Thanking Canada - By Karim Hasan*

The Parliament of Canada acknowledges crimes against Kurds by former Iraqi regime as “crimes against humanity”. On March 16, 2010 the Parliament of Canada with unanimous consent agreed to “Motion No. 505”(1) which reads as follows, “That this House [Canada’s House of Commons] knowledge the actions of Saddam Hussein against the Kurdish people in Iraq, including the poison gas against Halabja on March 16, 1988, the destruction of the Iraqi Kurdish villages, the systematic persecution of Kurds in Iraq, and condemn these acts as crimes against humanity”.  Mr. Speaker reads: “the House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion? The answer is “some hon. members: Agreed”(2).

It has taken 22 years for the Parliament of Canada to “acknowledge that the actions of Saddam Hussein against the Kurdish people in Iraq…and these act as crimes against humanity”.  Last year 2009(3) , on March 16th a motion - revolution was passed in the United States of America’s Congress – the Congress gracefully commemorated the acts of genocide of Anfal against the Kurds by Saddam’s Iraqi regime(4)

The United Nations in cooperation with the Kurdistan Regional Government Representative and Iraq’s representative to the United Nations commemorated Halabja and genocide in Kurdistan(5) .  Instantly – this year on March 16th, 2010 the United Kingdom - parliamentarians with a delegation of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) commemorated Halabja and Anfal(6)

The next steps in development of the recognition of acts of genocide against Kurds by Iraqi and other regimes of the Middle East will depend on Kurdish scholars/academics, Kurdish communities settled outside Kurdistan proper, Kurdistan Regional Government and its representatives abroad to present to the United Nations Security Council and the respective countries in which they live to recognize the genocide of the Kurds formally. The next step will be to proceed with the motions and revolutions into a legislative procedure: Kurdish Genocide Bill, then into a binding Kurdish Genocide legislation.

11 years ago, I and few friends commemorated the Kurdish genocide in Halabja in 1999 in front of Parliament building, at the time when the Kurdish community were in their first steps of establishing contact with the Parliament to communicate Kurdish disparities and injustice against the Kurds in Middle East.  Although it has been a difficult 11 years, in this period lines of communication were distorted, clear communication is getting re-established. It is a pleasure to see this development.

I am certain Kurdistan Regional government and Kurdish people do see this acknowledgement as gesture of justice from the Canadian parliament towards the Kurdish people.  I thank Honourable Member of Parliament Mr. Jim Karygiannis for introducing, supporting the motion, and I thank and the parliament of Canada for the “unanimous consent” on “Motion No. 505”.  I, and I am sure the Kurdish people, their government look forward toward passing this “Motion No. 505” into a binding legislation.  

I am proud to be a Canadian.

* Karim Hasan is an independent Kurdish Scholar:

(1)  According the legislative process a motion is “A proposal moved by a Member of the House to do something, to order something to be done to express an opinion with regard to some matter. In order to be placed before the House for consideration, a motion must be duly moved and seconded. No seconder is required in committee. Once adopted, a motion becomes an order or a resolution”.   An order is “A decision of the House giving a direction to its committees, members or officers, or regulating its proceedings. Order may be divided into standing, sessional and special according to their period of application”.  A resolution is “A notion adopted by the House in order to make a declaration or opinion or purpose. A resolution does not have the effect or requiring that any action be taken.
See Glossary of Parliamentary Procedure.  Parliamentary procedure is complicated – a number of stages are required before a “Motion” becomes a Bill – then being passed into law. At this point we do not whether “Motion No. 505” has become an order or a resolution. 
(2)The full text of the motion may be accessed at “The Parliament of Canada” website: ( ). 

Also, see video: ( of the press conference Honourable Jim Karygiannis (Scarborough – Agincourt, Lib.) introduces the “motion No. 505” to the press, the Toronto Kurdish House and a number of the members of the Kurdish community thank the Canadian government and express sense joy for the recognition of the crimes against the Kurds by the Saddam Hussein’s regime as “crimes against humanity”.
(3)Hasan, Karim (March/ 23/ 2009) “Genocide in Kurdistan Recognized and Commemorated:

(4)United States congressional record “Remembrance of Halabja Massacre:

(5)  “ First United Nations of Commemoration of Halabja:

(6) “UK Parliamentarians and KRG commemorate Halabja and Anfal:


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March 22, 2010
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