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
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This report is produced with a concern for Assyrian human rights and longevity in their homeland. The Assyrians are a people who have existed in Mesopotamia for thousands of years, yet we may be witnessing the very disappearance of this community, in our time. The end of the Assyrians in Iraq means the eventual end of the Assyrians. This may sound dramatic, but it is a very real possibility and not an exaggeration: The situation of Assyrians in Iraq is beginning to resemble the previous situation of Assyrians in Turkey, Iran, and Syria, which is a terrifying thought. Iraq, and specifically the Nineveh Plain, represents the only hope for a sustainable future that maintains the vital connection of Assyrians to their heritage. Without it, the ancient language and culture of the Assyrians could die.
The abuses reported here — not the conduct of IS or other terror groups, but of the official Kurdish power structures legitimized and supported by many Western actors — jeopardize in very real terms the future survival of the Assyrian people in their homeland.”
A number of serious abuses that victimize the Assyrian people are underway in their homeland but are not widely known among those in the international community who have a concern for the welfare of minorities in Iraq. This report endeavors to raise awareness about these human rights violations and about the political dynamics that seek to deliberately undermine Assyrian efforts to develop a stable framework of local administration and security in the Nineveh Plain.
This report conveys and contextualizes findings made by a representative of the Assyrian Confederation of Europe (ACE) during a research trip to Iraq in December 2016 and January 2017, in addition to data gathered on an ongoing basis from a wide range of members from many Assyrian communities in Iraq. It seeks to convey a detailed understanding of the current situation facing Assyrians in northern Iraq.
ACE has interviewed approximately 100 men and women of Assyrian communities in the Kurdistan Region and the Nineveh Plain. In addition, ACE continues to conduct follow-up telephone interviews. All individuals interviewed were informed of the purpose of the interview, and verbally consented to the use of information provided in this report. Names and identifying information of many interviewees have been withheld in the interest of their personal safety.
This report is divided into five parts, with Part Two and Part Three comprising the bulk of the report. Following the introduction provided in Part One, Part Two deals with the broad range of problems facing Assyrians in the disputed territory of Nineveh. Part Three then examines problems experienced by Assyrians living inside the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). These sections are followed by a shorter Part Four that presents some examples of how the KRG has responded when human rights abuses have been publicized. The report is completed with some policy recommendations in the concluding Part Five.