News in Bet-Nahren, Assyria

Iraq Forcing Indigenous Assyrians to Flee

Posted: Monday, February 18, 2002 at 03:56 PM CT

Related Information
ANNEMASSE: The Assyrian Tragedy, February 1934.
Human Rights Violations Against Assyrians
Indigenous Peoples Under the Rule of Islam
Changing Indigenous Peoples' National Identity by a Governmental Decree
"Assyrians in Contemporary Iraqi Thought" by Aprim Shapera 
 Related Quote
“ Man Yankur Assluhu Fala Assel Lahu, Wa Man La Assel Lahu Fahuwa Naghal ”
which translates as:
“ He who denies his descent has no descent at all.  Hence that person is a bastard ”.
— Arab proverb (in Arabic)

AssyriaKIRKUK, Iraq (DJIN) - Iraq's government is cleansing the northern Iraqi province of Kirkuk of all but Arab residents, Damascus-based Iraqi, the Assyrian Democratic Movement and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan said in a statement today. Kirkuk is an oil-rich province 240 kilometers (150 miles) north of Baghdad, just outside the autonomous region of northern Iraq.

Emanuel Khoshaba, an official with the Assyrian Democratic Movement (Zowaa), said “10 Assyrian families have been forced to move to the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, since the beginning of the year.”

Their deportation is the result of an Arabization campaign led by the ruling Iraqi Baath party, Khoshaba said. About 30,000 Assyrians were believed to have lived in Kirkuk before the 1991 Gulf war. Their numbers there today aren't known. According to reliable sources to Zinda Magazine many oil company workers in Kirkuk have been dismissed since the beginning of this year for adopting an Assyrian, Kurdish, or Turkoman name for their newly-born.

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