On Tuesday morning, July 23, 2019, in Samawah, the process of opening a mass grave for dozens of Kurdish children and women who were victims of the Ba’ath crimes began.
A delegation from the Ministry of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs in the Kurdistan Regional Government participates in the opening of the mass grave, which is the first mass grave to be opened in Samawah.
The Martyrs Foundation announced that it will open the mass grave of Sheikhiya area in the district of Al-Salman in Al-Muthanna province and begin the lifting of the remains of the martyrs in the mass grave of Sheikhiya by the cadres of the Department of the protection and the affairs of mass graves in the institution and related bodies.
For his part, Arif Shahid, head of the Iraqi journalists in Samawah, Muthanna province told PUKmedia, said that "the mass grave of Sheikhiya area was opened in the district of Salman, which was discovered earlier, and visited by the President of the Republic a few days ago. Today the excavations are complete and the mass grave is ready to be opened.
He added that the cemetery contains the remains of about 70 and 40 Kurdish children and women, pointing out that the remains confirms that the victims are Kurd and the matter is settled and does not need to do DNA tests to verify that, where the clothes and belongings found in the mass grave show that the victims are Kurd, as it shows the ugliness of the crime.
The head of the Iraqi journalists in Samawah pointed out that the competent authorities confirmed the existence of two graves near this mass grave, and will be opened in case of obtaining fundamental legal approvals.
For his part, Fuad Osman, spokesman for the Ministry of Martyrs Affairs, who is a part of Kurdistan Region’s team in Samawah, told PUKmedia: A special delegation from the ministry participates in the opening of the mass grave with a committee of the Martyrs Affairs Foundation, and noted that preliminary information indicates the existence of the remains of more than 100 martyrs in the cemetery that are Kurdish women and children, and were victims of the crimes of the former regime.
The Martyrs Affairs Foundation held a press conference before opening the mass grave, in which it provided the latest information about the mass grave and the process of opening it.