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Dutch EP Member Opens Inquiry Into Assassination of Assyrian Leader in Iraq

AINA Last week Mr. Isoh Majeed Hedaya, President of the Assyrian organisation “Syriac Independant Unified Movement (SIUM),” was brutally gunned down in the Kurdish dominated part of Iraq. After leaving his office in Baghdeda, masked gunmen riddled his body with bullets.

Mr. Hedaya gave his life trying to unite the Assyrians and to protect this people in Iraq .
On October 31 of this year, Mr. Hedaya demanded, from the Central Government, an autonomous region for the Assyrians in the four districts of the Nineveh plain.
Demographically, the Nineveh Plain is dominated by the Assyrians, and according to the Iraqi constitution they are entitled to be granted self-rule. The Kurdish parties wish to prevent this and are trying to annex these districts to the Kurdish autonomous region.

Mr. Albert Jan Maat, member of the European Parliament, condemned this act today. “This murder is just one of many attempts to oppress the Assyrian minority in Iraq . The International community should interfere in this violation of human rights and freedom of self-rule”. Mr. A.J. Maat has presented his questions to the European Commission regarding this murder and the necessity of the recognition for the Assyrian question.

Mr Albert Jan Maat also sent the following report regarding this most recent murder and the Assyrian Autonomous region in Iraq .

The murder is like a sign on the wall. During the past months a wave of violence has hit the Assyrian Christian minority of Iraq . Beheadings, Crucifixions, oppression and obstruction are daily occurrences for the Assyrian Christians in Iraq .

Question: What kind of information does the Committee have regarding the current situation of the Assyrian Christians in Iraq and what steps will the Committee undertake to pressure the Iraqi government to protect this minority?

On october 31 of this year (2006) Mr. Hedaya demanded from the central government an autonomous region for the Assyrians in the four districts of the Nineveh plain. Demographically the Nineveh Plain is dominated by the Assyrians and should be granted far-reaching autonomy, according to the Iraqi constitution.

Question: What is the position of the European Commission towards the demand of the Assyrians for an autonomous region and how should the Iraqi government deal with this request, according to the European Commission?