The Faylis, a component of Iraqi Kurds, announced their "astonishment" at being ignored by Iraqi and Kurdistan authorities and media as the 30th anniversary of their forceful mass displacement passes unnoticed.

The Fayli Kurd Democratic Union, a political party, published a statement addressing the Kurdistan Region Presidency, Iraqi presidency, and the Council of Ministers in Erbil and Baghdad, in which they complained about their anniversary being ignored.

"These respected sides haven’t issued statements on the occasion of the 30 years passing of the forced immigration and deportation of more than a half-million Iraqi Kurds as well as the disappearance of more than 20,000 of their detainees," read the statement published April 6 on the "Baital-Fayli" (home of Faylis).

Faylis, who reside mostly in Baghdad, Diala, and Wasit provinces, annually note April 6 as Fayli Martyr Day. In the ’70s and ’80s, the Iraqi government deported them to Iran after they were deprived of their Iraqi citizenship because they were not "original Iraqis." Their homes and property were also confiscated. Thousands of their youths were detained and then disappeared. Many of the Faylis returned to Iraq in the last few years. But the issue of citizenship is still a problem for many of them.

"The Faylis’ problem is still big and has not been addressed by the federal government in Baghdad," the Erbil-based AKnews agency quoted Munir al-Hadad, a Fayli judge at the Iraqi Supreme Crime Court, as saying. He called on the Iraqi government to pay more attention to the Faylis’ problems let alone their citizenship cases.

Ali Fayli from the Shafaq cultural foundation also complained about the silence toward their ceremonies and noted that "the silence was more this year."

The complaints are understood by Salar Mahmod, head of the committee for defending human rights in Kurdistan Parliament. "If there is a kind of complaint from the side of the Fayli Kurds, Kurdistan Parliament must consider it, and this issue must studied and reviewed," Mahmod told Aknews.

Meanwhile, the Kurdish lawmaker justified the attitude of the Kurdistan Regional Government and Parliament noting that the silence is not "on purpose." An Iraqi tribunal is currently judging a number of Baath Party figures on this issue.
The Kurdish Globe
April 10, 2010