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Kurdish Human Rights Project: This is the legacy website of the Kurdish Human Rights Project, containing reports and news pertaining to human rights issues in the Kurdish Regions for 20 years.

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KHRP Marks the Anniversary of the Halabja Attacks
Tuesday, 16 March 2010 12:56

On 16 March 1988, the predominantly Kurdish city of Halabja in northern Iraq was subjected to the largest scale chemical attack on a civilian target in history. In the ensuing bombardment some 5,000 civilians were killed, with estimates of around 10,000 more suffering serious injury or long-term illness. Though a shocking atrocity, the assault represented just one event in the Ba’athist regime’s wider al-Anfal campaign in which 180,000 civilians were ‘disappeared’, many more displaced, and 4,000 Kurdish-majority population centres were destroyed.

Whilst many of the survivors and their descendents continue to experience horrific medical and psychological problems, others suffer from the effects of mass displacement and the destruction of economic and social infrastructure that resulted from the Halabja attacks and wider Anfal campaign. One way KHRP continues to support the development of Halabja is through its support of the Halabja Community Playground Project led by photographer Tom Carrigan. The project is aimed at rejuvenating the social fabric of the town and providing its children who live with trauma, with a safe, enjoyable environment in which to play. At present the project is able to run play-sessions twice weekly and, thanks to its UK-based support team, is planning considerable expansion in 2010, including the construction of a children’s centre and the training of new local staff.

‘As a playground designed by local children in the town of in Halabja, the Community Play Project is an exciting way to help re-build a town which remains impoverished and neglected more than 20 years after the horrendous chemical attacks that killed over 5,000 civilians in March 1988’, said KHRP Chief Executive Kerim Yildiz. ‘The project offers hope and reaches out to a young new generation, encouraging them to play an active part in the reconstruction of their lives and those of their community.’

Further information on the Halabja Community Playground Project can be found at