Canadian MP introduces motion to recognize Kurdish genocide

A Canadian Member of Parliament tabled a motion to officially recognize the two-year campaign against Iraqi Kurds in the 1980s as a genocide.

OTTAWA, Canada (Kurdistan24) – A Canadian Member of Parliament tabled a motion to officially recognize the two-year campaign against Iraqi Kurds in the 1980s as a genocide.

Tom Kmiec, Member of Parliament for Calgary Shepard, wanted his parliament to recognize the 1986-1988 mass killing of Kurds by the former Iraqi dictator as a genocide.

Saddam Hussein ordered the murder of Kurds while at war with Iran. Official statistics say 182,000 were killed, but Kurds believe the number is much higher than that.

In the one-day massacre of Kurds in Halabja by chemical weapons, an estimated 5,000 Kurds lost their lives in five minutes.

Survivors of the gassing still suffer from birth defects and post-stress traumatic disorder (PTSD).

In his motion, Kmiec pointed out that Kurdish people were “systematically targeted for extermination based on their ethnicity,” which matches the definition of genocide.

“Canada has a long tradition of standing up for persecuted people and condemning atrocities such as this,” Kmiec said.

In 2008, the Canadian Parliament recognized the Ukrainian Holodomor as genocide.

Additionally, in 2004, Canada formally acknowledged the Armenian genocide by Ottoman Turks.

The recognition outraged Turkey who continues to deny the genocide despite historian’s proof to the contrary.

If Canada passes the motion, it will not be the first country to recognize the Iraqi regime’s atrocity against Kurds.

The government of Iraq itself as well as the parliaments of the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Norway have formally recognized the Anfal campaign.

Kmiec is the chair of the Parliamentary Friends of the Kurds, an all-parties caucus dedicated to cultivating dialogue and forming stronger parliamentary ties with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq.

In 2013, Liberal Party MP Jim Karygiannis began an online petition to urge the United States government and the United Nations to recognize Kurdish genocide.

Canada, the US, and the UN have not recognized the Anfal campaign as genocide yet.

In June, Canada turned down a motion to recognize the mass extermination of Yezidi (Ezidi) Kurds by the Islamic State as genocide.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany