We are outraged to hear that ballots for the 5 Christian slates are being discarded due to a lack of Governorate specificity on the ballot envelope or a lack of specific documents. The Christian slates do not require a specific governorate as we are voting for At-Large-Candidates. The way we are understanding the Government of Iraq’s sentiments towards the minority communities is that first, we were forced to flee under duress and persecution for our ethnic identity and religion – usually leaving everything behind. Then, in diaspora, we are punished again for not being able to prove our “Iraqiness”. And now, we are being told that – even though our candidates do not require a specific Governorate – you will throw out our ballots with the rest. We also severely condemn the fact that all OCV votes are being counted in Arbil: Assyrian Christian have a long history of political marginalization and oppression from the Kurdish parties which run that city, and it is ludicrous to allow them to count our votes, most especially since they had KDP members running for what few seats we had.
If the rules were relaxed in the diaspora only to humor us, then you’ve added insult to severe injury.
This is outrageous, cruel, and inherently flawed. How many times and in how many ways will Iraq’s minorities be punished? We demand every single one of our ballots be counted despite the identification of a governorate. Otherwise, our elected officials, human rights groups, State Department, and media outlets will be bombarded with our story.
You are receiving this email as a result of your past participation in a recent Congressional letter-writing campaign of the Assyrian American National Coalition: www.assyrianamericancoalition.org.
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