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European Parliament Meets Assyrian Politician on Assyrian Question
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An official meeting of European Parliamentarians headed by Mr A.J. Maat, representative of the European Human Rights Commission, and Ms Attiya Gamri (Dutch Provincial Parliamentarian) and other members of the European Parliament took place on 18-19 April 2006 in Europe's capital Brussels, Belgium. The meeting dealt particularly with the situation of the Assyrian (also known as Chaldean and Syriac) people in Iraq. After her visit at the beginning of April, Ms Gamri was able to highlight in detail the obstacles and oppressive circumstances that limit the freedom of the Iraqi Assyrians' ethnic and political rights. This is happening especially in northern Iraq, where there is relative peace. However, the Kurdish political parties -- by means of Kurdish soldiers and militiamen -- are manipulating the political climate very aggressively, especially in regards to the Christian Assyrians who have always been peaceful and have been seeking for political and ethnic rights without the use of violence.

Mr A.J. Maat will present and discuss the fieldwork report made by the Assyrian Delegation who visited the Assyrian regions of northern Iraq this April at the upcoming European Parliament meeting. Mr A.J. Maat asked about the percentage of money that has been donated to for the reconstruction of Iraq by the European Community that's has directly reached the Assyrian minority. Ms Gamri promised to present him the facts on this as soon as possible.

Besides the Iraqi issue also the worrying situation within Syria was on the agenda of this two-day meeting. Of particular interest was the issue of Mr Yacoub Hanna Shamoun, an Assyrian detainee in Syria for more than 20 years without trial (in violation of all international human rights conventions signed by Syria). On this case in the near future an official request by the European Parliament will be sent to the Syrian government. Ms Gamri discussed the situation of the Assyrian people in Syria in general. She gave a brief report on the past decades and the worrying future of the Assyrian presence in Syria. The third main point that was on the agenda of this meeting between the European Parliament and the Assyrian politician is the Turkey File and the European Union. Mr C. Eurling has been requested officially to include the recognition of the Assyrian Genocide next to the Armenian Genocide whenever the debates mention this critical point regarding the Human Rights Situation of Turkey and their eventual succession to the European Union. This request was immediately accepted by the European Parliament members.

Foundation Assyria Netherlands

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