The Assyrian Universal Alliance FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 29, 2008 – The Assyrian Universal Alliance received the shocking news from Mosul (Nineveh Province) that Archbishop Paulos (Paul) Faraj Rahoo, of the Chaldean Church of Mosul was kidnapped on Friday, 29-02-08 at 5:15 P.M. as he left the Holy Spirit Church in the Al-Noor area of Mosul city. His driver, Faris, and bodyguard, Rami, were shot and died at the scene. A third man, security guard Samir, was also shot and died later at the hospital. The funeral of the victims took place on Saturday 30-02-08 at the city of Karimlesh in Nineveh Province.
The Assyrian Universal Alliance condemns in the strongest terms possible the vicious and cowardly act of terrorism perpetrated against innocent civilians of Nineveh plains-Northern Iraq, in which many innocent people were victimized. This act of genocidal barbarism is inexcusable. Our sympathies and prayers are with the victims, their families and friends. We call for the immediate release of the Father Faraj Raho.
Recent escalations of vicious acts of terrorism that are specifically targeting the Assyrians are clearly genocidal and a stark violation against humanity and the oldest native people of the land. Such attacks on the Assyrian community targeting innocent civilians in all parts of Iraq have stunned our nation in the Diaspora. Obviously, the aim of these evil people by carrying out barbarous attacks is to demoralize the Assyrians as a nation and to drive us out from our ancestral lands.

The Assyrian Universal Alliance reiterates its call for the establishment of the Province of Assyria in Northern Iraq where Assyrians provide their own security. We call upon the government of Iraq, the religious leaders of Shiite and Sunni peace-loving Muslims, and the United Nations to hasten the process of establishing this province to avert further acts of terrorism against this indigenous and original people of the land.

We, the Diaspora Assyrians, strongly condemn these heinous acts. We call upon the world body of nations to stand with us in condemning them. We extend our deepest condolences and sympathy to the bereaved families who lost their loved ones, and our prayers and solidarity are with the kidnapped Bishop and our people who must endure these hardships imposed upon them because they are Christian.

AUA Executive Board