Assyria: Assyrian Universal Alliance Asks Australian Government For Help
In an urgent plea to the Australian minister of foreign affairs, the AUA warns for an exodus of 1.2 million refugees if the situation in Iraq does not improve
Below is a letter published by the Assyrian Universal Alliance:
Dear Prime Minister,
We the Assyrian Univeral Alliance, an umbrella organization representing all Assyrian organizations, federations and political parties around the globe, are seeking your urgent intervention regarding the prevailing situation in Iraq where the future of our ancient Assyrian nation is bleak. The Human Rights situation is worsening and repression of the civil, Religious and political rights continues deteriorating by the day.
In a direct attempt to uproot the Assyrian people from their ancestral land, hundreds of Kurds targeted their businesses, residences, religious sites, and cultural centres in more than half a dozen cities. The recent violence broke out following directives delivered by religious leaders during last Friday prayer gatherings, 2 December 2011 in the Kurdish regional Government controlled region of North Iraq without any meaningful intervention by the Kurdish authorities. Millions of dollars were looted and damaged from Assyrian businesses in Zakho, Simele, Nohadra (Dohuk) and other towns. The attacks continued over the weekend and on Monday, December 4th. Assyrian business owners received death threats should they re-open their businesses.
The slow genocide of the indigenous Assyrians, also known as Chaldeans and Syriacs, in Iraq now sits at the tipping point of a relentless and inexorable genocide, leading to ethnic extinction.
The Assyrians in Iraq have become the regular victims of discrimination, harassment, and at times persecution and explosion by the ever increasing Islamist extremist movements and militias, with incidents ranging from intimidation and threats to the destruction of property, kidnapping and murder.
Instances of religious harassment and ongoing targeted bomb attacks on Christian churches have become all too regular and common for Assyrians and have affected the right of the Christian worshippers to exercize their religious freedom. It is reported that from 2003 to date, over 70 churches were attacked or bombed for the sole reason that they were houses of worship of Assyrian Christians. For the Assyrians, who are both Christian and the indigenous people of Iraq, the aftermath of Iraq’s ‘ liberation’ has been absolute[ly] catastrophic.
Since 2003 about 600,000 Christian refugees have fled Iraq to the surrounding countries such as Syria, Jordan and Turkey. This is not even counting those that are displaced within Iraq itself, many having fled north trying to find some measure of safety among other Assyrians.
Despite the scale of this human tragedy and the drastic displacement of the Assyrians, The International Community’s response has been almost non-existent and the displace Assyrians have been left to their demise. This has resulted in many refugees living in appalling conditions.
The Assyrian Universal Alliance seeks your intervention, and support for the Nineveh Plain Province Solution which entails the development of a self-governed Assyrian province in the Nineveh Plain under the jurisdiction of the central government of the Federal Republic of Iraq. We urge the Australian government to offer political support in favour of this policy in its dealings with the government of Iraq and to provide direct financial assistance for security and infrastructure development in the Nineveh Plain.
Without aggressive Australian & United Nation’s intervention, the Christian Assyrian community is on the verge of overt genocide or exodus on a scale unknown in modern times; potentially, 1.2 million refugees in the span of a decade. Once uprooted from Iraq, Assyrians will never be able to return. The fabric, culture and politics of Iraq and the Middle East will forever be transformed, and as Assyrians slowly assimilate into new cultures in the Diaspora, the world loses an enduring Biblical people and culture.
Deputy Secretary General
Assyrian Universal Alliance