Kwalifikacja prawna antykurdyjskiej operacji al-Anfal
Legal characterisation of the anti-Kurdish al-Anfal campaign
Languages of publication
Acts of mass killing committed against the Kurdish population during the so-called al-Anfal operation in 1988 constituted - even if one assumes the lowest number of estimated victims, i.e. that only 50-100 thousand people were murdered - a case of genocide understood in international law as actions undertaken with the intention to destroy a certain group in its entirety or in part. It was ordered that following interrogations all males at the age ranking between 15 and 70 were to be executed in the al-Anfal operation area. The al-Anfal crimes were deemed an act of genocide at the perpetrators' trials, first of all that of Ali Hassan al-Majid (nicknamed Chemical Ali), and in resolutions as well as declarations adopted in several countries. The use of chemical weaponry against the Kurdish population can be perceived either as an element of the crime of genocide or as an act of war crime. In 1988, Iraq was a stateparty both to the 1925 Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, and the 1958 Forth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. The latter treaty provides for rules applicable to internal arm conflicts (Article 3). But irrespective of the relevant treaty law, the use of chemical weapon was considered, at the time of al-Anfal operation, as contrary to universally binding international customary law. This prohibition applied to armed conflicts of both international and internal character.
Publication order reference