“Guilty by Association – The Prevalence, Prominence and Persecution of Iraq’s Indigenous and Aboriginal People”

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Throughout its political history, monarchy (1932) and republic (1958), Iraq has been known to be among the most notorious countries in the Middle-East, where the most current government officials bring ridicule to to rid themselves of their predecessors, mainly in an attempt to erase any tracks that may lead to questioning their accountability to the people and avoid probing budgetary investigations.Such was the case when Baghdad’s court charged Iraq’s former Environment Minister Sargon Lazar Slewa with “office rent,” citing graft-related activities – a fine of up to $280,000 and two years in prison this Thursday.

Highlights – Just earlier last year, Slewa, a graduate of University of Mosul’s Civil Engineering School was appointed by Iraq’s government to represent it within the enclave of the United Nations Environment Program in an effort to bolster environmental recovery and peace-building treaty between Iraq and the world, and, who, during his term, was highly praised and well regarded by both, Iraq’s government and the people of Iraq for having executed some of the most prestigious projects, mainly to restore the country’s environment as part of its national development plan.

Be it isolated or related, Iraq’s parliament’s execution of the national card law last week, in conjunction with article 26, not only violates Iraq’s own constitution, but it sent Iraq’s other Christian representative, MP Yonadam Kanna on a whirlwind of television and radio interviews, in which he impassionately called out the parliament for passing a law which enforces the Islamification of minor non-Muslims minorities if at least one parent converts to Islam, ignoring all facets of the constitution that are “allegedly” in place to protect minority rights. The response to Kanna’s retaliation came within a week in a swift and a harsh indiscrminatorycounterattack by Iraq’s current Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, resulting, once again, in the annihilating of Iraq’s minorities.

In the past, this widespread Iraqi political tactic of “guilty by association” has lead to the imprisonment and assassination of some of the most notable activists and famed Iraqi writers during the Ba’athist (1968-2003) ruling era in Iraq, where Iraq successfully lost the majority of its population’s high-powered class of men and women to immigration and resettlement, predominantly in the west.

Iraq today – even after claiming its freedom from Saddam’s tyranny, due the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 and the enactment of a new constitution in 2005, Iraq continues to violate its own laws, dashing its own citizens’ human, civil and political rights.

* Sargon Lazar Slewa is an Assyrian-Iraqi politician who served as the Environment Minister during former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s second term in office, which ended in 2014.

* Graft-related charges are unrestrained use of a politician’s authority for personal gain.

Helen Talia, MBA, CPA
(Chicago and Phoenix, U.S.A.)
November 5, 2015