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Kurds Confiscating Ancestral Lands of Indigenous Assyrians

by various sources | Assyrian Information Management (AIM) | September, 2012.

Posted: Monday, October 01, 2012 at 07:47 PM UT | Updated: March 13, 2013.


Assyria
Dohuk [Nohadra], Northern Iraq [Assyria]
Editors' Note: On September 21, 2012, we received urgent reports detailing the Kurds' continued and illegal confiscation of lands of indigenous Assyrians within the ancestral territory of Assyria, located in northern Iraq. These reports have been compiled and published in this document. Anyone having additional eyewitness accounts, photos or documents can send information through this contact form.
Sign Petition | Take few minutes to communicate to your elected officials the abuse and ethnic discrimination by Kurdish leaders and their illegal regional government against Assyrians in Northern Iraq. The Kurdification of Assyrian lands has been going on for several centuries now, the methods of eradication might have changed from genocide, rape and mass deportations into more "civilized" ways such as illegal land grab supposedly and according to the KRG for the common good and under the pretext of progress and economic wellbeing for all the inhabitants of the region. The end results are the same, fewer Assyrians living in Northern Iraq and Kurds illegally occupying our ancestral lands. — American Mesopotamian Organization
 

Message #1Kurds Confiscating Ancestral Lands of Indigenous Assyrians

Welcoming the fact that indigenous peoples are organizing themselves for political, economic, social and cultural enhancement and in order to bring to an end all forms of discrimination and oppression wherever they occur,

Convinced that control by indigenous peoples over developments affecting them and their lands, territories and resources will enable them to maintain and strengthen their institutions, cultures and traditions, and to promote their development in accordance with their aspirations and needs,

Recognizing that respect for indigenous knowledge, cultures and traditional practices contributes to sustainable and equitable development and proper management of the environment,

Emphasizing the contribution of the demilitarization of the lands and territories of indigenous peoples to peace, economic and social progress and development, understanding and friendly relations among nations and peoples of the world...

— United Nations: Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People

I was contacted by several members of Kori Gavana Village Committee to notify me and intermediate for getting assistance from the US Government, specifically the US Consulate in Erbil to interfere and help them with the issue of violation that is underway from KRG against their village Kori Gavana.

The village of Kori Gavanais an Assyrian Christian village located on the outskirts of Dohuk, and has been in existence since the beginning of State of Iraq in 1920s. During Saddam's reign, 500 government houses were built in this village and given to 500 Kurdish families that were relocated from Sulaymania. This was part of Saddam's bigger scheme to change the demographic and the Christian characteristic of this village.
 
Due to this, the Christians in this village were threatened, frightened and felt defend less against the Kurds. They even stopped planting their rich agricultural lands (their only source of income), because they were warned by the Kurds and told that if anyone tried to plant, their farm and houses will be burned to the ground. This was the biggest reason why hundreds of Christian families left their homes in the village and migrated to neighboring countries.
 
This morning I was informed that the Department of Municipalities had notified all the Christian families in the village to meet with head of Municipality of Dohuk at 10:00 am yesterday, 17 September 2012. In this meeting, the head of Dohuk Municipality told all the people from the village who attended the meeting that the Government has decided to take 88% of their lands and transfer the title to the government.
 
Of course the people of this village feel much violated because their land is being taken by the government and feel powerless and helpless against the KRG.
 
The people of this Christian village are asking assistance from the US Consulate in Erbil, especially those officials that are in charge of Minorities and Human Right issues to step in and help them. They have suffered much during the Saddam era and are suffering now, and have no one to turn to except for the US government for help.
 
I appreciate any help you may offer to these helpless people, and please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.
 
Thank you.
 

Message #2Kurds Confiscating Ancestral Lands of Indigenous Assyrians

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

  1. Killing members of the group;
  2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
  4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

— United Nations: Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

This is a follow up to email #1 above.

Further, I want to give you an update on the latest activities carried by the Kurdistan Government in the village of Kori Gavana.
This morning Kori Gavana people called to tell me that very early this morning a large team of government day workers and 2 engineers were actively digging, drilling and excavating on village grounds and in people's properties

When the Mukhtar and other people from the village confronted the government workers and tried to stop them, the government engineers on site told them that they will not stop and will continue because this property belongs to the government and all village property titles have been already transferred and now officially belongs to the government, and if they have any complaints they should take it up with the KR President.

Then a group of people from the village went to the Ministry of Agriculture and to the office of the Mayor (Qa'i Maqam) to find out who gave the order to dig in the village; officials in both offices said that they have no information about the excavation and have not received any notice from the government to do that (which is regulation and requirement in cases like this). Finally they went to meet the Director of Ministry of Tourism Office in Dohuk. The Director informed them that he received urgent orders from "above" to move as soon as possible and start digging, and he will not be able to stop the project unless he received an order from the "above".

I'd appreciate your help in assisting these poor people who have no worldly possession except their land, which they inherited and has been in their families for generations.

This is a clear case of human right violation, oppression and prosecution of minorities living in Kurdistan Region. Some of these people escaped the prosecution and tyranny of Baghdad, Mousel and Basra and took refuge in Kurdistan, only to find out that they government in Kurdistan is harsher and more oppressor.

I am asking you as a Christian Iraqi American to please help these people. They don't have weapons to fight and defend their village, and don't belong to a big political party to back them up and fight for their rights.

They are at the mercy of and asking for US government intervention to stop this violation to their basic human rights.

Thanks for your help and I look forward to hearing back form you.

Best regards.

 

برلمانيون عن شعبنا في الإقليم يزورون قرية كوري كفانا لمتابعة موضوع التجاوزات على الأراضي

زوعا اورغ - دهوك :29 ايلول 2012 م/ شليمون دواد اوراهم
(website link)
متابعةً لموضوع التجاوزات على أراضي أبناء شعبنا في قرية كوري كفانا التابعة لناحية زوايته في محافظة دهوك، قامت النائبتان في برلمان إقليم كوردستان عن قائمتي شعبنا، الدكتورة جهان إسماعيل بنيامين عن قائمة الرافدين للحركة الديمقراطية الآشورية، والسيدة سوزان يوسف خوشابا عن قائمة المجلس الشعبي الكلداني السرياني الآشوري، بزيارة تفقدية إلى القرية صباح الجمعة 28 أيلول 2012، وكان في استقبالهما السيد مختار القرية وعدد من أبناء القرية.

وكما ذكر أهالي القرية فإن القرية كانت تعاني من مشاكل كثيرة منذ عهد النظام السابق الذي قام بإنشاء مجمع سكني داخل أراضي القرية لإسكان مجموعة من المواطنين المرحلين من محافظات أخرى إلى محافظة دهوك لإحداث تغييرات ديموغرافية، ولم تتم معالجة هذه المشكلة حتى بعد زوال النظام السابق بالرغم من الوعود التي قطعتها حكومة إقليم كوردستان لسكان القرية الأصليين من المسيحيين.

ومن أحدث المشاكل الراهنة هي تجاوز بعض مؤسسات حكومة الإقليم على جزء من أراضي القرية لإنشاء مشروع سياحي، حيث أكد أبناء القرية إن حكومة الإقليم قامت بإطفاء أراضيهم دون علمهم، وتمت المباشرة ببناء المشروع على جزء من هذه الأراضي، علماً أن قرية كوري كفانا قد تم إدراجها في حدود البلدية، إلا أنه لا يحق لأبنائها التصرف بأراضيهم.. حتى الواقعة منها داخل فناء منازلهم، بحجة عائديتها إلى البلدية حسب الإطفاء والخريطة الجديدة للقرية.

ورافق النائبتين خلال الزيارة السيد مرقس إرميا وكيل مسؤول فرع دهوك للحركة الديمقراطية الآشورية، والسيدان ناجي داود وإزريا بنيامين عضوا الفرع.

ومن المقرر أن تلتقي النائبتان وأعضاء القائمتين في وقت لاحق أيضا المسؤولين في الدوائر الحكومية المعنية بهذا الشأن لمواصلة متابعته وإيجاد الحلول المناسبة لمعالجته بما يحفظ حقوق أبناء القرية في أراضيهم.

 

PETITIONStop the Kurdish Regional Government Illegal Land Grab
http://www.causes.com/causes/589749-nineveh-plain-province/actions/1687946

September 26, 2012 | Started by David William Lazar
To: US House of Representatives, US Senate and US President

Dear Sir/Madam

I would like to bring to your attention an important development in the area of Northern Iraq currently under the control of the Kurdistan Regional Government. The referenced area which has been the home for thousands of Assyrian Christian families is located in the Northwestern part of Iraq. We have received accurate reporting that the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG)has begun a systematic and illegal confiscation of farming lands belonging to Assyrian Christian villagers from the province of Duhok (AKA Nohadra in Assyrian). Ownership of these lands was transferred to the regional government without previously consulting their rightful owners and under the pretext they were needed for the development of a “project” by the Kurdish ministry of Tourism which upon completion will economically benefit the whole area. These unjust actions are strongly condemned by American Mesopotamian Organization (AMO) and Iraqi Christian Relief Council (ICR Council) two Assyrian American organizations based in the United States.

The Barazani affiliates/associates aided by the Kurdish security forces (Asayesh) and under the “veil of government entities” have continued with the policies of demographic change that the regime of Saddam Hussein had used for decades until its removal in 2003. While The US considers the Kurdish enclave to be a friendly entity within Iraq and the last two US administrations have transferred billions in US aid to promote the region as an “Oasis” of democracy and tolerance, the truth is the indigenous people of the land, the Assyrian Christians (also known as Chaldeans and Syriacs) and other non Kurdish ethnic and religious minorities suffer on a daily basis from “disguised and unofficial” policies of discrimination.

As a United States Citizen, I am joining AMO and ICR Council to request that you contact the KRG directly or through the American consulate in Erbil and demand they immediately stop their campaign of illegal land grab and to transfer the building of their “tourism project” in areas that are Kurdish owned.

I also ask you that you officially request the U.S. Department of State to put an immediate freeze on all funds allotted to the Kurdish region until the KRG withdraws its workers and equipment and guarantees the safety of the Assyrian farmers who have suffered from acts of violence by members of the Kurdish Security Apparatus “Asayesh”.

Thank you,

Sign Petition | Take few minutes to communicate to your elected officials the abuse and ethnic discrimination by Kurdish leaders and their illegal regional government against Assyrians in Northern Iraq. The Kurdification of Assyrian lands has been going on for several centuries now, the methods of eradication might have changed from genocide, rape and mass deportations into more "civilized" ways such as illegal land grab supposedly and according to the KRG for the common good and under the pretext of progress and economic wellbeing for all the inhabitants of the region. The end results are the same, fewer Assyrians living in Northern Iraq and Kurds illegally occupying our ancestral lands. — American Mesopotamian Organization

Update #1: Posted by David William Lazar (Cause Leader) on September 27, 2012.

To all of you who live in the USA, please go to our website and send letters to your elected officials. Please follow this link. www.americanmesopotamian.org Thank you.


Update #2: Posted by David William Lazar (Cause Leader) on October 5, 2012.

The second phase of our campaign against the KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government) has begun. We have now contacted all 37 members of the Kurdish American Congressional Caucus exposing the apartheid like policies of the Barazani clan and their so called "government" and requesting they freeze all financial aid to the KRG and to supspend their membership in the Caucus if Barazani and the KRG don't reverse their decision to return these lands to their rightful owners.


Update #3: Posted by David William Lazar (Cause Leader) on October 5, 2012.

Below is the content of American Mesopotamian Organization letter to 37 members of the Kurdish American Congressional Caucus.

‎10/5/2012 
The Honorable xxxxx 
United States House of Representatives

Washington, D.C

Dear Congressman/woman xxxxx

We would like to bring to your attention an important development in the area of Northern Iraq currently under the control of the Kurdistan Regional Government. The referenced area which has been the home for thousands of Assyrian Christian families for hundreds if not thousands of years is located in the Northwestern part of Iraq.

We have received accurate reporting that the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) has begun a systematic and illegal confiscation of farming lands belonging to Assyrian Christian villagers from the province of Duhok (AKA Nohadra in Assyrian). Ownership of these lands was transferred to the regional government without previously consulting their rightful owners and under the pretext they were needed for the development of a "project" by the Kurdish ministry of Tourism, which upon completion will economically benefit the whole area.

The Barazani affiliates/associates aided by the Kurdish security forces (Asayesh) and under the "veil of government entities" have continued with the policies of demographic change that the regime of Saddam Hussein had used for decades until its removal in 2003. While The US considers the Kurdish enclave to be a friendly entity within Iraq and the last two US administrations have transferred billions in US aid to promote the region as an "Oasis" of democracy and tolerance, the truth is the indigenous people of the land, the Assyrian Christians (also known as Chaldeans and Syriacs) and other non Kurdish ethnic and religious minorities suffer on a daily basis from "disguised and unofficial" policies of discrimination.

As of the date of this letter we have collected thousands of signatures from US citizens asking their elected officials (House, Senate and the President) to pressure the Barazani family and the KRG to return the confiscated areas to their rightful owners. We're asking you as a member of the Kurdish American Congressional Caucus to do the same and demand they put a stop to the illegal land grab and refrain from their policies of demographic change and the Kurdification of the region.

We hope the KRG will respond in a positive manner to your request and put an end to these policies, but in case they do not cooperate, we ask you that you officially request the U.S. Department of State to put an immediate freeze on all funds allotted to the KRG and the area under their jurisdiction. We moreover ask you to suspend your membership in the Kurdish American Congressional Caucus for the KRG is an unfair government which does not uphold the principles of Human Rights in regards to its Assyrian Christian citizens.

Sincerely

David William Lazar

Chairman


Update #4: Posted by David William Lazar (Cause Leader) on November 2, 2012.

The Honorable Jabir Habeb 
Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq 
3421 Massachusetts Ave., N.W 
Washington, D.C. 20007

Dear Mr. Habeb

We would like to bring to your attention recent important developments in the area of Northern Iraq. Currently under the jurisdiction of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), it is an area that has been the ancestral homeland for the Assyrian nation (AKA as Chaldeans and Syriacs) for thousands of years. We have recently received accurate reporting that the KRG has begun a systematic, and illegal, confiscation of farming lands belonging to Assyrian villagers from the province of Duhok (AKA Nohadra in Assyrian). Ownership of these lands was transferred to the regional government without previously consulting their rightful owners and under the pretext that they were needed for the development of a "project" by the Kurdish Ministry of Tourism which, upon completion, will economically benefit the whole area. At the same time, and in other areas of the region, the KRG is turning a "blind eye" to encroachment on Assyrian lands by Kurdish businessmen who are either member of the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) and/or business partners with individuals that are associates of Barazani.

The Barazani Family aided by the Kurdish security forces (Asayesh), and under the "veil of government entities," has continued with the policies of demographic change that the regime of Saddam Hussein had used for decades (until its removal in 2003). While the Kurdish enclave wants the world to perceive it as an "oasis" of democracy and tolerance in a strife ridden Iraq, the truth is the indigenous people of the land, the Assyrians (also known as Chaldeans and Syriacs) and other non Kurdish ethnic and religious minorities suffer on a daily basis from "disguised and unofficial" policies of discrimination.

As of the date of this letter, we have collected thousands of signatures from US citizens asking their elected officials (House, Senate and the President) to pressure the Barazani family and the KRG to return the confiscated areas to their rightful owners and to stop their policies of demographic change and the Kurdification of the region. We have also contacted members of the British Parliament, the European Union, and the Vatican informing them of the same abuses.

We are now asking you, as Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq, to bring this matter to the attention of the Federal government in Baghdad, and specifically to the office of the Prime Minister, so he may demand that the KRG bring an immediate halt to these injustices and remedy these recent misgivings. We are hopeful that our requests for the return of confiscated lands, and the prosecution of those who encroach on lands that don't belong to them, will not fall on "deaf ears," but in case they do, we would like to assure you that we will be leading a worldwide Public Relations campaign against the KRG, and its leaders, and will include the Federal Government in Baghdad since ultimately it's the Federal government's responsibility to ensure that basic human rights of its citizens are guaranteed, regardless of their religion or ethnicity and the region or province they happen to live in.

The people of Iraq have endured ruthless regimes and endless wars and bloodshed for decades and have paid a heavy price, measured in millions of lost lives and hundreds of billions of dollars in losses of the country's national wealth, to ultimately bring about the current constitution. That document has numerous flaws and deficiencies, albeit written with the hope that it will "sew" back the very fabric of Iraqi society. This document must be revered and its articles implemented and should not be tossed aside, because if it is ignored and the rights of minorities are not protected, then all the suffering the Iraqi people had endured was in vain and Iraq will never be able to join the rest of the civilized nations of the world.

Respectfully,

United Assyrians of Los Angeles (UALA)


Update #5: Posted by David William Lazar (Cause Leader) on January 10, 2013.

For Immediate Release: KRG President Appoints Commission to Investigate the "Issue" of Assyrian Village of Raoula D'Rayeh ( Kori Gavana in Kurdish).

Several months ago, 88% of the land of the Assyrian village of Raoula D'Rayeh (Kori Gavana in Behdenani-Kurdish) was confiscated by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) without prior consent of landowners and under the pretext that the land was needed to build a "tourist project". In November, American Mesopotamian Organization and the Iraqi Christian Relief Council lead a grassroots campaign in the US against the KRG and collected thousands of signatures on a petition asking members of the Kurdish American Congressional Caucus to pressure the KRG to put an end to such abuses. In early December 2012, representatives from both organizations travelled to Washington DC to meet in person with several of these Congressional offices and presented them with photos and facts on a systematic land grab which result in Kurdification of what's left of Assyrian villages by the KRG.

Today, we're pleased to inform our supporters, especially those who participated in the grassroots process that our efforts have been rather successful. We were informed by one of these Congressional offices that they received communication from the KRG stating President Barazani has directed a commission to be formed in order to investigate the issue of Kori Gavana. The commission reportedly includes official and non-governmental offices, including the President's office, Prime Minister's office, human rights groups, Kurdish NGO, as well as members of the Assyrian (also known as Chaldean and Syriac) community.

While we welcome such approach and we consider it a small step in the right direction; however, we would like to stress to the Kurdish leadership that we will continue with our campaign until every inch of Assyrian land is returned to its rightful owners. We would also like to take this opportunity and inform Barazani lead KRG that we are fully aware of their plans for other Assyrian villages, the Assyrian village of Babelu as an example and the recent confiscation of 57 Donam or 142,500 Square Meters of that village's land, using the same excuse of constructing another "tourist project".

In the coming days we expect President Barazani to instruct his tourism ministry to put an immediate halt to these "tourist projects" in both Assyrian villages and to return all KRG confiscated lands to their Assyrian owners in addition to immediately returning all encroached upon Assyrian lands by Kurdish individuals and tribes.

David William Lazar
Chairman
American Mesopotamian Organization

Juliana Taimoorazy
President
Iraqi Christian Relief Council


Update #6: Posted by David William Lazar (Cause Leader) on January 26, 2013.

Recently the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) confiscated 57 doname (142,500 Square Meters) from the Assyrian village of Babelu (northern Iraq) to construct another "tourist project". Attached are few satellite images and photos from the ground of the so called tourist project.

 

SBS: Assyrian: KRG Confiscates Christian Village (audio)

"KRG decided to take 88% of our lands and transfer the title to the government," Mr. Hassado Hassodo told SBS Radio and stressed that "this is a clear case of human rights violation, oppression and prosecution of minorities living in Kurdistan".

Website | Download | Atour Archive 


 

SBS: Assyrian: The Status of the Christian Communities in northern Iraq (audio)

Wilson Younan
Host
SBS: Assyrian radio program, Australia

Guest speakers:

Juliana Taimoorazy
President
Iraqi Christian Relief Council

David William Lazar
Chairman
American Mesopotamian Organization

Website | Download | Atour Archive 


Kurdish Aggression Against Assyrians

by Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) - Australia Chapter
Member, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO)

PRESS RELEASE: Sydney – 2nd October 2012

The Assyrian Universal Alliance-Australian Chapter received some ominous news from Assyrians living in the village of Kori Gavana regarding the Kurdish Regional Government’s violation that has been instituted against their village. The village of Kori Gavana is an Assyrian Christian village located on the outskirts of Dohuk, North of Iraq, and has been in existence since the establishment of the State of Iraq in 1920s. During Saddam's reign, 500 government houses were built in this village and given to Kurdish families that were relocated from Sulaymania. This was part of Saddam's bigger scheme to forcefully change the demographic and the Christian characteristic of this village. As a result, the Christians in this village were threatened and intimidated, left feeling frightened and defenseless against the Kurds. Assyrians even ceased from sowing their rich agricultural lands (their only source of income), for the reason that they were warned by the Kurds that if anyone attempted to produce a crop, their farm 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 migrated to neighbouring countries.

On 17 September 2012, the Assyrian Universal Alliance – Australian Chapter, were informed that the Department of Municipalities had notified all the Christian families in the village to meet with the head of the Municipality of Dohuk, at 10:00 am. In this meeting, the head of Dohuk Municipality informed all the people from the village who attended the meeting that the Government has decided to appropriate 88% of their lands and transfer the title to the government. The people of this village are being violated and victimized by the government and feel powerless and helpless against the KRG.

These land grabs are achieved by terrorism and violence. The result is serious for the Assyrians. Firstly, they are deprived of their livelihood. Secondly, they are driven out of their ancestral lands. Thirdly they undermine the Assyrian entitlement to land reclaim and inflate the Kurdish claims.

This unjustifiable act of confiscation is seen by the Assyrians as a blatant measure to “Kurdify” lands and properties and to claim rights thereon, albeit fraudulently and improperly.

The Assyrian Universal Alliance-Australian Chapter condemns in the strongest terms possible these treacherous acts against the indigenous Assyrian people of Iraq by the Kurdish Regional Government which is engaging in discriminatory behaviour against Assyrians by illegally occupying and transferring Assyrian owned lands to Kurdish squatters. It raises concern that these acts are contrary to the obligations of national unity and civil peace that the faithful citizens of Iraq are seeking.

This situation also poses a critical challenge for the international community, including the Australian Federal Government, which has been and will continue to be a targeted government for the settlement of refugees. We therefore call on the Australian Government and the international community to take immediate steps in reversing and preventing any further violations and abuse and demand that the Kurdish Regional Government immediately cease its unlawful aggression against the Assyrian Christian inhabitants of Kori Gavan and return the lands to their rightful owners.

Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) - Australian Chapter
PO Box 34, Fairfield NSW 1860 Australia.
E-mail: auaaustralia [ a t ] optusnet.com.au
 

Federal Resolution Needed to Staunch Ongoing Exodus of Christian Assyrians from Iraq

by Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) - Australia Chapter. October 30, 2012.
Member, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO)

Mr. David M. David, President of the Assyrian Australian National Federation (AANF) | Hon. Bob Carr, Senator, Australian Foreign Affairs Minister | Mr. Hermiz Shahen, Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) Deputy Secretary General |  Hon. Chris Bowen, MP, Minister For Immigration and Citizenship | Mr. Yosep Betkolia, member of the AUA from the USA.
Photo: AUA, Australia Federal Parliament, October 30, 2012.

The Australian Federal Government is being urged to make urgent representations to the Iraqi Government, concerning the plight of the Assyrians in Iraq.

The Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) Deputy Secretary General Mr. Hermiz Shahen, together with the President of the Assyrian Australian National Federation (AANF) Mr. David M. David and member of the AUA from USA Mr. Yosep Betkolia conducted a number of meetings in Federal Parliament on Tuesday 30 October 2012.

The Nineveh Plain Province Solution is consistent with the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which has been recently endorsed by Australia.

We are pleased to announce that the Assyrian delegation met with the Australian Foreign Affairs Minister, Senator the Hon. Bob Carr together with the Hon. Chris Bowen MP, Minister For Immigration and Citizenship; Mr. Shahen said
The AUA delegates urged the Australian government to endorse and support the Nineveh Plain Province Solution which entails the development of a self-governed Assyrian province in the Nineveh Plain under the jurisdiction of the central government of the Federal Republic of Iraq. The Australian government to offer political supports in favor of this policy in its dealings with the government of Iraq, and assistance in providing direct financial aid for security and infrastructure development in the Nineveh Plain, said Mr. Shahen.

The delegation presented the Minister with a submission together with other important documents and briefed the Ministers with the latest development in Iraq, the neglect of the Assyrian question and the discriminatory behaviour against Assyrians by illegally occupying and transferring Assyrian owned lands to Kurdish squatters.

The Nineveh Plain Province Solution is consistent with the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which has been recently endorsed by Australia.

Pragmatically, it would not only be advantageous for Western countries to reduce Assyrian refugee and humanitarian migration, but they will also develop a lasting solution to the Assyrian refugee problem. There are many other minority groups, such as the Mandaeans, who would also benefit under the protected region.

Self-administration and allocation of appropriate revenues (protected by legislation) would ensure that the capacity of Assyrians to sustain themselves is maintained. Mr. Shahen said

The Assyrian Universal Alliance would like to thank the Honourable Chris Bowen MP, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship for organising this meeting and for his sincerity and continued support over the years in raising the Assyrian issue with the Australian Government

Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) - Australian Chapter
PO Box 34, Fairfield NSW 1860 Australia.
E-mail: auaaustralia [ a t ] optusnet.com.au
 

KRG: Developments of Kori Gavana (KRG official response)

Developments of Kori Gavana

Related Information
WikiLeaks: 2006-04-01: 06MOSUL40: Human Rights / Northern Iraq: Mayor Fears Kurdish Designs in Ninewa

WikiLeaks: 2006-04-23: 06BAGHDAD1317: Iraq Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) Weekly Roundup for April 7-13, 2006

WikiLeaks: 2007-02-15: 07BAGHDAD538: PRT Kirkuk: Article 140 Committee Member Mohammed Khalil Protests Arab Relocation Plan

WikiLeaks: 2006-08-22: 06KIRKUK143: KRG Minister of Religious Affairs on Monitoring Mosques, Checking Foreign Influences

Christian villagers of Kori Gavana migrated to this location after World War I and they have lived there for generations but they do not own the land. The land that the villagers reside on is actually owned by the KRG Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Finance. According to Iraqi law those who use government land are entitled to 8% compensation from the government should the government need to reclaim the land in use. The Kurdistan Regional Government gives 12% compensation for any land that is required to be reclaimed for the implementation of government projects.

In late 1970s, 500 houses were built during Saddam era and given to Kurdish families that were relocated forcefully from Suleimania. These houses were built nearby the village and now 800 families live there.

The local administration realizes the need for better services as Kori Gavana village and the camp site severely suffer from lack of services. The main objective of the master plan is to build roads, hospital, schools, and some other public services. The refusal of Christian villagers has hindered implementation of the master plan.

Residents of Kori Gavana are divided over whether they want the projects to be implemented or not.

The DFR sent a senior staff member to meet with the Deputy Governor of Duhok in October, and we have delegated a member of our staff to participate in the task force formed by the Office of the Kurdistan Region President to look into and resolve this issue.

On 5 December 2012, the task force visited the village of Kore Gavana and held a joint meeting in Duhok with representatives of the relevant directorates of the Duhok Governorate, representatives of Kore Gavana, a representative of the 500 home camp built by Saddam in 1978, and a representative of the displaced Chomani people who were forcefully relocated to the camp.

The facts that we have been able to obtain from these efforts are as follows:

  1. There are approximately 80 Christian families that live in Kore Gavana
  2. The village is severely lacking in terms of basic infrastructure (i.e. roads, schools, etc.)
  3. The Duhok Governorate has adopted a master plan which was developed by a European firm for infrastructural development of the entire province.
  4. The Duhok Governorate has demonstrated its willingness to offer fair compensation for any property affected by the implementation of the master development plan.
  5. The Duhok Governorate has made it clear that participation in the development plan is entirely voluntary, and the government will not implement the plan in Kore Gavana unless there is a consensus from the villagers desiring them to do so.
  6. The villagers are currently divided on whether they want to participate in the development plan or not.
  7. The 500 house camp that was built by Saddam in 1978 is close to, but separate from the village of Kore Gavana.
    1. Ownership and use of the land where the camp is situated prior to 1978 is unclear, but it seems unlikely that this land was used by the residents of Kore Gavana for any particular purpose prior to the establishment of the camp.
    2. Approximately 800 Kurdish families currently live in the camp.
    3. 113 of the Chomani families who were forcefully relocated to the camp by the former regime have received relocation compensation from the KRG (200m2 of land and 20 million ID) to move back to Choman.
      1. 53 of these have sold their houses in the camp and relocated to Choman.
      2. 60 of these families are still residing in the camp.
  8. The government has already built 40 houses in Kore Gavana and the camp; all of which have been given to Christian families.
  9. The villagers have yet to present a unified or reasonable counter-solution for their problems with the camp, despite being repeatedly asked to deliver a list of demands.
    1. Some villagers have requested that the 800 families residing in the camp be relocated and the land (along with the 500 houses on it) be given to the 80 families of Kore Gavana.
    2. Villagers have also asked that the residents of the camp not be allowed to sell their houses in the camp.
  10. The government has already built 40 houses in Kore Gavana and the camp; all of which have been given to Christian families.
  11. During their 5 December meeting, the task force:
    1. Requested the Sub-District Director to set a deadline for the families who have received relocation compensation from the KRG to leave the camp,
    2. Requested the Sub-District Director to prevent Kurdish families in the camp from selling their houses until further notice,
    3. Requested representatives of Kore Gavana to prepare a list of final demands which all the villagers can agree upon,
    4. Assured the representatives of Kore Gavana that they have the full support of the task force and the Kurdistan Region Presidency,
    5. And, confirmed that the government is willing to increase the 12% compensation rate and build new houses for those affected by the implementation of the master development plan.

As a follow up to the 5 December meeting, representatives of Kore Gavana are supposed to visit Erbil to present and discuss their final demands with the task force and relevant government representatives. Also we are going to invite representatives of the US and UK Consulates in Erbil to participates in the future meetings of the task force and thereby gain a firsthand understanding of the situation.

 

The trespasses on Assyrian Christian Villages Continue

by Evelyn Gando. March 13, 2013.

The trespasses on Assyrian Christian villages by the Kurdish government continue. These pictures were taken today (Wednesday March 13, 2013,) show that the Kurds keep on building more and more new houses and are preparing land to build a new school on an area 3,000 square meters for the Kurds who are occupying the land of Kori Gawana village.

Saddam Hussein had moved 500 Kurdish families from Sulaymaniya to Kori Gawana in his dirty attempt to change the demographics of this Assyrian village. Since then, the KRG has allowed the trespasses to continue, where now the Kori Gawana occupied land has more than 800 Kurdish houses and a school built especially for the Kurds who are occupying the land of this village. I am asking all our people everywhere in the world to send an objection note to the Kurdish government asking them to STOP their trespassing on our Assyrian Christian land, and return to its original owners every inch of our ancestors’ lands and villages they are occupying. Please send your objection note to:

krgpm@aol.com and mektebserok@aol.com

تجاوزات على القرى الأشورية المسيحية من قبل الأكراد لا تزال مستمرة. ففي هذه الصور التي أخذت اليوم يظهر فيها بناء منازل جديدة ومدرسة كبيرة مساحتها 3000 متر مربع للأكراد المقيميين في في المجمع الذي اسسه صدام حسين في اراضي قرية كوري كاوانا وبإذن وموافقة الحكومة الكردية . لقد قامت حكومة صدام حسين بنقل 500 عائلة كردية من السليمانية إلى هذا المجمع في محاولته القذرة لتغيير ديمغرافية هذه القرية الآشورية. ومنذ ذلك الحين، سمحت حكومة الأكراد باستمرار التجاوزات، حيث أن الأرض المحتلة في قرية كوري كاوانا فيها الآن اكثر من 800 منزل ومدرسة كردية بنيت خصوصا للأكراد الذين يحتلون أرض هذه القرية. انادي كل أبناء وأحزاب شعبنا في كافة انحاء العالم بإرسال رسالة اعتراض الى الحكومة الكردية على العنوان المدرج ادناه للتوقف عن التعدي على الممتلكات والقرى الآشورية المسيحية، وإعادة الأرض إلى أصحابها الأصليين.

krgpm@aol.com و mektebserok@aol.com

 


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