European Parliament Member Speaks on Assyrians of Iraq
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Brussels (AINA) -- Emine Bozkurt, a member of the European Parliament, spoke about the Assyrians in Iraq in the parliament session on January 16. Ms. Bozkurt brought attention to the unsatisfactory and deteriorating humans rights of Assyrians and Turkmen in Iraq.

Ms. Bozkurt has previously spoken to the European Commission on the Assyrians in Iraq (AINA 12-9-2011). She said that she intends to follow the Assyrian issue and will remind EU that it should put pressure on Iraq to improve the human rights of Assyrians and Turkmen.

These were her remarks:

The news coming from Iraq is not very pleasant. Tensions among religious and ethnic groups are on the rise, and the situation in the country is deteriorating. At such a critical time, the EU is concluding a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Iraq.

In the early days of this year, a 54-year-old Assyrian woman was killed. She was not the first to be murdered because of her religion. Assyrians in Iraq do not feel safe; their churches have been attacked, perpetrators have not been brought to justice. They do not have their own police to protect them.

Turkmens of Iraq are also alarmed over a wave of assassinations and abductions targeting their community. They face discrimination in the labor market and suffer from arbitrary detentions.

I support the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, not despite of, but because of these problems. The people of Iraq need a deep, sustainable democracy based on human rights, equality and rule of law. However, how is the EU going to make sure that these principles are being upheld? Can all the religious and ethnic groups depend on the support of the EU?

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