‘Never again’ to ‘always prevent’The recent Halabja commemoration proves that the ‘three Rs’ of remembrance, recognition and retelling are not enough. ‘Never again’ must become ‘always prevent’.
|Waiting to enter the memorial event at Halabja|
|The countryside en route to Halabja|
But something big was missing. A gaping hole at the heart of the debate reflecting the moral vacuum at the heart of the world’s conscience. Those at the conference hoped that the ‘three Rs’ of remembrance, recognition and retelling will be enough to prevent another genocide against them. The clarion call went up: ‘it must never happen again.’ Yet despite the Genocide Convention, the Nuremburg Trials, the documentation, the education, the International Criminal Court, the victims’ testimonies, the evidence, even the heart-wrenching tragedy of Anne Frank’s diaries, decent people and governments of the world, the kind who would solemnly nod their head in agreement with ‘never again’, have not actually taken action to give power to these heart-felt words. Cambodia, Bosnia, Iraqi Kurdistan, Rwanda and Darfur show that the three Rs are necessary but not sufficient to prevent future genocides.
|Students Union office in Halabja|
|At the 'Red House' in Sulaimaniya|
|Image from inside the museum at Halabja|