Dutch Delegation Visits North Iraq, Raises Issue of Kurdish Encroachment on Assyrian Lands
By Dani Dabbous
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(AINA) -- The Foreign Affairs Committee of The Netherlands (PVV) recently visited Dutch soldiers who stationed in North Iraq. During their they spoke with representatives of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). Before their departure, the committee was briefed on the latest developments in northern Iraq, particularly the rise of violence in area.

The PVV invited the Assyrian Federation Netherlands for an extensive interview on the situation of Assyrians and other minorities in the region. The PVV and the Assyrian Federation Netherlands discussed in length recent events and the future of Assyrians in Iraq.

Human Rights Watch has reported on multiple occasions that Assyrians do not feel safe under Kurdish control. Encroachment on Assyrian lands (AINA 2016-04-14) is ongoing and perpetuated by powerful Kurdish clans affiliated with the KRG. The judiciary gives them no equal treatment even with clear documents proving the land is theirs. On several occasions the land expropriation has gone hand in hand with violence and threats.

Assyrian politician Johnny Givargis (Assyrian Democratic Movement), a member of the KRG, has expressed his concern and has called this an act of "genocide," saying that land dispossession, discrimination, violence, and fraud in elections is a policy aimed at changing the demographics of the area.

In their talks with members of the Kurdish Parliament and other representatives the PVV raised the issue of the violence and injustice against the Assyrians and other minorities. MP R. de Roon raised these issues personally during his conversations with Barzani and other representatives, specifically addressing the issues of the Kurdish encroachment in Nahla (AINA 2016-04-14), infringements on the right to demonstrate and the worsening relationship between the Kurds and Assyrians.

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