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2018 Human Rights Report
Struggling to Breathe: the Systematic Repression of Assyrians

by Assyrian Confederation of Europe, April 01, 2019.

Posted: Monday, April 01, 2019 at 07:01 AM UT

The Assyrian Confederation of Europe (ACE) represents the Assyrian European community and is made up of Assyrian national federations in European countries. The objective of ACE is to promote Assyrian culture and interests in Europe and to be a voice for deprived Assyrians in historical Assyria. The organization has its headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

Assyrian Confederation of Europe | info [ a t ]
2018 Human Rights Report: Systematic Repression of Assyrians

2018 Human Rights Report: Systematic Repression of Assyrians (PDF, 3MB, 59 pages)

In this annual human rights report, the Assyrian Confederation of Europe documents evidence of human rights abuses carried out against Assyrians across the Middle East in the year 2018. The report was issued in April 2019.


An estimated 3.5 million people globally comprise a distinct, indigenous ethnic group. Tracing their heritage to ancient Assyria, Assyrians speak an ancient language called Assyrian (sometimes referred to as Syriac, Aramaic, or Neo-Aramaic).

The contiguous territory that forms the traditional Assyrian homeland includes parts of southern and south-eastern Turkey, north-western Iran, northern Iraq, and north-eastern Syria. This land has been known as Assyria for at least four thousand years. The Assyrian population in Iraq, estimated at approximately 200,000, constitutes the largest remaining concentration of the ethnic group in the Middle East. The majority of these reside in their ancestral homelands in the Nineveh Plain and within the so-called Kurdish Region of Iraq.

Assyrians are predominantly Christian. Some ethnic Assyrians self-identify as Chaldeans or Syriacs, depending on church denomination. Assyrians have founded five Eastern Churches at different points during their long history: the Ancient Church of the East, the Assyrian Church of the East, the Chaldean Catholic Church, the Syriac Catholic Church, and the Syriac Orthodox Church. Many of these churches, as well as their various denominations, have a Patriarch at their head; this role functions, to various degrees, in a similar way to the role of the Pope in Roman Catholicism. There are at least seven different Patriarchs who represent religious Assyrian communities – however, these individuals frequently experience oppression from governmental institutions in their native countries, and consequentially often face pressure that prevents them from disclosing accurate information on the subject of human rights. The majority of Assyrians who remain in Iraq today belong to the Chaldean and Syriac churches.

Assyrians are one of the most consistently persecuted communities in Iraq and the wider Middle East.

2018 Human Rights Report: Systematic Repression of Assyrians (PDF, 3MB, 59 pages)

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