Kurdish Court Rules Against Assyrian Man in Squatting Case
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(AINA) -- A Kurdish court in North Iraq has ruled in favor of a Kurdish man who illegally occupied the property of an Assyrian in the Nahla region. The Assyrian man has ten days to appeal the decision.

A Kurd named Ibrahim Hajji Yasin moved into Nahla in the beginning of 2016 and began seizing land in the village of Zoly and moving livestock into it. He brought more than 200 cows into the land. He also began constructing 3 homes. According to Assyrian sources, Mr. Yasin is employed by Retha Zebari, a close relative of Massoud Barzani, the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Nahla has eight Assyrian villages, Upper and Lower Hezani, Belmand, Khalilane, Zoly, Kashkawa, Meroke and Rabatke. The land of Nahla on parcels 89 and 90 includes Upper and Lower Hezani, Zoly and Khalilane, and all the deeds in these villages are held by 117 Assyrians in a co-op. The deeds, most of which were granted before 1970, have been recognized by the Iraqi Department of Agriculture and Iraqi courts.

On July 25 the Kurdish Regional Government ordered the homes Mr. Yasin had built to be demolished and the land vacated. He appealed the decision in court and won on October 6.

ON April 13 Kurdish security forces (Asayish) imposed a blockade on four Assyrian villages in Nahla to prevent Assyrians from going to Arbel to participate in a demonstration against Mr. Yasin (AINA 2016-04-14).

On May 25 U.S. Senator John McCain sent a letter to Kurdish President Massoud Barzani regarding Assyrians in the Kurdish region in north Iraq, addressing the issue of land expropriation (AINA 2016-05-28). On June 26 Bodil Valero, a member of the European Parliament, sent a letter to the Kurdistan Regional Government in north Iraq regarding Kurdish land grabs in Assyrian areas (AINA 2016-06-23). On May 29 a Dutch Delegation visited North Iraq and raised concerns about Kurdish encroachment on Assyrian lands (AINA 2016-05-09).

The Nahla Valley in north Iraq.

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