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Assyrians Summoned by the Iraqi Directorate General of Intelligence
by Assyrian National Congress, Press Release September 10, 2000
Posted: Sunday, September 17, 2000 12:05 pm CST


Assyrians Summoned by the Iraqi Directorate General of Intelligence

Press Release September 10, 2000

The Government of Iraq follows a policy of political, cultural and educational discrimination against the Assyrians in Iraq. This state conducted discrimination, deprives the Assyrians of their basic human rights.

Apparently this government policy extend to the right of reading Assyrian magazine! In early August, while the Assyrians were observing the Assyrian Martyrs week in commemoration of the Simel massacres carried out by the Iraqi Royal Army in August 4-11, 1933 in northern Iraq, several Assyrian intellectuals, clergy (from both Assyrian religious denominations: The Assyrian Church of the East and the Chaldean Catholic Church) and ordinary citizens were summoned by the "Postal inspectors", Iraqi security agents, in the cities of Baghdad and Mosul and questioned. about receiving Bet-Nahrain, an Assyrian magazine published in California, USA.

The Bet-Nahrain magazine is the literary organ of Bet-Nahrain Organization, an educational and cultural association affiliated with the Assyrian National Congress (ANC). The Iraqi security agents wanted to know whether these Assyrians were affiliated with Bet-Nahrain Democratic Party (BNDP), an Assyrian political party affiliated with ANC, and whether they were regular subscribers to the magazine.

After holding them under detention for several hours, these Assyrians (names withheld by the ANC to protect their identity) were released with a warning that they should cut all their relations with the magazine. The editor of Bet-Nahrain magazine, Dr. Sargon Dadesho, himself a target of an Iraqi assassination plot in 1990 (the would-be assassin was arrested by the FBI in Modesto, California on Februrary 13, 1990 and served five years in a federal prison), confirmed the fact that his staff has received several telephone calls from the relatives, who live in western countries, requesting the staff to stop sending the magazine to their family members in Iraq. The editor denied sending the magazine directly to any Assyrians in Iraq. He added: "it is obvious that Assyrian political activists in USA and Europe sent the magazine randomly to Assyrians in Iraq via the postal service.

The ANC condemns this inhumane act against those innocent Assyrians who were held and threatened in Baghdad and Mosul. Once again the Baghdad regime has exposed its brutal ethnocide policy against the Assyrians, the indigenous people of Iraq. We call upon all the world governments and human rights organizations to pay more attention to the plight of the Assyrian minority in Iraq.

The Information Bureau 381B/00
"Let us unite and gather the fragments that nothing be lost" P.O Box 3539 Modesto, California 95352 U.S.A TEL: (209) 522-3229 FAX: (209) 538-2795

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