(AINA) -- The Assyrian Confederation of Europe, which represents over 500,000 Assyrians in Europe, issued a statement condemning the Kurdish occupation of Assyrian schools in northeast Syria.
The local Kurdish government in the Hassakah province has shutdown Assyrian schools which refused to adopt the Kurdish curricula.
Related: Kurds in Syria Shutdown Assyrian School for Refusing Kurdish Curriculum
Related: Assyrians in Northern Syria Condemn School Closures By Kurds
The following is the full statement:
Occupation of Assyrian schools is a violation of human rights The Assyrian Confederation of Europe strongly condemns Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) acts against Assyrian schools and Assyrian community in the Hasaka governorate, in north-east Syria.
On August 28, militiamen entered a private Assyrian school in Qamishli and expelled all school staff members. These militiamen belong to the PYD and the Sutoro, which is a force affiliated with the Syriac Military Council (MFS) and the Dawronoye, allies of the PKK/PYD. They closed the school by breaking the locks and replacing them, despite the opposition of the school staff.
The same day, hundreds of local residents started to protest in the school neighborhood against the discriminatory acts. They asked for the reopening of the school, held signs stating "don't deprive us of our right to education", and chanted slogans. Protestors broke the new locks to make their way into the school. Sutoro forces fired gunshots in the air to disperse the crowd.
This is not the first time the self proclaimed Kurdish occupation have acted this way in the Hasaka region. At the beginning of August, they closed a number of private Assyrian schools, in Derbiseye for example, because school administrators and teachers refused to adopt a new teaching curriculum, which the PYD has tried to impose since 2015. This curriculum promotes PYD's ideology and prioritizes a distorted and made up Kurdish vision of the region and its history. Most of the private Assyrian schools are administered by the Assyrian Orthodox Church Diocese. They have been operating in the region since 1935, enrolling students from different ethnicities.
The Assyrian Confederation of Europe demands the immediate reopening of the schools and calls upon all Assyrians to take a firm stand against the Dawronoye sect.
The Assyrian Confederation of Europe, Brussels, September 4 2018.