Topzawa Detention Camp into Anfal Monument, Kurdish Activists

Photoshop: Military vehicle in front of the old Topzawa military base with some pictures of protests and strikes by lcaosl and activists. KirkukNow

By KirkukNow

The Iraqi prime minister's office has directed a request by a number of activists, writers and genocide organizations to the Iraqi Martyrs Agency to build an Anfal monument inside the Topzawa Detention Camp, in an attempt to prevent turning it again into a military base.

On February 17, 44 writers and activists and 22 organizations in the field of genocide, submitted a request to the High Commission for Human Rights, to turn the Topzawa military camp, the place of imprisonment of Anfal victims, into a worthy monument.

Hemin Hasib, a writer and genocide activist, told KirkukNow, “the prime minister's special office sent a letter to the Martyrs' Agency on March 27 after receiving the views of the Council of Ministers advisory board Iraq to express their view about the request.”

On the 36th anniversary of the Anfal crime, on April 13, a number of activists, writers and genocide organizations announced their steps for this purpose and once again insisted on the construction of an Anfal monument in Topzawa military camp.

The Iraqi Defense Ministry has taken concrete attempt to build housing units for Iraqi army soldiers and revive the military base, which was followed by protests from genocide activists.

Topzawa military base was built in 1981 and turned into a base of Jaish al-Shaabi, popular army. In 1987, Topzawa village was completely destructed, and its people were forcibly relocated to Erbil province.

According to witnesses and documents, thousands of Kurdish citizens were imprisoned in the barracks during the 1988 Anfal campaign, before being transferred to the deserts of Samawa and Nugra Salman prison and massacred.

hemin haseeb

Press conference of a number of writers and activists to announce their efforts on the construction of the Anfal monument in Topzawa military base, Kirkuk, April 13, 2024.

According to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), 182,000 Kurds were displaced and buried in the deserts of western Iraq by the Ba'ath regime led by Saddam Hussein. The KRG has set April 14 as the day of commemoration of Anfal.

The Anfal campaign lasted for seven months (February to September) in 1988. During this period, the Ba'ath regime has taken thousands of people into unknown destiny in six stages from eight different parts of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region and Kirkuk, later massacred in addition to demolition of thousands of villages.

"This is a preliminary step and we will make every effort to make the Topzawa military base a worthy monument to the victims of genocide," Hasib said. "We are planning to visit Baghdad soon to meet with the president Iraq’s Foundation of Martyrs for this issue.”

The families of the victims are still wounded, and their eyes are full of tears. A significant number of them have a misery life as neither the promises of the political parties nor those of the government have been fulfilled.

Organizations defending the rights of the relatives of the Anfal victims have repeatedly called for the Topzawa military base to be saved from destruction and to be turned into a monument, as it contains dozens of messages and stories of the victims of Anfal on the walls of the prison.

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