Assyrian Universal Alliance letter to Jalal talebani!

Member: Unrepresented Nations & Peoples Organization (UNPO)

Dear Mr. Jalal Talebani,
The President of the Republic of Iraq
We wish to bring to your attention the serious human rights issue of unlawful action taken by
the Iraqi parliament on Wednesday, 24 Sept. 2008 by voting to abolish Article 50 of the Iraqi
Provincial Election Law of councils for governorates, districts and sub-districts in order to
remove the minority rights of the Electoral Act. This is a deliberate violation of the
constitution of Iraq, which recognizes and guarantees the civil and political rights and
freedoms of all citizens of Iraq regardless of gender, race, nationality, origin or religious
belief. The justification provided for this action is under the pretext of the absence of
accurate statistics about the Assyrians (also known as Chaldeans and Syriacs), the Yezidis
and the Shabaks.
The systematic and forced displacement and subsequent exodus of Assyrians from our
homeland, particularly after the liberation of Iraq, and the failure of the new Iraqi government
to provide security and protection has reduced our numbers, thus causing us to be categorized
as a minority in our own ancestral lands, rather than being rightfully recognized as the original
and indigenous people of the region. Assyrians, once constituting 50% of the population, are
now estimated to be about 3% of the total population.
Assyrians embrace democracy, but until democracy matures in a country such as Iraq,
dominated by Islamic extremists, radical insurgents and fundamental anti-Assyrians, the
inherent friction and tensions therein will exact a heavy toll on the Assyrian people. What hope
do Assyrians have in a democracy that deprives them of effectively participating in the
election process? What hope do Assyrians have in a democracy where the major Iraqi
political parties have banded together and voted to eliminate the Assyrian representation in
the government?
We call upon the champions of democracy and human rights to defend those whose essential
rights are violated and the ethnic minorities who are being oppressed. The Assyrian plea to
freedom-loving governments who seek to uphold human rights is that the cry for an Assyrian
autonomous region in Northern Iraq, the ancestral land of the Assyrians, will be heeded and that
this autonomous region will be granted as an integrated state within the modern Federal
Republic of Iraq. The establishment of such a region is crucial to the security and survival of
the Assyrian nation and would serve as a Middle East success story, a story of freedom,
democracy, rule of law and economic prosperity.
Your urgent intervention and action on behalf of the rights of Iraqi minorities are highly
Yonathan Betkolia
Secretary General-Assyrian Universal Alliance