"Halabja 1988 / Afrin 2018: Poison gas back then, tanks today – No German weapons against the Kurdish people!"
Vigil in front of the Brandenburg Gate (Appointment)
In memory of the victims of the poison gas attack against the Kurdish city of Halabja in Iraqi Kurdistan 30 years ago, the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) is organizing a vigil on March 13, in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. The motto will be “Halabja 1988 / Afrin 2018: Poison gas back then, tanks today – No German weapons against the Kurdish people!” In the course of the vigil (at 1 pm), the STP will present a report to Cludia Roth, Vice-President of the German Bundestag.
On March 16 and 17, 1988, the air force of the regime of Saddam Hussein had attacked Halabja with poison gas. The attack had also been made possible by companies from Germany and other European countries – by helping to build the poison gas production facilities, for example. At least 5,000 people had died within a few hours.
The consequences of the poison gas attack are still evident today. Many of the survivors are still suffering from long-term consequences. In Halabja, there is an unusually high number of cases of malignant cancer, of skin diseases, respiratory problems, infertility, miscarriages, and congenital malformations. Even today, there is a lack of funding to establish a medical infrastructure that is able to ensure sufficient care for the surviving victims.
“On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the attack, we are demanding justice for the victims,” the STP’s Middle East Consultant explained. The organization has been campaigning for the people of Halabja for decades. “There must finally be a fund for Halabja and the surrounding villages, and initiatives to improve the medical and economic infrastructure. In addition, the victims expect an apology from the German government – with regard to the fact that German companies participated in the Iraqi chemical weapons program. Further, we demand that no weapons should be allowed to be delivered to the region, especially in connection with Turkey’s ongoing war of aggression against the Kurds in Syria.”
Shortly before the anniversary, the STP published a human rights report focusing on the 30th anniversary of the attack on Halabja and on the situation of the victims. The report is based on background information and interviews with people from Halabja.
You can download the german version of the human right report here.
Header Photo: Sammy Six via Flickr