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The curse of "666": a pen stroke that wiped out thousands of Fayli Kurds

Category: Report

Date: 2021-04-03T16:09:49+0000
The curse of "666": a pen stroke that wiped out thousands of Fayli Kurds

Shafaq News/ The president of the Revolutionary Command Council, Saddam Hussain, decided to remove the Fayli Kurds and carry out mass executions against them in 1980 per Legislative Resolution 666, in which he decided, "Iraqi nationality will be revoked from every Iraqi from foreign origin if it is found that he is not loyal to the country, the people, and the supreme national and social objectives of the revolution."

It is no longer a secret that what actually happened was an exploitation of law to justify a "genocide," as successive events revealed an apparent conspiracy by the former regime to target the Fayli Kurds with a series of steps, sanctions, and measures that combined to produce one of the regime's most heinous crimes.

More than 40 years after one of the epoch's most atrocious crimes, it has become clear that the former Ba'athist regime has focused on targeting the Feyli Kurds to eliminate them; a crime that constitutes genocide under international law by treating them as traitors, denationalization of thousands, mass deportation, confiscation of property and money, imposition of divorce between spouses, and, of course, the disappearance of tens of thousands of civilians. All of that was combined to create a genocide that was kept as a secret doomed to oblivion.

Ironically, Saddam Hussein was not the first initiator or instigator this time, as former president Ahmed Hassan Al-Bakr preceded him in 1970.

It was clear - after the direct targeting measures - that the Feylis were targeted because they were Kurds, Shiites, active within the framework of the Kurdish and Iraqi nationalist movements and because Saddam Hussein was fueling anti-Iranian ideology in preparation for war with Iran.

Since 1970, the campaign to target The Fayli Kurds has been carried out with arrests and disappearances of countless Kurds in various parts of Iraq. The deportation of large numbers of them to Iran, including ordinary citizens, academics, activists, traders, and others.

During the Iran-Iraq war, many Iraqis were forced to divorce their Fayli spouse, and oppression went so far as to prevent the Fayli Kurds from completing their postgraduate studies.

The resolution signed by Saddam Hussein in 1980 was not merely a dead letter or a resolution that was not implemented. However, it is crucial to see the text of resolution 666, which reads:

Based on the provisions of article 42 (A) of the Constitution: The Revolutionary Command Council decided at its meeting on May 7, 1980:

1. Iraqi nationality shall be revoked from every Iraqi of foreign origin if it is found that he is not loyal to the country, the people, and the supreme national and social objectives of the revolution.

2. The Minister of the Interior shall order the removal of all those who have disclaimed Iraqi nationality under paragraph (1) unless they are convinced on sufficient grounds that their stay in Iraq is a matter of judicial or legal necessity or the preservation of the rights of those who are not officially documented.

3. This decision shall be implemented by the Minister of the Interior.

The text was then followed by the signature of Saddam Hussein, chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council.

The Fayli Kurds have been in the areas where they live in Iraq and some parts of Iran for decades; before establishing the modern Iraqi state itself or establishing the Ba'ath party.

They have lived in Basra, the border areas, the southern provinces, Baghdad, Al-Sulaymaniyah, and other northern regions.

Therefore, the allusion in the resolution to "foreign origin" or dependency to drop citizenship is an explicit offer of exclusion and extermination to those who are not approved by the security authorities or the ruling political system. With all the illogical implications that this means not only in Iraq but throughout the world.

That crime was "legislated" by Resolution 666, and the campaigns continued to follow the Fayli Kurds in their living areas. At the time, few people knew that these crimes were committed because no one tried to prevent or even denounce it as Saddam Hussein was then the "gatekeeper" against the Iranian revolution that overthrew the Shah's rule in Iran, and therefore a need for some Arab countries - and many Western countries, including the United States, with which high-level coordination and military cooperation have been woven.

The documents and events that followed the fateful decision show that in addition to stripping them of Iraqi citizenship, confiscating their possessions, displacing them to Iran, and imprisoning tens of thousands of young Kurds between the age of 17 and 35, chemical weapons were also tested on them, according to documents revealed after the overthrow of the former regime in 2003.

The exact numbers of victims are not yet known, as entire families have been wiped out or disappeared, and their fate has not yet been known.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights estimated that 65% of the 20,000 refugees in Iran are Fayli Kurds forcibly deported during the genocide. However, this UN estimate was in 2003.

The systematic destruction against the Fayli Kurds indeed stopped during the 1990s, but it was not due to the regime's compassion. Most likely, it was because he believed that the central goal of destroying this segment had achieved its main objectives.

The Fayli Kurds' genocide's repercussions are not yet over, and the Iraqi state - which was established after 2003 - has not done enough to address all the consequences of resolution 666's crimes, nor to re-embrace this segment's people in a way that is befitting to their sacrifices that humanity has not seen alike in other countries in modern times. Though, similar strands can be captured in Germany, in the wars of minorities and races in Yugoslavia, and the barbarity of the genocide between Tutsis and Hutus in Rwanda.

Although many of the Fayli Kurds have regained their Iraqi nationality - according to the Iraqi Ministry of Displaced in 2010, a large number have not yet been counted due to displacement and forced deportation. The property and homes of those displaced - which were lost as rewards provided by the former regime to its men and associates in various areas - have not been returned to their original "Iraqi" owners.

The fate of thousands, if not tens of thousands of Fayli Kurds, has not yet been revealed, whether those who disappeared after the campaign of indiscriminate arrests in the 1970s and 1980s or who were mass murdered in various parts of Iraq over the long years of genocide.

This situation constitutes a condemnation of the post-2003 regime, as the archives of the former Iraqi regimes have since been available to find out the facts - or most of them - and reveal the bloody period's events.

This reality represents a great disappointment to The Iraqis in general and the Fayli Kurds in particular. They are all promised a just state according to the new Iraqi constitution, which mentions "The suffering of sectarian repression by the tyrannical junta, inspired by Iraq's Shiites, Sunnis, Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, and other components' martyrs. As well as the violation of the holy cities in the popular uprising of Sha'ban, and the mass graves, the marshes, the sufferings of national oppression massacres in Halabja, Barzan, al-Anfal, and the Fayli Kurds".

A glimmer of hope was sparked by a decision by Iraq's supreme criminal court, which in November 2010 ruled that what happened was a "genocide" and a "crime against humanity." The Iraqi parliament also unanimously declared at its meeting on August 1, 2011, that it was a "crime of genocide" in the complete sense of the word.

Nevertheless, the graves of the victims have not yet been revealed. On the anniversary of the genocide on April 4, Kurdistan's President Nechirvan Barzani issued a call, "The Iraqi Supreme Criminal Court considered that crime as genocide. So, we call on the Iraqi government to compensate the Fayli Kurds and to fulfill its legal and moral obligations towards them. We call on the Iraqi government to return nationality and confiscated property to its original owners".

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