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The Anfal Campaign Against the Kurds

A Middle East Watch Report
Human Rights Watch
New York Washington Los Angeles London
Copyright July 1993 by Human Rights Watch.
All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America.
Library of Congress Card Catalog Number: 93-79064
ISBN: 1-56432-108-8

A Petition

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate

The Venerable Chief and Leader, the Honorable Saddam Hussein (May God Protect Him), President of the Republic and Head of the Honorable Revolutionary Command Council:

Struggling Comrade, I greet you. And I present myself to you as a devoted citizen.

I implore you in the name of Ba'athist Justice to hear my plight, which has deprived me of sleep night and day. For I lost all hope and when I had no one left to turn to except yourselves, I came to you with my problem, which may be of some concern to you.


I, the undersigned, Assi Mustafa Ahmad, who returned as a prisoner of war on August 24, 1990, am a reserve soldier born in 1955. I participated in the Glorious Battle of Saddam's Qadissiyat in the Sector of Al-Shoush and was taken prisoner on March 27, 1982. I remained a prisoner until the day that the decision to exchange prisoners of war was issued. Then I returned to the homeland and kissed the soil of the Beloved Motherland and knelt in front of the portrait of our Victorious Leader and President Saddam Hussein. In my heart I felt a tremendous longing to return to my family. They would delight in seeing me, and I would delight in seeing them, and we would all be caught up in an overwhelming joy that could not be described.

However, I found my home completely empty. My wife and my kids were not there. What a catastrophe! What a horror! I was told that the whole family had fallen into the hands of the Anfal forces in the Anfal operation conducted in the Northern Region, under the leadership of Comrade Ali Hassan al-Majid. I know nothing of their fate. They are:

1. Azimah Ali Ahmad, born 1955/ My wife.
2. Jarou Assi Mustafa, born 1979/ My daughter.
3. Faraydoun Assi Mustafa, born 1981/ My son.
4. Rukhoush Assi Mustafa, born 1982/ My son.

I have thus come to you with this petition, hoping that you would take pity on me and inform me of their fate. May God grant you success and protect you. You have my thanks and respect.


Former Prisoner of War
Reserve Soldier/Assi Mustafa Ahmad
Without home or shelter in Suleimaniyeh/
Chamchamal/Bekas Quarter/
Haji Ibrahim Mosque October 4, 1990

The Reply
In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate

Republic of Iraq
Bureau of the Presidency
Reference No.: Sh Ayn/B/4/16565

Date: October 29, 1990

Mr. Assi Mustafa Ahmad
Suleimaniyah Governorate
Chamchamal District
Bekas Quarter
Haji Ibrahim Mosque

With regard to your petition dated October 4, 1990. Your wife and children were lost during the Anfal Operations that took place in the Northern Region in 1988.

Yours truly,
Saadoun Ilwan Muslih
Chief, Bureau of the Presidency

Iraqi secret police documents find home in CU archives
Rocky Mountain News September 27, 1998

Papers of Iraq's secret police, captured in 1991,
tell an atrocious story of genocide

By Ann Imse and Hanan Hammad

A bureaucracy of horror has found a home in the University of Colorado's

Tucked away in a CU warehouse are 18 tons of the everyday paperwork of
Saddam Hussein's secret police: orders for mass murder, rebels' arrest
reports, lists of people turned in by informers, a top secret record of an
Iraqi rocket attack on an Iraqi town.

The boxes also contain photographs of bodies shot in the head, beaten or
burned. Seven pictures, in color, show different views of a large, black-bearded man with
the bloody wounds of torture and beatings on his open mouth, face and bare chest.

The 2,500 cardboard boxes are hidden in a secret location in a CU warehouse.
Most of the estimated 4 million to 5 million pages of documents are in Arabic; some are
in Kurdish.

The documents were captured from secret police offices during the Kurdish
uprising in northern Iraq in 1991 just after the Persian Gulf War. They paint a detailed
picture of how a police state maintains utter control over everyone in Iraq.

"I could not read everything, because the events were horrible and made me
sick," said Farhad Barzani, Washington representative of the Kurdish
Democratic Party.

His party and the rival Patriotic Union of Kurdistan shared the files with
the respected international Human Rights Watch organization and with the U.S. Senate
Foreign Relations Committee.

Human Rights Watch has used the documents to prepare a case charging that
Iraq committed genocide when it destroyed 4,000 villages in the Kurdish
areas of Iraq and arrested 50,000 to 100,000 Kurds who were never seen again.

With a language and culture different from Iraqi Arabs, the 4 million Kurds
living in northern Iraq have fought for independence for decades. Human Rights Watch
says that Saddam's long battle with Kurdish rebels expanded into genocide when he attacked
noncombatants in the Kurdish areas, using chemical weapons, artillery and
executions to wipe out the entire population in certain areas.

CU archivist Bruce Montgomery persuaded the Kurdish groups that own the
documents to store them in CU's growing human rights archive, which includes records of
abuse from around the world.

The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency copied the roomful of documents onto
176 CD-ROMs, which the CU library hopes to make available to the public
within a month.

If millions of dollars in donations can be raised, Montgomery would like to
have the documents translated from Arabic to English, annotated and placed
on the World Wide Web.

Montgomery and his staff found handcuffs and razor nunchakus in the boxes,
as well as a film of Saddam Hussein weeping at a political meeting as he
ordered the removal of former allies who were plotting to overthrow him. All
were executed. The film was widely distributed in Iraq to frighten others who
might oppose Saddam, Montgomery said.

Iraq claims the entire roomful of documents was faked.

But their authenticity is clear to experts who see the sheer volume of
documents, the scribbled handwriting of native speakers of Arabic and the
typical Iraqi document format.

Many of the documents date from the late 1980s, when Saddam and his ruling
Ba'ath Party decided to end the Kurds' persistent uprisings.

First, the government blockaded their stronghold in the northern mountains,
forcing nearly everyone in the area to smuggle to survive. That made them
liable for arrest as smugglers, according to Iraq's Crime of Genocide, a book published
by Human Rights Watch after examining the secret police documents and
interviewing Iraqi Kurds.

Then, the Ba'ath Party declared most of Iraq's Kurdish areas "prohibited
zones" where no people or animals would be allowed to live. Some residents
declared loyalty to the regime and were moved to camps in other parts of the
country. Those left behind were killed or arrested, the book says.

Human Rights Watch found the most incriminating documents in the boxes and
published them in Arabic and English in its book.

For example, Directive 4008 orders the execution of anyone aged 15 to 70
found in the prohibited zones. Joost Hiltermann, who directed the Human
Rights Watch effort, said the organization found numerous copies of this
directive in the boxes because it was sent to the secret police in all the
cities and towns the Kurds overran.

Hiltermann said his group documented 40 chemical weapons attacks by Iraq
against Iraqi Kurds from evidence in the files and interviews with victims.
Some documents explicitly report the use of chemical weapons.

For example, Human Rights Watch published one document signed by Capt. Kifah
Ali Hassan, director of the Intelligence Center of Kalar. In it, Hassan
reported, "During the month of March 1988, our aircraft bombed the
headquarters of the sabotage bands in the villages of Saywan (4,596) and
Balakjar (4,294) in a chemical strike." (Iraq numbered the villages.)

Many documents simply refer to attacks on specific towns on specific dates
with "special ammunition." Hiltermann tracked down victims of those attacks
and learned that "special ammunition" meant nerve gas and mustard gas.

Other documents reported victims going blind, a symptom of a chemical
attack, Hiltermann said.

One volume of the archived papers begins Sept. 12, 1987. Each day, an
officer reported events in black ink; his superior replied with orders in
green ink.

On Sept. 24, 1987, the officer wrote, "Saboteurs have developed Karad
missiles with a range of 20 kilometers. They might attack oil facilities in

The superior replied, "Intensify the chemicals and direct artillery attacks
on the probable roads and depots."

The order was signed, "Hassan" -- possibly Ali Hassan al-Majid, first cousin
of Saddam who led the campaign to wipe out the Kurdish villages.

The files also contain routine accounting reports. One listed informants and
their pay of 150 to 1,000 dinars in 1990. Another listed officers and their
pay of only 85 to 100 dinars in 1988.

One file was a dossier on the political leanings of a bureaucrat in the
social security department. He was detained in a cell for two days for "not
doing his job correctly."

Many documents in the 2,500 cardboard boxes are chilling. One top secret
report from an informant, stamped with the bird seal of Iraqi military
intelligence, reported on a meeting of Kurdish saboteurs and listed 10
people who attended.

Another reported that "Iranian agents" killed 17 people in an attack on a
police station in a Kurdish Iraqi village. Iraqi military forces responded
with a rocket attack on the village, and the arrest of 1,100 "Iranian agents."

Human Rights Watch found that after the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan made an
alliance with Iran in 1986, the Iraqi government started referring to
members of the party as "Iranian agents."

A pink volume captured in the Kurdish town of Erbil shows how thoroughly the
Iraqi regime had infiltrated this Kurdish party. It contains names of
leaders, their place in the party hierarchy, addresses of their headquarters
and information on their daily activities.

Another box has the record of an illiterate school guard who confessed to
being a communist. After he pledged an oath of "cooperation" and turned in a
list of other communists, the record says he was released.

Explanations from the Human Rights Watch book make the documents come alive.
For example, an arrest record of two men for the crime of "transferring
wheat" came after Iraq blockaded the Kurdish areas in hopes of starving the
population into leaving.

The boxes also contain maps showing the placement of Iraqi land mines in
Kurdish areas.

Another box yielded an order from Saddam Hussein changing the name of a
Kurdish Iraqi town called Halabja to Al-Ekhaa -- Arabic for Brotherhood.
Halabja was the site of an Iraqi chemical attack that killed 5,000, Human
Rights Watch says.

Who would punish Iraq?

Despite all this evidence, Human Rights Watch has been unable to find a
country willing to take its case of genocide against Iraq to the World Court.

Two small countries were willing to take on the case but only if a major
European nation joined them. None did, Hiltermann said.

The United States has questionable standing to back the case because it did
not ratify the convention on genocide until the Clinton administration, and
even then did so with serious limitations, Hiltermann said.

Yet, Hiltermann said, every time the dispute with Saddam Hussein heats up,
U.S. officials say, "We're really interested in this case."

Part of the problem, he admitted, is that even if Iraq is found guilty, who
is going to punish it? The world is already unable to agree on how to deal
with Iraq's refusal to cooperate with weapons inspectors, he noted.

All human rights cases are political, he added. Asked if the United States
would place in a university library similar documents from a U.S. ally,
Hiltermann said,
"Of course not."

The genocide case may be difficult to prove, even with documents ordering
mass killings in the Kurdish areas. That's because "these people were
arrested by the government and disappeared," but only a small percentage of
their bodies have been found, Hiltermann said.

Human Rights Watch has excavated three mass graves in the Kurdish areas of
Iraq, and that evidence is part of its genocide case. But most of the
missing are assumed to be buried in the southern desert, still controlled by
Saddam Hussein.

"It would help to have documentary evidence that they were killed," he said.

On one document listing 307 people arrested on April 11, 1988, Human Rights
Watch has found at least 58 never returned and three did. The three
survivors reported that they escaped a mass execution.

After their uprising in 1991 was halted by Saddam's troops, 1.5 million
Kurds fled to Iran and Turkey. That prompted creation of the United Nations
no-fly zone over northern Iraq to protect the Kurds and allow them to return

But the Kurds later split and began fighting each other. The Kurdish
Democratic Party allied with Saddam, despite all he'd done to the Kurdish
people. There is now a cease-fire.


Why Saddam allied with KDP? , Why PUK allied with Iran?, who was the first there Iran or Iraq?
Iran was there In Kosunjanq 400 Km from Iran border Saddam came there to protect him self
from Iran not to protect KDP.


Publication of secret papers could doom Kurd informers
By Hanan Hammad
Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer
September 27, 1998

The Iraqi secret police documents in the University of Colorado archives
present librarians with a decision that could be deadly.

Publication of all the papers on the Internet will tell Kurdish people the
names of informants, perhaps even the specific person who betrayed a brother.

"It is possible that after the publication of these documents, the informers
among every Kurdish group will be killed," said Asad Gozeh, one of the
Kurdish fighters who captured the Iraqi files and helped bring them to the
United States.

The documents include reports with the names of informants and the
information they provided. Some detail the deadly response, such as
assassination, to informant information.

Gozeh said he knows of at least three informants who were killed shortly
after the Kurds captured the documents in 1991. But he still wants them
published to show the world that Saddam Hussein committed acts of genocide
and mass murder against the Kurds.

CU archivist Bruce Montgomery is worried, too.

"Certainly we don't want to be responsible for killing anyone. If we put it
on the Internet, these are questions we're going to have to deal with."

But Montgomery said no decision has been made on whether to keep some
documents private.

Gozeh is willing to exclude certain reports.

"The point of publishing the documents is not to cause strife, but to help
people understand what happened. The important thing is to publish the
names of the victims," Gozeh said.

"Wives are still waiting for their husbands and parents are waiting for
their kids. I think publishing these papers will enable families to know the
fate of their relatives who were thought to be imprisoned. People have to
know their relatives were executed and how they were killed."

He gave the example of 130 people detained in his hometown on Nov. 16, 1987.
The fate of 22 was unknown until their bodies were discovered in a mass
grave on Sept. 15, 1991. They were identified through their clothing.

The Kurds wanted the documents transported to the United States so Americans would know what happened to them in Iraq.

"To translate and publish these documents on the Internet is more than what
I had imagined," Gozeh said.





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