The director of Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum Piotr M.A. Cywiński told us about the responsibility he feels in running such an important place (“not sacred but of death”, as Wlodek Goldkorn defined it), where over a million men, women and children lost their lives. He mainly spoke of visits to Auschwitz as “the awakening of moral restlessness that has no meaning unless it is a ritual of passage”, through which the life of those who pass through that gate as ‘tourists’ cannot remain the same.
If there is a Garden of the Righteous in Halabja, much of it is due to the determination of Qayssar Ahmed. A survivor of the 1988 genocide, once he returned from the tent cities in Iran, Qayssar became a journalist and communications expert. Director of Radio Dangi NWE, a community radio station for young people and women, he is a member of the Kurdistan journalists' union and the International Federation of Journalists. But above all, together with his wife Hero, he is the driving force behind the NWE organization, which pioneeringly fights to connect the memory of the genocide to today's struggles: freedom of expression, women's rights, environmental protection. On the eve of the 35th anniversary of the Halabja genocide, where over 5,000 people lost their lives at the hands of Saddam's troops, Qayssar tells Gariwo about the biggest challenges facing this border community - between Islamist threats, corruption, energy crisis and drought - at one of the most delicate moments in the history of the region.
More and more scholars and activists claim that genocide against the Hazara community took place in Afghanistan at the end of the nineteenth century. And that the genocidal intentions have been evident through massacres and violations to date, for over a century. At an international conference in Milan, an attempt was made to take stock of the role of the International Criminal Court and how to prevent new genocides in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
My colleagues who ara nowadays living in Russia are very afraid of doing something that is not allowed. And the main point of all these laws is to let you feel a little bit unbalanced. What should I do? What I shouldn't do? Would they punish me or not? They are not confident in their job, in their profession and in their thoughts. I call it terror. Because the main goal of any terrorist is to spread fear. So through these war censorships, these incredibly insane fines and prison sentences, the Kremlin and Putin intend to spread this fear.