Barzani Cemetery, Barzan, Kurdistan, Iraq 15 April 2023 credit Ted Stanton copyright 2023 TedStantonPhoto
The gravestones have no names because the remains were mixed and buried in mass graves.
A Genocide Watch team working in Kurdistan, the US, the UK, India, and the Netherlands today issued a report detailing seven genocides that have been perpetrated in Kurdistan since 1980. Genocide Watch has made numerous trips to Kurdistan since 2007. Genocide Watch teams have read thousands of pages of reports in Kurdish, Arabic, English, French, Dutch and German. Genocide Watch teams have visited many camps for displaced persons in Kurdistan. The teams have interviewed hundreds of eyewitnesses to the genocides and crimes against humanity committed against the Kurdish people.
In April 2023, Genocide Watch again made an investigatory trip to Kurdistan with the help of the KGLobby, a Kurdish and Dutch human rights organization. The Genocide Watch team interviewed eyewitnesses from many groups: Yazidis, Barzani and Feyli Kurds, Shi'a and Sunni Muslims, Chaldean and Assyrian Christians. We met with Iraqi organizations that belong to Genocide Watch's Alliance Against Genocide. We also met with officials in the Kurdistan Regional Government, UNITAD (the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da'esh/ISIL), the Chaldean Catholic Church, the Coalition for Just Reparations, and EMMA (the women rights organization).
We follow the heroic work in 1993 of Joost Hilterman and Human Rights Watch, led my dear friend and Yale Law classmate, Ken Roth, in documenting The Anfal Genocide. The Human Rights Watch report remains the gold standard for human rights documentation.
We embarked on this trip to gather the evidence and do the legal analysis to prove that these crimes constituted Genocide. We spoke at a major conference in Erbil on Recognition and Reparations for the Kurdish Genocides. We came away determined to seek justice and reparations for the Kurdish victims of these genocides.
With the KG Lobby, Genocide Watch is proposing a Resolution by the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) recognizing these crimes as genocides. The IAGS is the most authoritative group of genocide experts in the world. We hope that this IAGS resolution will help mobilize the Iraq government and many other governments that aided and abetted or were complicit in the Kurdish Genocides to recognize their responsibility to provide reparations to assist the hundreds of thousands of Kurds who still live with the daily trauma left by these genocides. Kurdish people must not become another forgotten people, left behind in the aftermath of genocide.
We post the Genocide Watch Report on the Kurdish Genocides with a prayer for just reparations.