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Human Rights Report Documents Plight of Assyrians in Iraq

ICC Note

The plight of the native Assyrian Christians of Iraq continues to worsen with time.

By Jeremy Reynalds

06/22/2010 Iraq (ANS) – According to a report by the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA), the Assyrians have suffered greatly for years. They have experienced genocide under an ailing Ottoman regime in Turkey and massacres by the ruling elites within their native homeland of Iraq.

AINA said a further threat to existence in their homeland has arisen with the rise of radical Islamists who are trying to cleanse the region of any Christian groups.

The Assyria Council of Europe (ACE) has collaborated with the Iraq based Hammurabi Human Rights Organization to produce a report detailing the experiences of Assyrians living in a new, democratic Iraq.

AINA reported the ACE board said, “We are very worried about the situation of Assyrians in Assyria, and if the European Union and other influential organizations do not intervene, there will be no Assyrians left in modern day Iraq.”

The report is inspired by a six-week fact-finding mission in northern Iraq between Nov. 2009 and Jan. 2010.

AINA said the first part relates the tragic history of Assyrians and other ethno-religious minorities in Iraq. More than 1,300 Christian families fled Mosul in the wake of the 2008 terror campaign alone, with over 700 targeted killings committed post-2003.

Of the 750,000 Iraqi refugees in Jordan for example, Assyrian Christians number up to a disproportionate 150,000 considering their population in Iraq. AINA said with this in mind, both past and present relevant legal standards are addressed, with deficiencies brought into focus.

According to AINA, these three papers clearly document the struggle Assyrian Christians face living in their homeland. They are also a call for action to be taken by the Iraqi government, the KRG, and the international community to address this problem with urgency and commitment that has been severely lacking thus far.

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