FA ME: Brussels: 20 / June / 2013 /
Mr. Strawn Stevenson, head of the delegation of the European Parliament and Iraq, opened the periodic meeting to study the situation of ethnic minorities and religious groups in Iraq, the meeting addressed the conditions of minorities and religious groups such as the Turkmen, Chaldean Syriac Assyrian Christians, Armenians, Yazidies, Shabak, the Kaka’een, Baha’is, Faily Kurds, Mandaeans, “blacks Iraqis” in southern Iraq, the Jews and the Philistines, where criticism was directed to the Iraqi government for failing to protect ethnic minorities and religious groups.
Mr. Stevenson read the agenda of the meeting and approved it, as well as the contents of the previous meeting which was held on March, then the first word was for Mr. Kamel Zozo, official of the Chaldean Syriac Assyrian Popular Council in Germany, also participated in the meeting Mr. Delefr Agicri, Head of the Kurdistan Regional Government Mission to the European Union, Mr. Chet Gerges, chairman of the Turkmen Human Rights Foundation in the Netherlands, Mr. Chris Chapman for the Minorities Rights Group in London, Ms. Teresa de Vries from the Netherlands for the Pax Christi Organization (a global Christian organization calls for peace).
Mr. Zozo talked about the tragic situation experienced by all the Iraqi components including the CSA Christian people, on a daily basis and questioned the representative of the Iraqi embassy in the European Union about the migration and displacement actions that affect the Christians, who were more than one million and a half people before the fall of the dictatorial regime in the ninth of April 2003, to dwindle to almost 300 thousand people under the new regime.
Mr. Zozo talked about the suffering of the Christian people from violence, bloodshed and displacement since the foundation of the Iraqi State and until the fall of the former regime in 2003. Reminding everybody of the Smeal massacre committed by the Iraqi army in 1933, which claimed the lives of more than five thousand people and all of them unarmed civilians, as well as the massacre of Soraya in 1969, in which fell tens of martyrs and wounded, the cruelty and brutality of Saddam Hussein regime dictatorship caused the destruction of dozens of villages, churches and monasteries in the province of Kurdistan in a series of warfare operations named “the Anfal” as a tribute to the well known Anfal operations in the era of the Islamic message against “the infidels,” It is known that these operations claimed more than 182 thousand martyrs of the Kurdish people in the years 1988 and 1989, as well as thousands of martyrs and wounded of our people in Kurdistan.
Zozo confirmed that after 2003 our people rejoiced good just like the other Iraqi components, in the change that happened in Iraq that shifted the government in Iraq from a dictatorial regime to a democratic one, where people chose their representatives in the House of Representatives through the voting box, but soon our people faced again waves of succession violent operations of murder, kidnapping, rape, forced displacement and killings in Basra, Nasiriyah, Anbar, Diyala, Baghdad, Mosul and other Iraqi cities; under the governments of the post-regime, this systematic killing was directed also against the other minority components.
He said in his speech “we must look for a way out to rescue all Iraqi ethnic and religious components, there is no place for national rights or religious freedom or respect for human rights in a country consolidates its system through sectarian religious, the Iraqi government continues to absence its people and to marginalize them according to their race and religion, and this violates the treaties that the Iraqi state pledged to, since its acceptance as a member of the United Nations League, also Iraq had signed many international laws and commitments regarding minorities rights, but did not abide by the rights of its citizens until this moment.”
He also cleared and through official documents the demographic change taking place in our people areas, and distributed a file of 60 pages of such abuses to Mr. Stevenson and the members of the Iraq Committee and many of the participants in the meeting, the file included the demographic change operations during the ten years in the Nineveh Plain and which is much more than what happened during the former dictatorial regime era.
After listening to the words of the speakers Mr. Stevenson directed the questions and queries to the representative of the Iraqi embassy in the European Union to respond, but the representative’s answer came very brief and general and unrelated to the content of the meeting or the issues and problems raised about the suffering of minorities in Iraq.
At the end of the meeting another date was scheduled for the next meeting, which will be devoted to the situation of Iraqi Christians in particular.
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