(AINA) -- The escalating attacks and violence against ChaldoAssyrian Christians (also known as Assyrians, Chaldeans, and Syriacs) in Iraq have led to a general sense of terror within the community. The systematic and sophisticated Church bombings of August 1, October 16, and November 8 have been supplemented by nearly daily reports of abductions, beheadings, burnings, and killings of innocent ChaldoAssyrian civilians. An ever increasing number of ChaldoAssyrians have been targeted and killed in the past 2 months alone.
Other forms of pressure and threats include pressure to sell lands, the coercion of women to wear veils, and the abduction of women for marriage against their will. The continuing onslaught against the vulnerable ChaldoAssyrian civilian population is perpetrated with the specific intent of terrorizing the indigenous Christian population into leaving their homes.
We, the under-signed, hereby recommend that the Iraqi government and international community urgently:
- Assist ChaldoAssyrians in providing security for all ChaldoAssyrian churches, institutions, towns, and villages throughout Iraq
- Establish an interim Safe Haven in the Nineveh Plain to be maintained and enforced by ChaldoAssyrians in order to protect and preserve the historic lands of the ChaldoAssyrian people and to serve as a sanctuary for threatened and internally displaced ChaldoAssyrians
- Implement Article 53 d of the Transitional administrative Law (TAL) and establish an administrative area for ChaldoAssyrians in the Nineveh Plain
Following the first Gulf War, the international community established a Safe Haven in northern Iraq to protect civilians from attacks by the regime of Saddam Hussein. Today, the attacks against ChaldoAssyrians are even more ominous and threatening. With reports of tens of thousands of ChaldoAssyrians leaving Iraq, there now exists the real possibility of the extinction of the indigenous ChaldoAssyrian people in Iraq for the first time in their 6700 year continuous existence. The final litmus test for the Iraqi government's and the international community's genuine commitment to pluralism and democracy remains the preservation of the indigenous ChaldoAssyrian people of Iraq.
Assyrian Democratic Organization - Europe, Sweden, USA, Canada
Assyrian Institute - Europe
Assyrian Federation - Europe
Tur Abdin Federation - Holland
Assyrian Academic Society
World Maronite Union - USA
American Maronite Union - USA
World Lebanese Organization (WLO) - Canada
The American Coptic Association - USA
The Middle East Christian Committee - USA