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Assyrian community shocked by Vaughan killing

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Assyrian community shocked by Vaughan killing

Aug-05-2012 at 03:41 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

Azize Sepan. Vaughan man, 48, charged in July 22 death of Evan Gorgees, 29. Torstar file photo
Assyrian community shocked by Vaughan killing
by Jeremy Grimaldi., August 03, 2012.

The publisher of an Assyrian news website says the violence that was alleged to have occurred in Vaughan between two Christians is "unheard of" in his turbulent home country of Iraq.

Ashoor Sada, who publishes the Assyrian Voice online, says he was shocked to discover York Regional Police had laid second-degree murder charges against Azize Sepan in relation to the killing of Evan Gorgees, the 29-year-old Toronto man killed during a 30-man brawl.

"There are lots of divisions between ethnic groups back home," said the Vaughan resident. "But Christian on Christian? That's unheard of. I was truly shocked to hear about this incident and this development. That's the first word that comes to mind, shock and disbelief."

His comments came hours after police arrested and charged the 48-year-old Vaughan resident with the slaying of Mr. Gorgees in the parking lot of Al-Finjan restaurant and nightclub, at 8000 Hwy. 27, near Hwy. 7, on July 23.

Mr. Sada, who lives in Woodbridge, said the Assyrian ethnic group are descendants of the Assyrian Empire, which ruled part of the Middle East more than 1,000 years before Christ, and mostly live in Northern Iraq.

So far, the only contact Mr. Sada has had with the case is his brother attending Mr. Gorgees's funeral and posting news articles onto his website, which has a forum for comment and discussion.

"The fact that Evan came here to escape the violence in Iraq, it's just terribly ironic," he said. “He had an open casket and the wounds were visible from the fight.”

As for how the original argument started between the two groups of men in the club, he said he has heard so many different versions of events he stopped believing any of them.

Nonetheless, he said he truly believes justice will be served.
"Some people (in the Iraqi community) might not have complete faith in the justice system, but I think it will work out," he added. "You cannot apply the laws back home to Canada. The law here is above all else, so we just have to be patient."

In a string of Toronto Star articles, Mr. Sepan is listed as having escaped Iraq in 1985 during the Iraq/Iran war. He later came to Canada and opened a string of convenience stores across the GTA and a flower shop.

It's also been reported that he has helped bring 100 Iraqis to Canada through his work with World Vision.

Mr. Sada said he believes about 3,000 Iraqi-Christians live in Vaughan and about 15,000 in GTA.


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1. Man charged in Al-Finjan nightclub killing

Aug-05-2012 at 03:45 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #0
Azize Sepan. Vaughan man, 48, charged in July 22 death of Evan Gorgees, 29. Torstar file photo
Man charged in Al-Finjan nightclub killing
by Jeremy Grimaldi., August 02, 2012.

A Vaughan man is been charged with second-degree murder following the death of Evan Gorgees, a 29-year-old Iraqi who came to Canada for a better life.

Azize Sepan, 48, who, according to a 2003 Toronto Star article, fled the Iran-Iraq war in 1985, also came to Canada in search of a better life.

And he had found it, with three convenience stores, a flower shop and trading company in the GTA.

Yesterday he was taken into custody at his Vaughan home and is to appear at the Newmarket courthouse today.

His arrest comes a week-and-a-half after Mr. Gorgees was stabbed in a 30-man brawl outside Al-Finjan nightclub at 8000 Hwy. 27, near Hwy. 7.
He was buried last week with 3,000 people turning out to his funeral, including the Iraqi ambassador to Canada.

Mr. Sepan worked closely with World Vision to bring 100 of his countrymen to Canada.

If you have information, call police at 1-866-287-5025 or 905-773-1221, ext. 7865 e-mail, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, leave an anonymous tip at or text your tip by sending TIPYORK and your message to CRIMES (274637).

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Assyria \ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)   1:  an ancient empire of Ashur   2:  a democratic state in Bet-Nahren, Assyria (northern Iraq, northwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey and eastern Syria.)   3:  a democratic state that fosters the social and political rights to all of its inhabitants irrespective of their religion, race, or gender   4:  a democratic state that believes in the freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture in faithfulness to the principles of the United Nations Charter — Atour synonym

Ethnicity, Religion, Language
» Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
» Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
» Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
Assyrian \ã-'sir-é-an\ adj or n (1998)   1:  descendants of the ancient empire of Ashur   2:  the Assyrians, although representing but one single nation as the direct heirs of the ancient Assyrian Empire, are now doctrinally divided, inter sese, into five principle ecclesiastically designated religious sects with their corresponding hierarchies and distinct church governments, namely, Church of the East, Chaldean, Maronite, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic.  These formal divisions had their origin in the 5th century of the Christian Era.  No one can coherently understand the Assyrians as a whole until he can distinguish that which is religion or church from that which is nation -- a matter which is particularly difficult for the people from the western world to understand; for in the East, by force of circumstances beyond their control, religion has been made, from time immemorial, virtually into a criterion of nationality.   3:  the Assyrians have been referred to as Aramaean, Aramaye, Ashuraya, Ashureen, Ashuri, Ashuroyo, Assyrio-Chaldean, Aturaya, Chaldean, Chaldo, ChaldoAssyrian, ChaldoAssyrio, Jacobite, Kaldany, Kaldu, Kasdu, Malabar, Maronite, Maronaya, Nestorian, Nestornaye, Oromoye, Suraya, Syriac, Syrian, Syriani, Suryoye, Suryoyo and Telkeffee. — Assyrianism verb

Aramaic \ar-é-'máik\ n (1998)   1:  a Semitic language which became the lingua franca of the Middle East during the ancient Assyrian empire.   2:  has been referred to as Neo-Aramaic, Neo-Syriac, Classical Syriac, Syriac, Suryoyo, Swadaya and Turoyo.

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