Creation of a network of activists from villages and towns that were bombed with chemical weapons by Saddam Husseins army in the 1980s
We are a group of activists of villages and towns that were bombed by the Iraqi army with chemical weapons. Hundreds of people were killed or heavily injured and our villages were destroyed. Only after 1991 we slowly started to rebuild our villages and tried to return. But until today we lack basic services and support both from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the International Community.
Therefore we started to organize ourselves in a network trying to lobby for more assistance and to strengthen self help initiatives on the grass root level. In 2009 we decided to form a Non-Governmental organization (NGO) and submitted a registration to the KRG. Today, three years later, we are still waiting for a reply. Due to a lack of governmental structures and the inability of the Government to implement a new NGO law, no organizations got any registration during the last years. Withholding citizens the right to form associations and NGOs violates basic principles of fundamental democratic rights both grated by the Iraqi Constitution and various UN-Documents.
We are tired of waiting and asking and think the right of citizens to form associations enabling them to act in concert for a better future should be taken serious. Therefore we decided to announce today, on 29th December 2012 here in Halabja the existence of our new NGO “White” Organization and declare it legally registered according to Law Number One, Article 8 concerning NGOs, issued in 2011.
From 28th till 29th of December 2012 all activists and representatives from different areas which were bombed with poison in 1987-1988 meet in Halabja to discuss future planning and preparations for the 25th anniversary Halabja bombing with poison gas. The first activity of White organization took place today in Halabja, a small conference including a briefing about all the activities our group did since 2009 with support of WADI organization and Green Cross Switzerland. Additionally the participants were informed about ways of documenting crimes through Oral History collections.
White stands for peace on the one hand and is the colour of the smoke of poison gas grenades on the other hand. This is why we choose this name for our organization that has the main aim to assist and enable further development of the regions attacked by gas. We also want to lobby and raise awareness about these terrible events on local and international level and demand that these gas attacks should internationally be recognized as a crime against humanity.
We want to engage ourselves for the collection of all remnants and memory's concerning the gas attacks, including reports, articles, documents. All this must be collected and preserved for future generations. At the same time, a scientific research and an analysis of the humanitarian problems of the people in these regions must be undertaken. Today, the impact of these gas attacks on humans and the environment needs to be investigated.
It should be clear, that the gas attacks against the civilian population in the years of 1987 and 1988 were strongly connected to the slaughters and displacements of the Anfal-campaign. This Campaign with the gas attacks in their centre was a planned genocide. For the work already done in helping these areas that were attacked by gas, and the families of the victims in the fields of reconstruction, humanitarian support, research, or press coverage, we want to thank all the people and organisations, that were involved in the past. We emphasize, that we are eager to cooperate with all active groups or organisations that are willing to carry out activities in the gas affected regions in the future. Our manifest is not only aiming at making our registration public, we also want to clarify that all our activities will are open to the public. It was a Genocide that happened in Kurdistan, and it should be remembered as such.
In support of our work and agenda, we need assistance from abroad as well as from within. In promotion of our agenda, we want to give a signal for peace and become a part of the worldwide movement against the proliferation and the use of weapons of mass destruction.
- Hama Amen Lasa , Twana Mosleh / Balesan
- Zryan Abdulrahman / Garawanan
- Hemn Abdullah , Honar Salar / Goptapa
- Hassan Abdulkarem , Hasan Mostafa / Sewsenan
- Awat Qadir , AKRAM Ali Haseb / Jafayati –Sharbazher
- Dlawar Haydar , Qaysar Rahman , Falah Moradklhin / Halabja city
- Omer Mohamad / Activist
29 -December-2012 / Halabja