Mahmood Salih is from Halabja, Kurdistan, Iraq, the main target of the poison gas attacks by Saddam Hussein’s forces in the 1980s. Mahmood was awarded a BA in political Sciences from Sulaimani University in Kurdistan, Iraq and worked as Head of Relations for the Patriotic Union Kurdistan (PUK) between 2009 and 2014.
He served as Minister of Martyrs and Anfal (Genocide) Affairs in Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq and was Chairman of the Committee on Genocide against Kurdish Yezidis and other religious and ethnic minorities in KRG.
He has also worked on other human rights issues and has received formal letters of recognition and appreciation for his stand against corruption in the region. Mahmood worked with the Commission of International Justice and Accountability for more than four years to document the crimes committed against Kurdish Yezidis and other religious and ethnic minorities. He helped and supported the establishment of documentation centres for accumulating evidence of the crimes committed against Kurdish Yezidis in Erbil, Dohuk and Sulaimani. He also visited ICC at The Hague in Netherlands to register formal complaints and build a case against the crimes committed against Yezidis by the Islamic States in Iraq. He travelled to the UK, USA, Sweden, Poland, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Portugal and Switzerland and other countries to create international awareness, understanding and recognition of the crimes committed by the Islamic States.
Mahmood was born on 1962 into a well-known family in the area. His father, Haji Salih, an agriculturist who farmed his own lands, was very well known for his generosity and kindness as well as for his Kurdish patriotism.