London (AINA) -- The Assyrian Society of the United Kingdom will hold a demonstration on Sunday, 6th February 2005, at 3pm outside 10 Downing Street to protest the massive voter lockout of Assyrians in the Iraqi elections, in the district of Nineveh, North Iraq.
Reports coming from many sources in Northern Iraq state that over 100,000 Assyrians (including Chaldeans and Syriacs) have been prevented from voting due to organisational and administrative mishaps. Thousands of voters were left stranded outside the polling station with no sign of election officials or ballot papers.
The Assyrians are the only indigenous people of Iraq and are a Christian minority living within a Muslim majority. As a result of their cultural and religious diversity, the Assyrians have come to be known throughout the ages by various appellations, such as Chaldeans, Syriacs, Nestorians, and Aramaeans, etc. all names denoting the one and same nation. As a result of their distinct ethnic and religious identity, the Assyrians have been constantly persecuted, till the present day, for refusing to renounce their faith and ethnicity. The persecution has escalated in more recent months culminating in churches being bombed as well as members of the clergy being threatened and kidnapped.
The Assyrians of Iraq, along with all other peace-loving Iraqis, have been waiting for this very day where they may freely and without fear of intimidation or persecution cast their votes in a national election. However, it is unfortunate that the Assyrians in the north of the country have been prevented from doing so. The Assyrian Society of the United Kingdom, together with all Assyrians in the Diaspora, demands that this injustice be rectified as soon as possible.