Statement by Prime Minister Barzani on recognition of Kurdish genocide by British parliament

February 28, 2013

Earlier today the British parliament held a debate on whether to recognise the crimes committed against the people of Kurdistan in Iraq as genocide. We are pleased not only that such a debate took place but also that the British parliament now formally recognises the Kurdish genocide.

This is an important milestone in our struggle for justice, recognition and compensation for the thousands of men, women and children who died at the hands of the former regime. It is a significant landmark for the survivors of the Anfal and chemical bombardment and for the children of those who were martyred as they try to rebuild their lives.

We thank all those who worked hard to make this debate take place: the thousands of Kurds in the UK and British friends of Kurdistan who signed a petition calling for acknowledgement of the genocide; the British members of parliament, especially the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Kurdistan Region, who worked to secure the debate; and the KRG UK Representation who initiated this project and followed it through to its successful conclusion.

We also welcome the statement by the Middle East Minister Alistair Burt during the debate that the government will work with the opposition party to collectively find a way to do more on acknowledging the genocide even though the government does not formally recognise it.

The British parliament’s recognition of the genocide follows similar acknowledgements by the Norwegian and Swedish parliaments last year. We thank them all and hope that this will inspire our friends and friends of human rights and freedom in other countries to do the same. We must all stand together against tyranny, where ever it may appear.

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