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Rudaw

Kurdistan

Relative of Anfal survivor wants Baathist fort turned into a museum in Duhok

By Rudaw 14/4/2018
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Thirty years after the Anfal, the places the Baath regime used to systematically kill thousands of people still haunt the survivors.

Fort Nizarke in Duhok is one of those places. It was originally constructed as an Iraqi military facility in 1985.

However, Baath party henchmen used it to round up locals before they would be trucked and bussed to the southern killing fields.

Two people who lost relatives in the Anfal genocide shared their emotional pain.

"The men were beaten separately. They were taken off the vehicles and beaten, then dragged here. Even if I do not come here and just see the fortress from afar, I remember the day when we were put into government vehicles, and when they attacked the men like wolves, beat them and put them into these cells. We began screaming because they beat us as well. They beat children, women, and men. Half of this wall is stained from their blood," Husna Yaqub, a woman who lost her husband and 25 family members in 1988, told Rudaw.

One survivor is asking for Kurdish authorities to make the fortress into a permanent place of remembrance.

"Here, I was separated from my father. I was with him here until I was three. But I even do not recall it. He was with me until this point but from here on I did not see him, his photo, his grave, or anything of him. We urge the government to make a museum here for us so we can say, ‘This is the place where our father was separated from us.’ Then, when I come here an Anfal-associated place would be here," Dawud Mohammed, a relative of an Anfal victim, said.

Some 182,000 Kurds were killed in the Anfal genocidal campaigns of the regime of Saddam Hussein during the 1980s. Most victims were taken to killing fields in southern Iraq and executed by the truckload.

The former Iraqi regime destroyed thousands of Kurdish villages. Thousands of Kurdish families were also forcibly displaced, and their lands given to Arab families, a process Kurds call Arabization.

April 14 marks Anfal memorial day in the Kurdistan Region, where it is recognized as a genocide.

Anfal, the eighth sura in the Quran, was the codename used by the Baathist regime for the slaughter.

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