MEDIA ADVISORY:

Halabja Victims’ “AMA” Makes Reddit’s Front Page

Victims’ Survival Stories and Lawsuit Against European Corporations Trends on Reddit for a Day

Media Advisory: March 16, 2018

Media Contact: Valentina Cominetti │1-312-253-7444 │press@halabjavictimssociety.org

Halabja, Kurdish Region of Iraq – Two survivors of Saddam Hussein’s 1988 chemical weapons attack on Halabja, Aras Abid Akram and Mardin Mahmood Fatah, participated in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) to tell their story and answer questions from the Reddit community.  That conversation was quickly up voted and spent nearly a day on Reddit’s front page. 

For three hours, Aras and Mardin answered hundreds of questions posed by Reddit users worldwide and shared their perspective of what it was like to endure a chemical weapons attack and what they are doing thirty years later to make sure it never happens again.

Aras and Mardin are members of the Halabja Chemical Victims Society, a grassroots organization that supports the victims of the attack, cares for their ongoing health needs, and advocates for a permanent end to the use of chemical weapons.  They are also part of a major lawsuit that has just been filed against many of Europe’s largest corporations who allegedly funded and equipped the Saddam Regime with the technology, gas chambers, and chemicals necessary to perpetrate the mass murder of thousands of Iraqi Kurds thirty years ago.   

AMAs are a popular subreddit, with over 17 million online subscribers.  To date, the Halabja Victim Lawsuit AMA has received over 400,000 views and has generated over 1,100 written comments, which people have voted up or down over 40,000 times.  Their AMA rose to the top of the IAMA subreddit and soared to the third most popular subreddit on the day it went live, making impressions on millions of Reddit users throughout the world.

Click here to view the AMA.

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MEDIA ADVISORY:

TUI & Other European Companies Face $4 Billion Suit for Companies’ Role in Kurdish Genocide

Kurdish Victims File Claim on Eve of 30th Anniversary of Halabja Attack

Media Advisory: March 15, 2018

Media Contact: Valentina Cominetti │press@halabjavictimssociety.org │1-312-253- 7444

Halabja, Kurdish Region of Iraq—Europe’s largest tourist company, TUI, is being sued along with a number of other German, French, and Dutch corporations and individuals for their alleged central role in perpetrating the genocide of thousands of Kurds, by building and equipping Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons program knowing that it was foreseeable that he would use the weapons to commit war crimes and genocide and continuing the conspiracy even after it was public knowledge that Saddam was bombing Iranians with chemical weapons and massacring thousands of Iraqi Kurds.  On the eve of the 30th anniversary of the worst chemical weapon attack since WWII, Kurdish victims of the Halabja attack filed a $4 billion-dollar lawsuit in Civil District Court for the Halabja Governorate, Kurdish Region of Iraq against TUI AG and other European companies participating in the alleged conspiracy. 

Based on recently uncovered evidence and testimony from Swiss and German chemical weapons experts hired by the German Export Authority, the complaint alleges TUI was the principal corporate co-conspirator with the Saddam regime in planning, building, and supplying Saddam’s chemical weapons plants (including human-sized gas chambers and incinerators). TUI allegedly masterminded illegal methods for circumventing German export laws (enacted specifically to halt the supply of chemical weapons to the Saddam Regime) to continue to provide the precursors and equipment required to re-supply and weaponize chemical agents, even after it was public knowledge that Saddam was using chemical weapons against Iranian civilians and soldiers.

“There is no way to get my children who were killed by the poison gas, nor get back my eyes to watch my children grow up, said Soiba Mohammed, one of the plaintiffs.  “But we hope this case will send a message that companies willing to profit from genocide cannot escape justice or continue to grow a business built on children’s graves.”

Members of the Halabja Chemical Victim’s Society held a press conference following the filing with lawyers from MM~LAW, the American law firm representing the victims and bringing over 20 years’ experience against international corporations and financial institutions involved in terrorism and crimes against humanity. 

“As alleged in the case, this conspiracy crossed unimaginable moral and legal redlines.  Profiting from genocide and war crimes must be stopped in order to try to stop, or even reduce, the scope of such massive, intentional, and unnecessary suffering,” said Gavi Mairone, MM~LAW’s lead lawyer in the case. “When warned by western intelligence and the media about how these weapons were being used, rather than ceasing engagement, these companies allegedly chose to find alternatives to continue the conspiracy and ensure the chemical weapons plants could continue to operate.”

The Civil District Court for the Governorate of Halabja, Kurdish Region of Iraq, received and accepted the Complaint after holding a preliminary hearing to determine jurisdiction. The victims may file ancillary actions in London, Paris, Berlin or The Hague against the Defendants for enforcement of any judgment obtained which is not satisfied. 

Victims will be hosting an Ask Me Anything Reddit townhall at 12:00 PM ET on March 15:  www.reddit.com/r/IAMA 

A more detailed history of the allegations against the companies can be found here:

https://www.halabjavictimssociety.org/history

A copy of the Complaint is available for download on the press page: https://www.halabjavictimssociety.org/press  

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MEDIA ADVISORY:

Major German Companies Face Lawsuit for Role in Saddam Hussein Chemical Weapons Attacks

Kurdish Victims Demand Justice on 30th Anniversary of Halabja Attack

Media Advisory: March 12, 2018

Media Contact: Valentina Cominetti | press@halabjavictimssociety.com | 1-312-253-7444

Chicago, IL—Victims of the 1988 Halabja chemical weapons attack will hold a press conference on March the 13th after filing a law suit for billions of dollars against several of the largest German companies allegedly responsible for complicity in genocide.  The complaint will be filed before the Civil District Court for the Governorate of Halabja, Kurdish Region of Iraq and will allege that these companies played a central role in a conspiracy to profit from enabling and assisting Saddam Hussein to carry out attacks that were later described as genocide and represented the highest concentration of lethal chemical substances ever used against a civilian population.

The complaint draws on recently uncovered evidence and testimony from experts hired by the German Export Authority.  This evidence, the complaint alleges, indicates that these German companies, along with other co-conspirators, knowingly entered into the conspiracy with the Saddam regime and profited from:

  • building the chemical weapons plants and gas chambers required for weapons development, concealing their real purpose;

  • providing chemical weapons precursors, components and equipment;

  • helping the regime to bypass international restrictions meant to limit its chemical weapons program after being confronted with evidence the regime was actively using those illegal weapons against civilians. 

The District Court of Halabja has jurisdiction to rule on these lawsuits.  The victims may file ancillary actions in London against the companies whose shares are traded on the London stock exchange, if the complaint succeeds. 

A press conference will be held outside the Kurdish Justice Court in Halabja on March 13 at 11:30 immediately after the Court Filing

The Halabja Chemical Victim’s Society will be joined by their local attorneys and by lawyers from MM~LAW, the American firm representing the victims and bringing over 20 years of experience against international corporations and financial institutions involved in terrorism and crimes against humanity. Speakers will be available for embargoed interviews in advance of the press event as well.

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