FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
14 June, 2013
The Assyrian Universal Alliance received ominous news from Assyrians living in the village of Rabatki in the district of Aqra in the Dohuk province, Northern Iraq. The village, which has never had any Kurdish inhabitants, has been fending off land grab attempts since the early 1990s. Seven cars full of Kurdish men armed with Kalashnikovs and other weapons, mostly belonging to the Zebari tribe, attacked the village on 13 June, 2013. The motive behind the attack was to forcefully claim parts of the village. The village chief, Mr. Zaya Barcam Khoshaba, was beaten in the face by an attacker with the side of a Kalashnikov.
A similar violation has been instituted against other towns and villages located on the outskirts of Dohuk, North of Iraq, in the Assyrian villages of Kori Gavana, Blejani and many others in which the defenseless residents in these villages were threatened and intimidated by the Kurds. Assyrians in many of these villages stopped sowing their rich agricultural lands – their only source of income – because they were warned by the Kurds that if anyone attempted to produce a crop, their farms and houses would be burned to the ground. This threatening menace was the fundamental reason why hundreds of Christian families left their homes in the village and fled to neighboring countries.
The Assyrian Universal Alliance-Australia Chapter condemns in the strongest terms possible these illegal and intimidating intrusions against the indigenous Assyrian people of Iraq by the Kurds. We hold the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) accountable for not stopping these discriminatory behaviours against Assyrians, deeming it a party to the unlawful and immoral occupation and transfer of Assyrian-owned lands to Kurdish squatters. These illicit acts are contrary to the obligations of Iraq’s national unity and civil peace that the faithful citizens of the country are seeking.
An appeal has been made to the world leaders to intervene with the Iraqi authorities to investigate and take immediate steps to reverse and prevent any further violations and abuse. We demand that the KRG immediately cease these unlawful aggressions against the Assyrian Christian inhabitants of our ancestral villages, returning any occupied lands to their rightful owners.
On Monday, 3 June, 2013, The Hon. Chris Bowen MP, Member for McMahon, raised in the Australian Federal Parliament a motion focusing on the Assyrian demand for the establishment of an autonomous province in the heart of the Assyrian ancestral lands in the Nineveh Plains in northern Iraq. The AUA feels compelled to formally bring this matter to the attention of the allied governments and seek their support to confer with the Iraqi authorities about this issue.
Assyrian Universal Alliance