Contact: Jeff King
Phone: (301) 989-1708
Email: [email protected]
For Immediate Release
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CHRISTIANS LEFT OUT OF ELECTIONS
(ICC – January 31, 2005) – While most Iraqis braved threats and less than ideal conditions to vote, some were not allowed. ChaldoAssyrian Christians were unable to vote on Sunday, because they never received the necessary equipment. Approximately 300,000 Christians were unable to vote in Northern Iraq because the Kurdish authority refused to deliver voting booths to major ChaldoAssyrian cities.
The Washington , DC based human right group, International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Christians were unfairly left out of the elections, and thus denied their freedom to have their voice heard.. ChaldoAssyrian Christians are Iraq s indigenous people, and have undergone intense persecution 100 years before the U.S. led invasion of Iraq . ChaldoAssyrians are continually singled out by insurgents and by the neighboring Kurds. However, Sunday represented an all time low for the large, pro-democracy population.
While thousands of ChaldoAssyrian Christians waited at the polls to vote, they were disappointed to learn that their votes wouldnt be cast. Numerous calls were made to Iraqi officials, who assured the concerned citizens that everything was on its way and would be there imminently. A news report by the Assyrian International News Agency said of the debacle, Inquiries to voting authorities brought frequent promises that the ballot boxes were en route only to result in a series of disappointments throughout the day. Infuriated Assyrians filled the streets of Baghdeda- the largest Assyrian town in the Nineveh Plain-and demonstrated against the KDP’s overt disenfranchisement of Assyrians.
The ChaldoAssyrian population has been staunch supporters of secular democracy in Iraq , and has sought to actively participate in the liberation of their country. We can not have such a vital group silenced in the name of convenience or power. ICC condemns the treatment of the ChaldoAssyrians, and is asking the international community to join them in advocating on their behalf. In order for Iraq to be truly free, we must protect the indigenous people of Iraq . ICC also calls on the Kurdish Authority and the Iraqi government to hear the voice of the ChaldoAssyrians.
ICC is a Washington , D.C. based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC delivers humanitarian aid, trains and supports persecuted pastors, raises awareness in the US regarding the problem of persecution, and is an advocate for the persecuted on Capitol Hill and the State Department.
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