THE city’s Kurdish community turned out in force to remember the victims of Saddam Hussein’s regime at a ceremony.
Speeches were made and flowers were laid around a memorial tree in the Garden of Hope at Southsea Common yesterday to mark the 26th anniversary of chemical attacks on the city of Halabja in Iraq.
Judith Kerby, who organised the event along with Brian Futcher, said: ‘Because the people of Halabja had collaborated with the Iranian forces they were punished by having chemical weapons dropped on them.
‘On that day 5,000 people died and thousands more had to flee.
‘Some of the survivors made their way to Britain and eventually to Portsmouth.’
Ms Kerby said Kurds now made up the third largest ethnic group in Portsmouth. Representatives of the Halabja Chemical Victims Society, Amnesty International and the Red Cross joined the ceremony. along with Portsmouth City Council councillors and other dignitaries.