After the Swedish Parliament approved Anfal as genocide against the Kurds British Parliament approved the Kurdish Anfal as genocide against Kurds. The Turks and Iranians Iraq has also genocide against the Kurds, it has happened in Iran and Turkey also Syrians made genocide against the Kurds, you could say four countries have made genocide against Kurds in iraq, iran turkey and Syrians
Saddam charged with genocide of Kurds
The special Iraqi court that is trying Saddam Hussein announced Tuesday that it had charged the ex-president with genocide for attempting to annihilate the Kurdish race through military operations in 1988 that killed at least 50,000 civilians and destroyed thousands of villages.
The case is the first against Hussein to address the large-scale human rights violations committed during his decades in power, the same crimes the Bush administration has been publicizing to justify its costly invasion of Iraq. Six other defendants also face charges. Hussein is already being tried for the torture and killings of 148 men and boys in the Shiite village of Dujail.
Genocide is the most serious of the three charges brought against Hussein, marking the first time that a Middle Eastern ruler is being brought to trial for that crime. Only a handful of world leaders or government officials have ever faced the charge, which was enshrined in international law in 1948.
"It was during this campaign that thousands of women, children and men were buried in mass graves in many locations," Raid Juhi, the chief judge of the Iraqi High Tribunal's investigative court, said at a news conference this afternoon. "The natives of Kurdistan suffered very hard living conditions, forced relocation and illegal detention for a large number of people."
Judge Juhi said it would be up to other judges to decide when the trial would start, and whether it would overlap with the Dujail case. It can begin no sooner than 45 days from now because that is the minimum amount of time given to defense lawyers to review the case files. Hussein has been notified of the charges, but his lawyers had not been given the files as of tonight.
The court defines the bloody Anfal campaign, whose name means "the spoils" from a favorite Koranic verse of Hussein, as eight military operations in 1988 in the mountainous Kurdish homeland of northern Iraq. At least 2,000 villages were razed, and families who escaped death squads or were allowed to live were forced to relocate into the hinterlands or in neighboring countries. The Kurds, estimated to make up a fifth of Iraq, tried to fight back with their militias, but were crushed with aerial assaults and chemical attacks involving mustard gas and nerve agents.
Judge Juhi said the court had gathered enough evidence, ranging from documents to mass graves, to prosecute the defendants in the deaths of at least 50,000 civilians. Kurdish officials and human rights advocates put the death toll much higher and often say the Anfal campaign actually began years earlier, with other massacres and forced migrations. All parties agree that at the very least, hundreds of thousands were arrested, tortured, relocated or killed.
All seven defendants are charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes related to an internal armed conflict. Hussein and one other defendant, Ali Hassan al-Majid, known as "Chemical Ali," also face the charge of genocide, which legal experts say is difficult to prove. Majid was one of Hussein's most feared aides and had complete oversight over the north during the Anfal campaign.
The other defendants include military commanders and senior intelligence officials.
"These charges should not be addressed to President Saddam," Khalil al-Dulaimi, Hussein's chief lawyer, said in a telephone interview. "They should be addressed to the American and British forces because they are killing the Iraqi people and using weapons of mass destruction against the Iraqi people."President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd who for years led militiamen in the north, praised the court's decision to bring the Anfal charges, and promised that he and other government officials would not try to influence the trial.
"We see that it is necessary not to interfere in the affairs of justice, and we want it to become a model for all the countries in our region, for the sake of a federal and democratic Iraq," he said at a news conference.
It has taken years to assemble the evidence for the Anfal case, given its scope. American officials say the Dujail crimes were selected as the first ones against which to try Hussein because building that case was not nearly as difficult. It is also easier in the Dujail case to establish a clear chain of command between Hussein and those who carried out the executions, the officials say.
But they acknowledge that the Anfal massacres and the suppression of the Shiite uprising of 1991, which resulted in up to 150,000 deaths, are the two cases that go much more directly to the heart of Hussein's rule, and could prove more cathartic for the vast majority of Iraqis.
The Dujail trial, expected to resume on Wednesday with a cross-examination of Hussein, is entering its final phase, in which the court will review formal charges and hear arguments from the defense lawyers. In the last session, on March 15, Mr. Hussein gave his first formal testimony, using the opportunity to harangue the court and urge Iraqis to put aside sectarian differences in order to carry on the war against the Americans. The trial is expected to run until at least May.
If a death sentence is handed down to Hussein, it is unclear whether the court would carry out the execution before other cases such as Anfal begin or are concluded. Any death sentence is automatically reviewed by an appellate court. There is no deadline for a decision, but if the appeal is denied, then the statutes of the Iraqi High Tribunal mandate that the defendant must be executed within 30 days. Even the president's office, which is supposed to approve all death sentences, would be able to do little to delay that, according to American legal experts advising the tribunal.
Many Iraqis who despise Hussein, especially Shiites and Kurds, have denounced the very idea of a tribunal and called for Hussein's immediate execution, while some officials such as President Talabani have said they want Hussein to stay alive long enough to face trial on all possible charges. There are about a dozen investigations underway, all of which could result in individual sets of charges. Separate from Anfal is the infamous massacre in the village of Halabja, in which at least 5,000 Kurds died from gas attacks on March 16, 1988.
The operations of the tribunal and its oversight of the Dujail case have been tumultuous, plagued by the assassinations of a judge and lawyers, political pressure from the Iraqi government and power struggles among the judges. Questions have been raised about why the tribunal was never set up in an international venue, where security would not be a paramount concern. American and Iraqi officials have struggled to endow the trial with legitimacy, but many foreign governments and human rights advocates continue to view it as a show court, with an inevitable verdict for Hussein.
The levying of charges in Anfal brings a new set of problems, they say. If the trial were to proceed while the Dujail case is still going on, then Hussein's defense team could be placed at an unfair disadvantage, forced to juggle two trials. By contrast, a separate prosecutor and five-judge panel will oversee that Anfal trial.
With Hussein needing to focus on final arguments in Dujail, "how he could do all that and then simultaneously prepare for a larger and more complex litigation - it goes to issues of fairness," said Marieka Wierda, a senior associate at the International Center for Transitional Justice.
The other seven defendants in Dujail are entirely different than those in the Anfal case.
Kurdish officials often say that 180,000 were killed in the Anfal campaign, but the actual number is closer to 80,000, according to Joost Hiltermann, the Middle East director of the International Crisis Group, who is writing a book on the Kurds. The scope of the trial is generally limited to the eight military operations from February to late August 1988, but will also examine evidence starting from March 1987, when Hussein appointed Majid the senior official in the north and gave him complete powers to quash the Kurdish militias and suppress any uprising.
In the years preceding Anfal, Kurds in villages near Iran were forced to abandon their homes. Those areas were labeled "prohibited," and anyone living there was deemed to be an Iranian agent or saboteur. The Anfal campaign was undertaken to eradicate those who had moved back to or remained in the prohibited areas.
In the Iraqi High Tribunal, a charge of genocide is an accusation that someone has tried to wipe out a people or a discreet part of a people because of their ethnicity or religion. Only a few legal cases around the world have ever involved genocide. The legal concept of genocide did not exist at the time of the Nuremberg trials and was not established as an international crime until 1948 in the Genocide Convention, mostly to try to ensure that killings an atrocity like the Holocaust would never be committed again.
The first successful genocide case was argued in the Rwanda tribunal, held in Tanzania. A former mayor named Jean-Paul Akayesu and former prime minister Jean Kambanda were convicted in September and May 1998, receiving life imprisonment and becoming the first people to be found guilty of genocide.
Four other Rwandans were convicted in 1999. Last year, the international tribunal for Yugoslavia brought its first genocide conviction, which resulted in a prison sentence of 46 years for Radislav Krstic, the Bosnian Serb who directed the 1995 massacre of 7,000 men and boys at Srebrenica.
The other defendants in the Anfal case are Sultan Hashem Ahmed, the military commander of the campaign and defense minister starting in 2001; Sabir Abdul-Aziz al-Duri, director of military intelligence; Hussein Rashid al-Tikriti, deputy of operations for the Iraqi forces; Tahir Tawfiq al-Ani, governor of Mosul; and Farhan Mutlak al-Jubouri, head of military intelligence in the north.
Abdul Razzaq al-Saiedi and Kirk Semple contributed reporting for this article.