber dismissed all eleven counts of appeal lodged by the defendants but allowed one of the four prosecution appeals, partially granted two and dismissed one.

It found that the Hague trial chamber had erred when it acquitted Sljivancanin of aiding and abetting the murders and only convicted him of aiding and abetting torture.

Vukovar killings
The original trial heard that the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) had besieged Vukovar from August to November 1991, during which time some 1,000 of the city's residents were killed and another 5,000 taken prisoner.

In the last days of the siege, several hundred people sought refuge at the city's hospital, hoping to be evacuated in the presence of international observers.

But on 20 November, JNA soldiers loaded about 400 prisoners on to buses and took them to a pig farm in nearby Ovcara where at least 194 were beaten and later killed.

After the killings, the bodies of the victims were buried in a mass grave.

Mrksic was initially found guilty of aiding and abetting the murders as he had ordered the withdrawal of the JNA soldiers guarding the prisoners. He was also found to have failed to act effectively to ensure that the prisoners were properly protected or treated, the trial chamber found.

Šljivančanin was found guilty of aiding and abetting torture because he failed to secure adequate JNA guards at Ovčara or to ensure that JNA guards at Ovčara under his authority acted to prevent the Serb forces from beating the prisoners.
The ICC - asset to international justice?by Bram Posthumus and Jan Huisman
The ICC - asset to international justice?by Bram Posthumus and Jan Huisman

The International Criminal Court in The Hague resumed the trial of Thomas Lubanga, a minor warlord who operated in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. He has been in a Dutch jail since March 2006. After a number of stumbles and controversies, this international legal tribunal is hoping for a smooth conviction to restore confidence in the court and its chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo.

Crucial to having Thomas Lubanga (pictured) tried and convicted - along with a limited number of exclusively African defendants - are witnesses.

In the Lubanga case, the prosecution at the International Criminal Court (ICC) got off to a less than auspicious start. The very first witness initially testified against Thomas Lubanga, saying he had been recruited as a child soldier, only to retract his statement later that same day.

It is thought that the young boy feared for his safety upon his return home to the DRC.

Lessons learned
Beatrice Le Fraper, special advisor to ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, said lessons have been learned from that episode.

"This was a very painful experience for this first child witness. But it was a necessary warning signal to the International Criminal Court as a whole. But Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo is someone who has always wanted to keep the number of witnesses at a minimum, so we try to use a lot of documentary evidence."

Zealous prosecutor
Ms Le Fraper describes Luis Moreno Ocampo (pictured left) as a dedicated and energetic prosecutor who has resisted all manner of pressures - even from the many European countries which have declared themselves highly in favour of the ICC - to 'slow down one investigation here, speed up another over there.'

But in his tenure as ICC chief prosecutor Mr Moreno Ocampo's record has led some to question whether his zeal clouds his judgement.

The Lubanga trial was delayed after the Prosecutor's office refused to release evidence to the defence team, causing the court to rule that Thomas Lubanga's right to a fair trial had been breached.

More recently, the decision to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir came under heavy criticism after the Sudanese government retaliated by expelling foreign aid agencies from Sudan and cracking down on the local civil rights community.

Reputation damaged
Lisa Clifford, a reporter for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting in The Hague, says the al-Bashir arrest warrant and other controversies have damaged the reputation of the ICC.

"Opinion is very much split on the approach the court has taken. It's pretty clear that in the short term the court is not going to be able to arrest Bashir ... With no possibility of an arrest for some time, people are wondering if the consequences of this arrest are worthwhile."

Teething problems
Critics have questioned Luis Moreno-Ocampo's judgement, saying he ought to have issued the al-Bashir arrest warrant under seal, thereby avoiding repercussions from the Sudanese government. Yet Lisa Clifford says the ICC member states are understanding of the difficulties facing the court.

"People are willing to give the prosecutor far more time to actually prove himself. There inevitably will be teething problems in an institution which, of course, is a permanent thing... That said, they do need good results, which does make this trial very important."

The Lubanga case is moving faster than expected and the prosecution could wrap up its case within two months, according to Ms Clifford
HALABJA GAS ATTACK AND ANFAL CAMPAIGN ANNIVERSARY
HALABJA GAS ATTACK AND ANFAL CAMPAIGN ANNIVERSARY

That this House notes the commemoration of the 21st anniversary of the Halabja gas attack; recognises that the Halabja atrocity and the subsequent Anfal Campaign of 1988 together constituted a genocide against the Kurdish people; further recognises the results are still with the Halabja people through cancers, birth abnormalities, deformities, pollution and poisoned land; supports a proposal to establish a compensation fund for the survivors and the bereaved, to be funded by a percentage of profits made by oil and other companies who sign new contracts within the Iraqi and Kurdish governments; and calls on the Government to press the United Nations to release the names of all the companies who supplied the chemical agents to the Ba'ath regime so that the companies may be pressed to provide ex-gratia payments to the fund.



Signatures( 22)

Standard Order Party Groups Alphabetical Order Party Totals

Status

Open signatures All signatures


Spink, Bob - George, Andrew - Corbyn, Jeremy - Drew, David - Cryer, Ann - Jones, Lynne - Moffatt, Laura - Austin, John - Simpson, Alan

Caton, Martin - Durkan, Mark - MacNeil, Angus - Rogerson, Daniel - Jenkins, Brian - Dean, Janet - Leech, John - Singh, Marsha - McDonnell, Alasdair - Davies, Dai - Stunell, Andrew - Williams, Hywel - Etherington, Bill
Dear all,
Dear all,

On 24 April 2009, the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) received news that ICC Judge Fumiko Saiga had died after a short, but serious illness.

“I would like to express the sincere condolences of the Coalition for the ICC on the death of Judge Saiga,” said CICC Convenor William Pace. “We express our sympathy to her family, to the government and people of Japan, as well as to the judges and all at the ICC with whom she worked. She was an important representative for Japan, Asia and women at the ICC, the highest international criminal tribunal in the world,” Pace added.

Judge Saiga was reelected to the ICC in January, and sworn in for a nine-year term on 11 March 2009.

Thes document below in both English and French has been produced by the ICC. The CICC Secretariat distributes it as part of its mandate to keep member organizations and individuals informed about developments related to the ICC. This document does not reflect the views of the CICC as a whole or its individual members.

Regards,

CICC Secretariat
Further Information on UA 66/09 (MDE 13/019/2009, 10 March 2009) Prisoner of conscience
PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/037/2009
24 April 2009

Further Information on UA 66/09 (MDE 13/019/2009, 10 March 2009) Prisoner of conscience

IRAN Ali Nejati (m), ]

New names: Jalil Ahmadi, (m) ]
Fereydoun Nikufar (m), ] trade unionists
Qorban Alipour (m), ]
Mohammad Haydari Mehr (m) ]


Trade unionist Ali Nejati was released on bail on 14 April 2009. This followed a strike by his fellow workers a week earlier, in which they called for his release, amongst other demands. He was also supported by solidarity actions by international trade union bodies and non-governmental organizations, including Amnesty International. Ali Nejati had been arrested on 8 March 2009 by Ministry of Intelligence officers, after an earlier raid on his home on 28 February
Fighting the Holocaust Deniers on Yom Hashoah
Fighting the Holocaust Deniers on Yom Hashoah

•LOS ANGELES

Watch Rabbi Hier's video -
Part I & Part II
Community leaders, government officials, human rights activists and Holocaust survivors gathered at the Simon Wiesenthal Center on Yom Hashoah where SWC dean and founder Rabbi Marvin Hier told the crowd, "To the President of Iran, we say this – you’re not the first to attempt to destroy us. We’ve met up with your ancestors many times in our 3,500 year history – we were burned at stakes, persecuted in Crusades, force baptized in Inquisitions, robbed and pillaged in pogroms, gassed in crematoria - even in your land, in ancient Persia, Haman plotted to destroy us – but we survived all of them – depositing them in the dust bins of history as we shall survive you, undeterred and committed to building a civilization based on tolerance and human dignity, a civilization worthy of passing on to our children and grandchildren." … watch the video (Part I and Part II) or read Rabbi Hier’s entire speech delivered on Yom Hashoah.

•GENEVA
An Iranian follower of President Ahmadinejad who earlier verbally abused Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel inside UN Headquarters screaming "Zio-Nazi, Zio-Nazi" - view video

Pens handed out free-of-charge by Iranian activists at the UN Durban II anti-racism conference.

Experts on Iranian terrorism, global anti-Semitism and digital hate were brought together by the Wiesenthal Center for a program held at UN headquarters and co-sponsored with two other non-Jewish NGOs. The attendees included a contingent of survivors from the Rwandan genocide, human rights activists from South Asia and Africa and 30 Iranians who were part of the delegation supporting Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Those attending the filled-to-capacity program, were asked by Yale University’s Dr. Charles Small to rise in silent solidarity with the victims of the Shoah. Virtually everyone in attendance did, including the majority of the Iranian delegation with one notable exception: one of the four virulently anti-Zionist Netura Karta Rabbis who remained seated.

The Center also held Yom Hashoah programs in New York and Toronto.
Holocaust denier on trial in Vienna RNW International Justice

Holocaust denier on trial in Vienna RNW International Justice

An Austrian writer accused of denying the Holocaust and promoting Nazi ideology went on trial in Vienna on Monday.

Austrian prosecutors claim Gerd Honsik (68) used books and the Internet to promote and publicise Nazi ideology. They charge him with 28 counts of breaking laws prohibiting activities supporting the Nazi regime.

Honsik pleaded not guilty to the charges, saying he had no idea he was committing an offence when he disputed the existence of the Nazi gas chambers in his magazine, "Halt," in 1994.

Vienna-born Gerd Honsik had already been sentenced to 18 months in prison in 1992 for propagating Holocaust denial in his book "Freispruch für Hitler?" (Acquittal for Hitler?)

However, Hosnik fled to Spain during his appeal and spent 15 years there before being extradited to Austria in 2007.

The opening of his trial coincided with Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's 120th birthday - a fact that was not lost on the prosecution.

"One hundred and twenty years after Hitler's birth, there are still people denying his atrocities," prosecutor Stefan Apostol said in his opening statement. "That's not just sad, it's dangerous."

Hosnik's lawyer, Herbert Schaller, also said that the existence of the gas chambers was "just the prevailing view" and called for relevant evidence to be presented.

Spain had twice rejected calls to extradite Honsik, saying Holocaust denial and neo-Nazi propaganda are not illegal in that country. He was finally extradited after two Europe-wide arrest warrants were issued at Austria's behest.

Hosnik could face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.
UN-backed tribunal hears Sudan’s Abyei caseThijs Bouwknegt
UN-backed tribunal hears Sudan’s Abyei caseThijs Bouwknegt

The demarcation of the oil-rich Abyei is under review before a UN-supported international court in The Hague. The Permanent Court of Arbitration has begun hearings to mediate a settlement over a disputed town straddling northern and southern Sudan.

Five arbitrators from the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague have started deliberations over the demarcation of the disputed Abyei region this weekend.

Boundary markings in the area of Abyei, which lies in an oil-rich area, remain contentious since the 2005 peace agreement ending Sudan's second civil war between North and South Sudan. The court will ultimately define and determine the boundaries.

Abyei
The status of Abyei, which is considered to be the historical bridge between northern and Southern Sudan, was one of the most controversial issues in the 2005 peace agreement between the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the government in Khartoum, ending decades of war.

Under the agreement South Sudan was granted provisional autonomy and Abyei's residents will decide along with rest of the south whether to secede from the north or not in an independence referendum in 2011.

The deal further states that the semi-autonomous southern government should get 50 percent of oil revenues from all fields in the south. The two sides, however, have not agreed an administration and borders or shared oil revenues from Abyei, which contains one of Sudan's two largest oil fields.

The borders of Abyei were initially determined by special commission, but its results were opposed by Khartoum, claiming that the commission exceeded their terms of reference by basing their findings on the 1956 border, rather than the 1905 border.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed in his latest report to the Security Council on Sudan in October 2008 that "demarcation of the border is a critical benchmark with implications for almost all other benchmarks under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement."

More than 2 million people died in the north-south conflict, which should not be confused with the enduring ‘genocidal' violence in the western Darfur region. The conflict and the human rights violations in Darfur are subject to investigations by the International Criminal Court (ICC), also in The Hague.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration
The Permanent Court of Arbitration is an intergovernmental organisation with over one hundred member states. It was established in 1899 during the first Hague Peace Conference and is housed in the Peace Palace that was built specially for this court in 1913.

The court deals with disputes over territorial and maritime boundaries, sovereignty, human rights and matters concerning international and regional trade. Court proceedings have a rather closed nature since hearings are rarely open to the public and sometimes decisions itself are kept confidential.

The PCA should not be confused with the principal UN court the International Court of Justice, which is also housed in the Peace Palace in The Hague
Sudan's Bashir welcomed in Ethiopia despite warrantRNW International Justice Desk
Sudan's Bashir welcomed in Ethiopia despite warrantRNW International Justice Desk


Ethiopia welcomed Sudanese President Omar al Bashir with a full state reception on Tuesday at the start of his latest trip abroad in defiance of an international arrest warrant.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi met Bashir at the airport, where a band played as he left his plane and Sudanese living in Ethiopia cheered his arrival.

Related
Masterminding war
But the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague issued a warrant for the Sudanese leader last month, charging him with masterminding war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur, western Sudan.

"Sudan is our immediate neighbour," Meles told reporters after talks with Bashir in Addis Ababa. "Our relationship is not affected by the indictment."

Bashir has visited Egypt, Eritrea, Libya, Qatar and Saudi Arabia since the ICC issued the arrest warrant.

"The warrant will not affect the movement or activities of the president or any other Sudanese official," Bashir said, adding that the indictment was positive for Sudan because of support from the African Union (AU) and the Arab League.

The AU, based in Addis Ababa, says the warrant is likely to compromise peace efforts in Darfur and the 53-member organisation wants the indictment deferred.

State dinner
Western diplomats in the Ethiopian capital are boycotting a state dinner in Bashir's honour but the majority of African ambassadors will attend.
"Africa is together on this because there are powerful African leaders scared that their crimes might be next on the ICC's agenda," a western diplomat said.
The UN says at least 200,000 people have been killed and more than 2.7 million driven from their homes in Darfur in almost six years of ethnic and political violence.
Khartoum, however, says only 10,000 people have died and has expelled 13 foreign aid groups it accuses of helping the court to build the charges against the president.
None of the countries Bashir has visited so far since his indictment -- the court's first against a sitting head of state -- are ICC members.

Tags: bashir, darfur, ethiopia, humanity, icc, sudan, war crimes
100,000 Congolese flee wave of rebel attacksRNW International Justice Desk

100,000 Congolese flee wave of rebel attacksRNW International Justice Desk

Rebel attacks have forced more than 100,000 people from their homes in the volatile eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

This brings the total number of internally displaced persons in eastern DRC to over 1.4 million, mostly in North Kivu province, UNHCR spokesperson Ron Redmond said.
The raids by the Rwandan Hutu rebels of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) in east of Goma, North Kivu's capital, have "left a trail of death and destruction and caused recurrent displacement," he noted.

The group has stepped up its attacks against civilians in North Kivu after the DRC and Rwanda ended their joint military offensive against it in January.

Late last week, the FDLR raided the village of Luofu, killing seven people, five of whom were children, and burning some 250 homes, according to authorities. This caused panic among the area's residents, who fled to the bush or the nearby town of Kirumba, which has reportedly been surrounded by the rebels who are threatening to overrun it.

The crumbling security situation, exacerbated by the FDLR tactic of attacking commercial vehicles on main roads, is preventing humanitarian agencies from distributing vital aid, Mr. Redmond told reporters in Geneva yesterday.

IDPs in North Kivu have typically been uprooted more than once, with families often being separated, UNHCR said.

The UNHCR runs 11 camps and monitors the human right situation of the uprooted in eastern DRC.
UN suggests anti-corruption measures for Cambodian genocide courtRNW International Justice Desk
UN Assistant-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Peter Taksoe-Jensen submitted a provisional ethics monitoring mechanism Thursday to Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sok An for his consideration.
Sok An, who also chairs the Royal Government Task Force on the Khmer Rouge Trials, met with Taksoe-Jensen several times this week regarding the UN-backed Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC).

Taksoe-Jensen stressed that any ethics monitoring system at the ECCC will only be credible if staff have the freedom to approach the Ethics Monitor at their own request and are able to put forward complaints without fear of retaliation.
London courts frees RwandansThijs Bouwknegt
British court has blocked the extradition of four men accused of involvement in the Rwandan genocide of 1994. The court ruled that the men could not be guaranteed a fair trial on return to Rwanda.

Britain's Crown Prosecution Services - acting on behalf of the Rwandan government - wanted Vincent Bajinya, Celestin Ugirashebuja, Emmanuel Nteziryayo and Charles Munyaneza returned to Rwanda to face trial for their alleged participation in the genocide. Rwanda had agreed to waive the death penalty if they had been found guilty.

But two judges of London's High Court said Wednesday the men faced the possibility of "a flagrant denial of justice" if they were returned to Rwanda to face trial and ordered that they be set free immediately.
The Netherlands is paying for a corrupt tribunalA Commentary by Victor Koppe and Michiel Pestman
The first session of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) Khmer Rouge Tribunal started in February. The first person to stand trial at the Khmer Rouge tribunal is suspect, Kaing Guek Eav - known by his revolutionary name ‘Duch'. He- is accused of directing the Tuol Sleng prison in Phnom Penh, where, between 1975 and 1979, more than ten thousand prisoners were tortured and killed.

Many Cambodians, particularly the older generation, have been looking forward to the tribunal. It should have been a meaningful moment, but this is nothing to celebrate. The Cambodian government exercises continued and inappropriate pressure on the tribunal - not only on international lawyers, but also on prosecutors and judges. There are also rumours of structural corruption at the ECCC.
HRW: Brazil should prosecute Dictatorship-Era abuses Thijs Bouwknegt
HRW: Brazil should prosecute Dictatorship-Era abuses Thijs Bouwknegt

Brazil should prosecute human rights abuses committed during the 1964-1985 dictatorship, says Human Rights Watch (HRW).

The Brazilian military regime was responsible for systematic human rights violations, including killings, forced disappearances, torture and the curtailment of free expression. Some 50,000 persons were detained and roughly 10,000 went into exile.

No Brazilian official has been criminally charged for the violations because a 1979 Amnesty law has effectively barred such prosecutions.

HRW says the abuses should be dealt with.

"Brazil has had neither trials nor even a truth commission to address the very serious crimes that took place, and is lagging behind the region in accountability for past abuses," says José Miguel Vivanco, America's director for Human Rights Watch.
Nkunda stands trial in RwandaRNW International Justice Desk
Former Congolese rebel leader Laurent Nkunda is to face trial in the Rwandan town of Gisenyi, on the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).


Related

Observers question the rationale behind Kigali's decision to prosecute the former rebel leader whose insurgency took place mainly within neighbouring DRC.
Kigali captured Nkunda early this year after he crossed the border into Rwanda while attempting to resist arrest by a joint Rwandan-Congolese military force in DR Congo.

But Kigali has so far refused Kinshasa's request to extradite Nkunda so that he may stand trial in the DRC, where is he wanted for committing atrocities in 2002 in Kisangani and as a result has been referred to as the "Butcher of Kisangani".

But there are suspicions surrounding Kigali's refusal to hand over the former rebel leader for trial in DRC. Kinshasa has so far been quiet about Friday's trial.

Some Congolese say Rwanda detained Nkunda apparently as part of an agreement with Congo that opened the way for thousands of Rwandan soldiers to cross the border in a joint operation to hunt down Rwandan Hutu rebels.
U.N. World Conference Against Racism, Durban II
U.N. World Conference Against Racism, Durban II

April 19, 2009



During Durban I, Jewish delegates were physically intimidated, Protocols of the Elders of Zion were distributed by street demonstrators, and caricatures of swastika'd Jews with fangs dripping blood adorned NGO exhibitions.

SWC at Durban I

Dear Kurdocide Watch - CHAK,

Dr. Shimon Samuels (Paris), Sergio Widder (Buenos Aires) and I (Los Angeles) have just arrived in Geneva where the U.N. World Conference Against Racism, Durban II opens Tuesday, Holocaust Remembrance Day. Now that Iran has confirmed the attendance of its President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Center is urging Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European leaders to boycott Durban II.

Back in 2001, the Simon Wiesenthal Center was there on the ground to report from South Africa as
2001 Durban I degenirated into an ugly anti-Israel and anti-Semitic hatefest.

Here in Geneva, we'll monitor conference sessions and lobby directly with diplomats as the expected push to single out Israel as the world's sole and worst human rights abuser unfolds. We are also bringing experts on human rights in Iran, the special prosecutor for the AMIA bombing from Argentina and a specialist from Africa to ensure that the media and nations reluctant to take on the serial human rights abusers from Iran, Libya, and Cuba cannot do their dirty work behind closed doors.

Center leaders have been at almost every Durban II preparatory meeting where the lead-up to the conference has been so blatantly biased against Israel and so clearly determined to avoid any substantive discussion of global human rights that Canada, Israel and the U.S. have pledged not to attend.

In addition, we will be co-sponsoring a major counter programming seminar with several top human rights NGOs to address the continuing threat of global terrorism and rampant human rights violations in the Middle East and Africa.
Court ruling regarding 24 Kurdish activists
Court ruling regarding 24 Kurdish activists

including Mr Fouad Aliko, Mr. Hassan Saleh


On Tuesday, 14/4/2009 in Damascus, a Judge of the Individual Military Court decided to imprison Mr Fouad Aliko, Secretary of the Kurdish Yekiti Party in Syria, and Mr. Hassan Saleh, Member of the Political Committee and the previous Secretary of the Kurdish Yekiti Party in Syria, and twenty-two other people who are supporters of Democratic Union Party [PYD] to prison sentences of more than one year. The sentences have been passed down on these people arising from a demonstration on 2 November 2007 when there were protests against the Turkish invasion of Kurdistan of Iraq, in Qamishli, Syria,

Fouad Aliko and Hassan Saleh were not present at that demonstration, nor had they been involved in organising the demonstration. They brought evidence to show that they were not involved, and pleaded not guilty to these offences, however Fouad Aliko said that he is the Secretary of the Kurdish Yekiti Party in Syria.
News from the KNC Public Relations Committee
News from the KNC Public Relations Committee
Kurdish National Congress of North America Inquiries: 403-200-6310

Contact: Brusk Reshvan


The Halabja-Anfal Case goes to court

(Maryland. April 10, 2009). A lawsuit was filed Tuesday, April 7, 2009, against the central government of Iraq and the companies that supplied chemical weapons to the government of Saddam Hussein--weapons that were used against the Kurdish people in the Anfal operations, most particularly, the victims of the city of Halabja. The lawsuit was filed in a US federal court in Maryland on behalf of some of the Kurdish victims of the Anfal campaign in Halabja and Anfal operations by Ken McCallion, the principal of a New York law firm that also has represented victims who were exposed to chemical weapons that were being destroyed during the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

“After years of hard work we were able to take the grievance of the victims of Halabja and infamous Anfal operations to an international Court,” said Kirmanj Gundi, representative for the Kurdish National Congress of North America, the organization which brought the case to the attention of the law firm of Ken McCallion.

According to the KNC spokesman, “This lawsuit was not conducted out of a spirit of revenge or animosity. We are simply trying to make sure that justice is served for the victims of the infamous Anfal operations perpetrated by the central government of Iraq against Kurdistan and the city Halabja in particular and that these families receive some restitution for the suffering they have endured.”

The KNC stated that its members saw this lawsuit as necessary because the new Iraqi government has not taken any step to address the wrongs of the previous regime and help the victims of systematic campaign of Anfal both in the destruction of the victims' health, the death of loved ones, and the loss of their ability to earn a living.

Although, the Iraqi government is changed and Saddam’s tyrannical regime is no longer there, the new Iraqi government has not shown any political will to address the historic atrocity toward the citizens of Kurdistan-Iraq and has not attempted to provide aid or restitution for the ongoing struggles of its survivors and family members of its victims.

“One of the goals of the litigation is to establish a fund to cover the cost of medical monitoring and compensation for the victims,” said Gundi.


“The KNC also wishes to acknowledge that this lawsuit would not have been possible without the sincere support of our fellow Kurds and friends of our people. Therefore, the Kurdish National Congress of North America would like to thank all those who helped in this endeavor,” said Gundi.
Telling the Truth About the Armenian Genocide
Telling the Truth About the Armenian Genocide
We must resist Turkish pressure to distort history.
By Christopher Hitchens
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Even before President Barack Obama set off on his visit to Turkey this week, there were the usual voices urging him to dilute the principled position that he has so far taken on the Armenian genocide. April is the month in which the Armenian diaspora commemorates the bloody initiation, in 1915, of the Ottoman Empire's campaign to erase its Armenian population. The marking of the occasion takes two forms: Armenian Remembrance Day, on April 24, and the annual attempt to persuade Congress to name that day as one that abandons weasel wording and officially calls the episode by its right name, which is the word I used above.

Genocide had not been coined in 1915, but the U.S. ambassador in Constantinople, Henry Morgenthau, employed a term that was in some ways more graphic. In his urgent reports to the State Department, conveying on-the-spot dispatches from his consuls, especially in the provinces of Van and Harput, he described the systematic slaughter of the Armenians as "race murder." A vast archive of evidence exists to support this claim. But every year, the deniers and euphemists set to work again, and there are usually enough military-industrial votes to tip the scale in favor of our Turkish client. (Of late, Turkey's opportunist military alliance with Israel has also been good for a few shame-faced Jewish votes as well.)

President Obama comes to this issue with an unusually clear and unambivalent record. In 2006, for example, the U.S. ambassador to Armenia, John Evans, was recalled for employing the word genocide. Then-Sen. Obama wrote a letter of complaint to then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, deploring the State Department's cowardice and roundly stating that the occurrence of the Armenian genocide in 1915 "is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence." On the campaign trail last year, he amplified this position, saying that "America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides. I intend to be that president."

For any who might entertain doubt on this score, I would recommend two recent books of exceptional interest and scholarship that both add a good deal of depth and texture to this drama. The first is Armenian Golgotha: A Memoir of the Armenian Genocide, by Grigoris Balakian, and the second is Rebel Land: Travels Among Turkey's Forgotten Peoples, a contemporary account by Christopher de Bellaigue. In addition, we have just learned of shattering corroborative evidence from within the archives of the Turkish state. The Ottoman politician who began the campaign of deportation and extermination, Talat Pasha, left enormous documentation behind him. His family has now given the papers to a Turkish author named Murat Bardakci, who has published a book with the somewhat dry title The Remaining Documents of Talat Pasha. One of these "remaining documents" is a cold estimate that during the years 1915 and 1916 alone, a total of 972,000 Armenians simply vanished from the officially kept records of population. (See Sabrina Tavernise's report in the New York Times of March 8, 2009.)

There are those who try to say that the Armenian catastrophe was a regrettable byproduct of the fog of war and of imperial collapse, and this might be partly true of the many more Armenians who were slaughtered at the war's end and after the implosion of Ottomanism. But this is an archive maintained by the government of the day and its chief anti-Armenian politician, and it records in the very early days of World War I a population decline from 1,256,000 to 284,157. It is very seldom that a regime in its private correspondence confirms almost to an exactitude the claims of its victims.

So what will the deniers say now? The usual routine has been to insinuate that if Congress votes to assert the historic truth, then Turkey will inconvenience the NATO alliance by making trouble on the Iraqi border, denying the use of bases to the U.S. Air Force, or in other unspecified ways. This same kind of unchecked arrogance was on view at the NATO summit last weekend, where the Ankara government had the nerve to try to hold up the appointment of a serious Danish politician, Anders Rasmussen, as the next secretary-general of the alliance, on the grounds that as Denmark's prime minister he had refused to censor Danish newspapers to Muslim satisfaction! It is now being hinted that if either President Obama or the Congress goes ahead with the endorsement of the genocide resolution, Turkey will prove uncooperative on a range of issues, including the normalization of the frontier between Turkey and Armenia and the transit of oil and gas pipelines across the Caucasus.

When the question is phrased in this thuggish way, it can be slyly suggested that Armenia's own best interests are served by joining in the agreement to muddy and distort its own history. Yet how could any state, or any people, agree to abolish their pride and dignity in this way? And the question is not only for Armenians, who are economically hard-pressed by the Turkish closure of the common border. It is for the Turks, whose bravest cultural spokesmen and writers take genuine risks to break the taboo on discussion of the Armenian question. And it is also for Americans, who, having elected a supposedly brave new president, are being told that he—and our Congress too—must agree to collude in a gigantic historical lie. A lie, furthermore, that courageous U.S. diplomacy helped to expose in the first place. This falsification has already gone on long enough and has been justified for reasons of state. It is, among other things, precisely "for reasons of state," in other words for the clear and vital announcement that we can't be bought or intimidated, that April 24, 2009, should become remembered as the date when we affirmed the truth and accepted, as truth-telling does, all the consequences.

Update: In my last column, it seems I may have done an injustice to the government and people of Canada in the matter of George Galloway's canceled visit to that country. For elucidation, please consult the following blog post.

Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair and the Roger S. Mertz media fellow at the Hoover Institution in Stanford, Calif.

Article URL: http://www.slate.com/id/2215445/
http://www.slate.com/toolbar.aspx?action=print&id=2215445
Armenia is a Homeland for the Assyrians, Who Have No Homeland
Assyrian International News Agency
To unsubscribe or set email news digest options, visit http://www.aina.org/mailinglist.html

Verin Dvin, Ararat Province, Armenia -- On April 1 Assyrians throughout the world celebrate the New Year. The Assyrians have been celebrating this holiday for centuries and continue to do so today. When the Euphrates and Tigris overflow, the mighty god Marduk fights and defeats Tiamat, the god of the seas and waters. The Assyrians lost their statehood over 26 centuries ago, but they have not lost their traditions, language, and the Christian religion they came to adopt.

In Armenia very few people know that they are living alongside one of the oldest nations in the world, the Assyrians. They were the first to adopt Christianity in the world. The largest Assyrian community in Armenia is in Verin Dvin village, which is 40 kilometers away from Yerevan. When you walk through the streets of Verin Dvin, it seems as if you are in Assyria; everyone speaks Assyrian
Genital mutilation of Southern Kurdistan ( Iraq )
Genital mutilation of Southern Kurdistan ( Iraq )

With the genital mutilation of girls at an early age is to control the future of women's feelings and sex drive. Their view of women is degrading. Women should be a property, and only to satisfy the man. The woman's dreams of love will not be an issue. Without thinking about the difficult physical and psychological consequences puts still with female genital mutilation.

In cooperation with international organizations have EuroKurd Human Rights-EHR produced a series report. Reports consisting of statisticians over the affected areas, the victims' comments and interviews with various organizations.

In Part 4 we post Imam Zeynel Abidins views on the matter. Imam Abidin said the Prophet Mohamed explanation of genital mutilation of girls.

Imam Zeynelabidin Zinar says:
None of the prophet Mohamed wives were circumcised by him. Therefore, the genital mutilation of girls against Mohamed way of life ...
Halabja anniversary conference
Halabja anniversary conference

CHAK: You are warmly invited to this memorial conference in the UK parliament on:
Chemical Warfare and Genocide : What relevance has International Law to Claims for Reparations?
In the Grand Committee Room of the House of Commons, London
at 6.15 p.m. on Tuesday, 10th March

(Also in another committee room (tbc) in the afternoon of the same day)

Sponsors:

Andrew George MP

Hywel Williams MP


Participants


1 "Voices from Halabja": witnessess of the 1988 chemical attack as well as relatives of the victims

2 Professor Michael Kelly, Creighton University, Nebraska,author of "The ghosts of Halabja"

3 Professor Raymond Bucko (Anthropologist) of Tartan University San Fransisco

4 Dr. Aitor Esteban of the University in Bilbao (a PNV member of the Spanish Parliament in Madrid).

5 Jordi Xucla, leader of the CIU Party of Catalonia

6 Professor Cliff Snaith of Metropolitan University

7 Stephen Thomas of the United Nations Association Wales on the UN Chemical Weapons Convention

8 Ali Rahimi on the gassing of Sardasht, Iran in 1987

9 A speaker on Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange


RSVP to Adnan Kochar adnankochar@hotmail.com

KurdishMedia.com 23/02/2009 00:00:00
Trial Highlights Halabja’s Agony
By Rebaz Mahmoud in Sulaimainiyah and Khabat Nawzad in Halabja (ICR No. 284, 25-Feb-09)

Kamil Abdul-Qadir Wais calls his health “a gift from the Ba’athists”. His lungs are failing, the doctors tell him, making it hard for him to utter even the simplest sentences.


Wais, in his mid-forties, is a survivor of the March 1988 chemical attack on Halabja that killed his family and filled his lungs with poisonous gases. Twenty-one years on, Wais remains an ardent advocate for Halabja’s victims, and smiles weakly knowing that they are finally being heard in court.


“All I ever hoped for was to see the criminals who destroyed Halabja on trial,” Wais said.


Four former leaders of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath party are being tried in Baghdad for planning and executing the attack, which killed some 5,000 people and injured thousands more.


The chemical bombardment of Halabja, a town bordering Iran, became a haunting symbol of Kurdish suffering under Saddam’s rule. The former Iraqi government was accused of using poisons such as mustard gas and VX on civilians in the attack, carried out in the final stages of the Iran-Iraq war.
Seminar: Anfal: The genocide of Kurds
Seminar: Anfal: The genocide of Kurds

London: You are cordially invited to the Imperial War Museum London to a remembrance of Anfal, a genocide conducted by the ousted government of Saddam Hussein in late 1980s.

The seminar is to mark the 21st anniversary of the Anfal: the Kurdish Genocide.

Agenda

The afternoon is a pilot event for a conference in 2010.

The conference will include presentations by the following distinguished speakers:

3:00 - 3:10pm: Welcome and introductions by Dr Malcolm Quinn, Reader in Critical Practice & Research Coordinator at Wimbledon College of Art, University of the Arts London (UAL).

3.10 - 3:30pm: Presentation by Osman Ahmed, PhD candidate at Wimbledon College of Art, UAL, and Anfal artist.

3:30 - 4:00pm: Mr. Shoresh Haji, Kurdish writer and academic worked closely with the Human Rights Watch USA from 1992-94

4:00 - 4:15pm: Short Documentary Film Road Back to Hell by Gwynne Robert

4:15 - 4:30pm: Dr. Kamal Mirawdeli, a specialist of the Middle East, in particular the Kurdish issues, writing from a Kurdish perspective.

4:30 - 5:00pm: Questions and Discussion

Seminar Venue:: Upper Boardroom, Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ
Date: Saturday 14th March 2009, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm
RSVP to Osman Ahmed: osmankahmed@yahoo.co.uk

This is a S.O.C.I.A.T.E. event. (Studies of Conflict: Initiating Art, Thought & Enquiry)
www.sociate.org
KurdishMedia.com 27/02/2009 00:00:00
Seminar on The Anfal: Kurdish Genocide
Seminar on The Anfal: Kurdish Genocide

Seminar on :
The Anfal: Kurdish Genocide

Saturday 14th March 2009, from 11- to 13:00 pm

You are cordially invited to the Imperial War Museum London to a remembrance Agenda seminar to mark the 21st anniversary of the Anfal: the Kurdish Genocide.


The afternoon is a pilot event for a conference in 2010.


The conference will include presentations by the following distinguished speakers:


11:00 - 11:10pm Welcome and introductions by Dr Malcolm Quinn, Reader in Critical Practice & Research Coordinator at Wimbledon College of Art, University of the Arts London (UAL).

11.10 - 11:30 am Presentation by Osman Ahmed, PhD candidate at Wimbledon College of Art, UAL, and Anfal artist.

11:30 - 12:00am Mr. Shoresh Haji, Kurdish writer and academic working closely with the Human Rights Watch USA from 1992-94

12:00 - 12:10pm Short Documentary Film Road Back to Hell by Gwynne Robert

12:10 - 12:30pm Dr. Kamal Mirawdeli, a specialist on the Middle East, in particular the Kurdish issues, writing from a Kurdish perspective.

12:30 - 13:00pm Questions and Discussion

Seminar Venue:

Upper Boardroom,
Imperial War Museum
Lambeth Road
London SE1 6HZ

This is a free seminar and everyone is welcome to attend.

This is a S.O.C.I.A.T.E. event. (Studies of Conflict: Initiating Art, Thought & Enquiry)
www.sociate.org
KurdishMedia.com 03/03/2009 00:00:00
Event: 21st Anniversary memorial service for victims of Halabja chemical attack
Event: 21st Anniversary memorial service for victims of Halabja chemical attack
KurdishMedia.com 12/03/2009 00:00:00
The Halabja poison gas attack occurred in the period 16.17 March 1988, during the Iran-Iraq War. Chemical weapons were used by the Iraqi government forces in the Iraqi Kurdish town of Halabja, killing thousands of people, most of them civilians (3,200-5,000 dead on the spot and 7,000-10,000 injured). Thousands more died of horrific complications, diseases, and birth defects in the years after the attack.


21st Anniversary Memorial Service - Monday 16th March 2009. 11:00am to 12:30


at Arya Restaurant, 19 Brook Street, Huddersfield HD1 1EB

11:00 Procession from Huddersfield Library to 19 Brook Street

11:30 Drama followed by short memorial service


This event is open for anyone to attend regardless of race, creed and gender.

19 Brook Street, Huddersfield, HD1 1EB

KurdishMedia.com 12/03/2009 00
Anfal and Halabja Genocide: Reversing ethnic cleansing and doing justice to the victims in Iraqi Kurdistan
Anfal and Halabja Genocide: Reversing ethnic cleansing and doing justice to the victims in Iraqi Kurdistan”
KurdishMedia.com - By Karim Salih 12/03/2009 00:00:00
Speech by Karim Salih, at the 21st Annual Commemoration of the Chemical Attack on Halabja, organised by Kurdocide Watch - CHAK, held at the Committee Room, British Houses of Parliament, London, 10 March 2009.


Honourable Members of Parliament, distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen,

I am greatly honoured to have the opportunity to address you on this solemn occasion, the annual commemoration of the victims of Halabja and Anfal genocide.
Anfal and Halabja Genocide: Reversing ethnic cleansing and doing justice to the victims in Iraqi Kurdistan”
KurdishMedia.com - By Karim Salih12/03/2009 00:00:00
Speech by Karim Salih, at the 21st Annual Commemoration of the Chemical Attack on Halabja, organised by Kurdocide Watch - CHAK, held at the Committee Room, British Houses of Parliament, London, 10 March 2009.
First United Nations commemoration of Halabja genocide
First United Nations commemoration of Halabja genocide

Diplomats, victims and human rights advocates urge annual recognition and increased activism as steps to deter future slaughters

New York, US (KRG.org) - The enduring tragedies of the 1988 chemical weapons attack against the Kurdish city of Halabja were commemorated for the first time at the United Nations on Monday. The commemoration, co-hosted by the Iraqi Mission to the UN and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), saw ambassadors, members of the Iraqi parliament, the human rights community and survivors decry the world’s silence at the time and urged steps to ensure no similar genocide again occurs.

Iraq’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Dr Hamid Al-Bayati, said holding the commemoration at the UN on the 21st anniversary of the genocide was an important milestone for the world to acknowledge the terror inflicted and the lack of action to protect the innocent and bring to justice those responsible.

“We come into the United Nations after we have told our story in the streets of New York, Washington and London” Al-Bayati said. “This is history.” The Ambassador called on the United Nations to set March 16 as an annual commemoration “with the hope that atrocities like this will not occur again”

At least 5,000 people died as an immediate result of the chemical attack on March 16, 1988, and again on March 18. A further 7,000 people were injured or suffered long term illness and birth defects after being exposed to the nerve agents Tabun, Sarin, and VX, as well as mustard gas. While the attack against Halabja remains the largest-scale, single chemical weapons assault directed against a civilian-populated area in history, the attacks were part of a larger systematic operation named Anfal which was aimed at eradicating the Kurds.

“Halabja, once a vibrant centre of Kurdish culture was, in a day, turned into a symbol of Kurdish tragedy,” said Qubad Talabani, the KRG’s representative to the US. “It is our ground zero.”

Discussing steps world leaders must take to prevent genocide were Ambassador Peter Galbraith and Mr Liebe Geft, director of the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. Galbraith recalled his discovery of Saddam’s campaign of atrocities in 1987 and how world governments and officials must not dilute the horror for the sake of short-term expediencies with a rogue nation. Geft said the commemoration “embodies our hopes and our dreams for a more tolerant future.” Representatives of the Turkish and Iranian missions to the UN read statements of solidarity.

During the commemoration Human Rights Watch was recognised by the KRG for its work to expose and document the genocide of the Kurds by Saddam Hussein. Kenneth Roth, executive director, said the world must never again accept geopolitical excuses as the reasons for inaction against genocide, such as that against the Kurds. “It is wrong to close one’s eyes to atrocities,” Roth said. “Once a measure of impunity is set, all kinds of dictators around the world are all too eager to listen and to act,”

A photographic exhibition documenting the Halabja genocide was unveiled and will remain on display in the United Nations Headquarters in New York, before travelling to various locations across the US. The exhibition will then become part of the permanent work at The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.
Remembering Halabja
Remembering Halabja


March 16, 1988. The Iran-Iraq war was in its eighth deadly year. On the front lines of that conflict was the Iraqi city of Halabja, near the border with Iran. An intense air and artillery bombardment shook this city of 50,000, driving the inhabitants underground. As evening fell, Iraqi helicopters and fighter bombers dropped chemical weapons. Nouri Hama Ali, a survivor, recalled the horror that followed.

"Many of the women and children began to die. The chemical clouds were on the ground. They were heavy. Many children were left on the ground, by the side of the road. Old people as well. They were running, then they would stop breathing and die."

Some 5,000 Iraqi Kurdish men, women, and children were killed in the attack by the Saddam Hussein regime. Some 10,000 others were maimed, blinded, disfigured or badly injured. The chemical attacks contaminated food and water supplies. Medical experts have documented that the survivors of Halabja suffer from increased levels of colon cancer and respiratory diseases, and high rates of miscarriages and infertility among women.

The attack on Halabja was neither an aberration nor a desperate act of a regime caught in a stalemated war. Instead, it was part of a deliberate campaign called Al-Anfal, intended by Saddam Hussein to kill and displace the predominately Kurdish inhabitants of northern Iraq.

A study published in 1994 by Human Rights Watch concluded that the Al-Anfal campaign resulted in at least 50,000 deaths and perhaps as many as 100,000 deaths. Halabja and Al-Anfal are deadly reminders of the horror that hate and despotic power can inflict. The world must never forget.

Iraqi Cabinet Presses for 'Chemical Ali's' Execution
Iraqi Cabinet Presses for 'Chemical Ali's' Execution
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Posted GMT 3-18-2009 BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The Iraqi Cabinet pressed the presidential council Tuesday to ratify court-ordered executions for several former Iraqi officials convicted of crimes against humanity, including the ex-general known as "Chemical Ali," a government spokesman said. "The Cabinet calls on the presidency council to execute the will of the Iraqi people in ratifying the order to implement the decisions issued by the Iraqi High Tribunal for the criminals who were sentenced to death, based on the court's law which states that the verdicts is (are) to be executed within one month," according to a government statement.However, the fate of the executions request was in question. - Before an execution can take place, all three members of the presidential council must sign the execution order, but so far Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, a Sunni Arab, has refused to give his approval for at least one of the men: former Defense Minister Sultan Hashem Ahmed. Hashem Ahmed is a prominent Sunni whose death could harm efforts to reconcile Iraq's once-dominant Sunni community with the Shiite majority that now wields political power.

The other council members are President Jalal Talibani, a Kurd, and Vice President Adil Abul Mahdi, a Shiite. Iraq law does not say what happens if all three do not sign an execution order.

Hashem Ahmed and "Chemical Ali," or Ali Hassan al-Majeed, have been on death row for more than a year after being convicted for their roles in the 1988 Anfal campaign, where al-Majeed earned his nickname by using poison gas against Kurds in northern Iraq. Thousands of people died.

Al-Majeed has received three death sentences for his crimes. In addition to Anfal, al-Majeed has been found guilty of crimes against humanity for his key role in the slaughter of thousands of Shiite Muslims during a revolt in southern Iraq that followed the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Estimates of the Shiite death toll range from 20,000 to 100,000.

He also was convicted for aiding in the suppression of a Shiite rebellion in the heavily Shiite district of Baghdad, now called Sadr city.

Last week, the Iraqi High Tribunal sentenced him and former Prime Minister Tariq Aziz to 15 years in prison, and two half-brothers of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to death. Those sentences stem from their roles in the 1992 executions of 42 merchants.
Halabja massacre photographer to testify in Chemical Ali trial
Halabja massacre photographer to testify in Chemical Ali trial

Photographer Ramazan Öztürk, whose photo “Silent Witness” has been regarded as the symbol of the massacre in Halabja, was called as a witness by the Iraqi court hearing the “Chemical Ali” trial.
A Turkish photographer who took what became the symbolic photo of the massacre of 5,000 Kurds in the Iraqi Kurdish border town of Halabja in 1988 has been called to testify at the ongoing “Chemical Ali” trial, where Saddam-era official Ali Hassan al-Majid, known as Chemical Ali, is accused of using gas to kill thousands.
Photographer Ramazan Öztürk, whose photo “Silent Witness” has been regarded as the symbol of the massacre in Halabja, was called as a witness by the Iraqi court hearing the “Chemical Ali” trial. Öztürk will go to Iraq on the anniversary of the massacre, March 16, and attend the opening ceremony of the Genocide Museum in Halabja. He will give the camera with which he took the symbolic photo to the museum as a gift, but Öztürk said he will present his unpublished photos to the court and will recount his experiences. Öztürk will go to Iraq with nearly 60 photos, including his famous photo, “Silent Witness,” which has won several awards.
Photographer Ramazan Öztürk (C), whose photo “Silent Witness” has been regarded as the symbol of the massacre in Halabja, was called as a witness by the Iraqi court hearing the “Chemical Ali” trial.
He was working as a war correspondent in Iraq when the massacre began on March 16, 1988; he read a news report that day stating that Iraqi planes dropped chemical bombs on Halabja, killing many people. “I decided to go to Halabja as soon as I read the news. I told my editors. It was a region I knew. They told me to go. I headed to Iran. There were some other journalists from other countries with me. We were taken to the region with two helicopters,” he said.

Photographer Ramazan Öztürk

The helicopter left them somewhere on the outskirts of the town, and they were provided with gas masks and antidotes. “As soon as I entered the town center, I started to see corpses scattered all around. There were dead bodies, mostly of children, women and the elderly. The scene was terrifying,” he said. The tragedy made him cry, but he was also thinking of ways to express the massacre to the world. “I said I should take impressive photos so that I can truly express the massacre to the world. Iranian soldiers were telling us to hurry. Then I came across a scene. A father fallen over the stairs of a house, holding a baby in his arms. I was deeply impressed. That was what I was looking for. It became ‘Silent Witness’,” he said.
Öztürk also said he was followed and threatened by Iraqi intelligence officers after the photo was published. The Iraqi ambassador to Ankara called Öztürk and said that he did not want him not to cover the chemical massacre and offered him money.
Ali Hassan al-Majeed, a Sunni Arab who was Saddam’s cousin and a member of his inner circle, has already been sentenced to death three times, once in 2007 for his role in killing tens of thousands of Kurds in Saddam’s “Anfal” campaign. Majeed’s second death sentence came in December 2008 for his part in crushing a Shiite revolt after the 1991 Gulf War. He was given his third death sentence by an Iraqi court last week, this one for his involvement in killing and displacing Shiite Muslims in 1999. Cihan
14 March 2009, Saturday - UĞUR ÖZTÜRK İSTANBUL
TRIAL HIGHLIGHTS HALABJA'S AGONY
Kamil Abdul-Qadir Wais calls his health "a gift from the Ba'athists". His lungs are failing, the doctors tell him, making it hard for him to utter even the simplest sentences.

Wais, in his mid-forties, is a survivor of the March 1988 chemical attack on Halabja that killed his family and filled his lungs with poisonous gases. Twenty-one years on, Wais remains an ardent advocate for Halabja's victims, and smiles weakly knowing that they are finally being heard in court.
HALABJA & THE GUINESS BOOK OF RECORDS
HALABJA & THE GUINESS BOOK OF RECORDS
Subject: Recognition of 16th of March to be the international day against the use of chemical weapons Dear Sir, Madame, For the second time this year I would like to request you on behalf of the CHAK Organisation, to recognise the 16th of March as the international day against the use of chemical weapons. At the16th March of 1988 the Kurdish city Halabja was attacked, during the Iran-Iraq War. Chemical weapons were used by the Iraqi government forces, killing 5000 of innocent people, most of them civilians.Thousands more died of horrific complications, diseases, and birth defects in the years after the attack. Many victims suffer everyday from the complications the chemical weapons have caused. In the Iraqi Kurdistan where most of these victims live, is a great shortage of medicals, hospitals and doctors who are specialised in diseases caused by these weapons. In the Guinness Book of Records of 2007, Halabja City is recognised as the first city in the world being sacrificed by the use of chemical weapons. Guinness Book of Records mentions the loss of 4000 human lives, even though due to our sources this number is much higher. Since Halabja have been recognised as the biggest sacrifice of chemical weapons, I would like to draw your attention to our request regarding the principles you are standing for. I truly hope you would take our request into serious consideration and will decide to grant our request. On behalf of CHAK I would like to thank you for your thought in advance. Yours Sincerely,
The Anfal: Kurdish Genocide
Seminar on
The Anfal: Kurdish Genocide

Saturday 14th March 2009, from 11- to 13:00 pm
You are cordially invited to the Imperial War Museum London to a remembrance Agenda seminar to mark the 21st anniversary of the Anfal: the Kurdish Genocide.

The afternoon is a pilot event for a conference in 2010.

The conference will include presentations by the following distinguished speakers:

11:00 - 11:10am Welcome and introductions by Dr Malcolm Quinn,
Reader in Critical Practice & Research Coordinator at Wimbledon
College of Art, University of the Arts London (UAL).
11.10 - 11:30 am Presentation by Osman Ahmed, PhD candidate at Wimbledon College of Art, UAL, and Anfal artist.
11:30 - 12:00am Mr. Shoresh Haji, Kurdish writer and academic working closely with the Human Rights Watch USA from 1992-94

12:00 - 12:10pm Short Documentary Film Road Back to Hell by Gwynne Robert
12:10 - 12:30pm Dr. Kamal Mirawdeli, a specialist on the Middle East, in particular the Kurdish issues, writing from a Kurdish perspective.
12:30 - 13:00pm Questions and Discussion

Seminar Venue:

Upper Boardroom,
Imperial War Museum
Lambeth Road
London SE1 6HZ
For more information please email osmankahmed@yahoo.co.uk
This is a S.O.C.I.A.T.E. event. (Studies of Conflict: Initiating Art, Thought & Enquiry)
www.sociate.org
Twenty-six Kurdish demonstrators arrested in Syria
Twenty-six Kurdish demonstrators arrested in Syria

during ten minute silent protest about human rights abuses.


Information from MAF - Human Rights Organisation in Syria and Foad Aleko- Secretary of Kurdish Yekiti Party in Syria- announced today, 28.2.2009 that at 11am, Kurds came out onto the streets of al-Jazeera in the Kurdish region of Syria to hold a silent ten minute demonstration in the street, to protest about the legislation Decree 49 that further removes their basic human rights.

Decree 49 prevents Kurds from buying, selling, renting and building property and is having a profound effect on their community. It is seen as another weapon of the Syrian authorities in their attempts to ethnically cleanse Kurds from the country.

Intelligence security forces swooped on the demonstrators and arbitrarily arrested twenty-six people:

· Mr. Adnan Suleman - solicitor and President of the MAF Trustees Assembly

· Mr. Mahmud Omar – solicitor and member of MAF Trustees Assembly,

· Mr. Akram Suleman - member of MAF Trustees Assembly

· Mr. Suleman Mohammed Ismail – member of Governing Assembly in Kurdish Human Rights Committee al-Rasd

· Mr. Masoud Kaso – solicitor and member of Governing Assembly in Kurdish Human Rights Committee al-Rasd

· Dr. Abdulmajid Mahmoud Sabri – member of the Political Bureau of Democratic Kurdish Party Syria

· Mr. Suleman Majid Auso – member of Political Committee – Kurdish Yekiti Party in Syria

· Mr. Baafel Ali Ahmed

· Mr Mohammed Esa Ismael

· Dr. Fowaz Hanifa

· Dr. Ibrahim Hussein Abbas

· Mr. Baha al-Adin Faatami - solicitor

· Mr. Ali Ibrahim

· Mr. Omar Ismael

· Mr Mohammed Esa

· Mr.Hussein Ismael

· Mr. Mohammed Esa Hajali al-Ahmad

· Mr. Hussein Ibrahim Mohammed

· Mr. Allah al-Adin Hamami Ahmad

· Mr.Nosradin Ahmee

· Mr. Fathala Ahmed Mohammed

· Dr. Abdusalaam Esa Osman

· Mr. Osman Suleman Ali

· Mr. Khifhosh Esa

· Dr. Abdusalaam al-Hadi

· Mr. Esa Haji Ali – solicitor

The Kurdish Yekiti Party in Syria asks the Governments in European countries to recognise that Kurds in Syria are denied their basic rights. It is not enough to merely mention the human rights abuses in discussions with Syria because that changes nothing. We request that you require the Syrian Government to demonstrate real change before further opening the doors of Europe.

Committee of Kurdish Yekiti Party in Syria – UK branch

Yekiti.party_uk@yahoo.co.uk

28.2.2009
CAMPAIGN AGAINST FEMALE GENITALE MUTILATION We have started our campaign against
CAMPAIGN AGAINST FEMALE GENITALE MUTILATION We have started our campaign against genital mutilation in the Kurdish media. Our news service "Zarathustra News" was first part of our report to all the Kurdish TV channels, radio stations, newspapers, websites, political parties, organizations and celebrities, and more.
Read our report:

- Http://www.rizgari.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=17652 (a most read website. It belongs to a political organization)
- Http://www.dergush.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1788 (Yezidis federation in Germany)
- Http://www.kurdishinstitute.be/english/786.html (Kurdish Institute in Brussels)
- Http://pukmedia.com/kurdi/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=8996&Itemid=2(PUK Media, controlled by the Iraqi President Celal Talebani)
- Http://www.institutakurdi.com/ (Kurdish Institute in Germany. They have a lot of support in Northern and Eastern Kurdistan)
- Http://www.kncscandinavia.com/ (Kurdistan National Congress)
- Http://www.parastin.com/sinnet_qiz.html (news agency parastin) Sincerely EuroKurd Human RightsGabar Çiyan
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