A woman sits at the Memorial grave of one of the victims of the Halabja Massacre

15/03/2016 - 23:00
Memorial Service for Victims of Halabja Massacre

16 March 2016

A memorial service was held for the victims of the Halabja Massacre at the Martyrs Monument today in the town of Halabja.

The 28th anniversary memorial service for the 5,000 victims of the massacre commited by the Baath regime on 16 March 1988 in Southern Kurdistan’s Halabja town started at 9.00 in front of the Halabja Massacre Martyrs Monument.

Numerous MP’s including MP’s from Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, Iran Consul and Iran Head of Religious Affairs attended the ceremony, along with thousands of people.

After the ceremony, the belongings of people who were killed in the chemical attack and the work of a Portugese artist on the Halabja Massacre were exhibited.

At 9.45, political groups and many NGOs left wreaths on the coffins of two people who were killed in the massacre, but identified recently. In a speech here Halabja Governor Abdul Muhammed emphasised the massacres against Kurds and stated that they as a people needed to be more vigilant in order to avoid new massacres.

After Abdul Muhammed’s speech, Mihemed Ferec read the message written by the families of victims for the commemoration. Reading of messages from different political groups was followed by a local chorus singing marches and those present in the ceremony joined the 5 minutes of silence at 11.45, the time the Halabja Massacre started.

Ehzem and Berzan, two children lost in the aftermath of the massacre and were found after 28 years, returned to their families in a ceremony held for the occasion. Reuniting with their families, Ehzem and Berzan changed their names to Alan and Çiya respectively.

The cancellation of many official commemorations and ceremonies due to the economic and political crisis in the Kurdistan region affected the Halabja Massacre commemoration ceremony too, and there was less interest in the ceremony in contrast to the previous years.

Click here to watch the documentary 'The Kurdish Winter' about the Kurdish struggle against the Baath regime.

Source: Roj News
Translation: ANF
Edited by Kurdish Question

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