Halabja, March 16th 2019
We commemorate the day in 1988 when Halabja was attacked with chemical weapons and our thought are with the survivors of this terrible attack. The citizens of Halabja have organised remembrance events, every year. Our partner organisation NWE has also organised events condemning the use of chemical weapons in Syria and standing in solidarity with other survivors.
This year on March 13, 2019 Syrian refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) currently living in Halabja-most of whom are Arabs- donated their blood to Halabja hospital as the symbol of support and peaceful coexistence among them. This was a meaningful step towards building trust between the local Halabja Kurdish population and the Arab refugees and IDPs who are living there. This event is part of an ongoing project which started in the summer of 2015 the ‘Citizenship, Participation and Peaceful Coexistance’ an incredible movement driven by a humanistic response by locals to a complex refugee crisis and is supported by Wadi. This event was organised by NWE organisation in cooperation with OGBL organisation. Below is the video by GK TV.
In 1988 the city was harshly targeted and repressed by Saddam’s regime. As part of his campaign against the Kurdish population during the Anfal campaign the city was targeted by sarin and mustard gas attacks, between 3,200 and 5,000 were killed or otherwise sustained lifelong injuries and illnesses.
In the years since the attacks, little has been done to help the survivors. The effects of chemical warfare are severe, painful and long-lasting. Survivors of the attacks suffer from cancer, skin, blood and bone diseases, infertility, and high rates of still-birth. These are devastating conditions, requiring constant and high level medical care. Not to mention the emotional and psychological toll.