(AINA) -- Mr. Josep Borrell FONTELLES
President of the European Parliament
Brussels February 14, 2005
Dear Mr. Presidents,
The ChaldoAssyrian Syriac Christian community throughout Europe (approximately 350,000 people originating from Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran) are demonstrating today against yet another injustice perpetrated against the indigenous ChaldoAssyrian people of Iraq, during the historic elections that took place on 30th January 2005.
The demonstration today is underlining our unwavering solidarity with the tens of thousands of ChaldoAssyrian voters in towns and villages in the Nineveh Plains who were excluded from participating in the Iraq elections, therefore we appeal to your esteemed organisation for urgent support and assistance.
In the Nineveh Plains, specifically in the districts of Al-Hamdaniya (Qaraqosh-Baghdeda), Karamlesh, Bartilla, Bashiqa, Bahzani and the district of Al-Shikhan (Ain-Safni), our people were prevented from exercising their newly-found democratic voting right due to the total absence and/or limited availability of ballot-boxes, voting forms and presence of election officials.
In addition, several other serious voting irregularities occurred in several towns in the Nineveh Plains and as a consequence ChaldoAssyrian representation within the "democratically" elected Iraqi Parliament has been adversely affected: In Tel-Kepe, Alqosh, Telesqof, Batnaya and other neighbouring towns and villages, many thousands of ChaldoAssyrians were unable to vote due to a serious shortage of ballot-papers.
Ironically, the majority of our people, particularly in Baghdad and Mosul, who have been under constant physical and mental harassment as well as being specifically targeted by way of cold-blooded murders, kidnappings and bombing of their churches were unable to vote due to major security concerns, however those who were willing to cast their votes in the more secure Nineveh Plains were totally ostracized.
Although numerous official complaints were lodged to various authorities on the day of the elections, including the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq (IECI), and despite the fact that these authorities assured our people of the commitment to resolve the problems, it is unfortunate and totally unacceptable that the scandal remains unresolved.
Immediately following receipt of confirmed reports regarding this serious issue, our people throughout the world lodged numerous complaints to the IECI, which in turn acknowledged and accepted that ChaldoAssyrians in the Nineveh Plains were deprived of their democratic voting right. The declaration (No. 15) issued by an investigative delegation of the IECI on Monday, February 7, which was sent to the area concerned confirmed the transgressions and the violations of the electoral law and concluded:
"…the Commission will examine all transgressions hereby mentioned, will separately take measures necessary for each irregularity and will inform the Iraqi opinion of the results of these investigations as quickly as possible".
Despite this confirmation, hitherto no practical solution has been adopted in order to resolve the apparent discrimination against the indigenous ChaldoAssyrian Christians in the Nineveh Plains.
It is also worthwhile to mention that within the framework of a federal Iraq, the region of Nineveh Plains represents to the majority of ChaldoAssyrian political parties an autonomous administrative area, in accordance with 53d of the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL). The fact that more than 150,000 ChaldoAssyrians, Yezidis, Shabaks, and Turkomens were excluded from voting underlines the existence of a malicious plan to marginalize their representation in the new Iraqi National Assembly. Furthermore, according to reports from the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA), the exclusion of 150,000 eligible voters was deliberately undertaken through the active involvement by the main Kurdish parties in an attempt to undermine independent representation of non-Kurdish minorities in these elections.
The ChaldoAssyrian syriacs worldwide supported the liberation of Iraq from tyranny, which put an end to the injustices inflicted by the former barbaric regime upon Iraq's mosaic of ethnicities. We painfully now discover that there are malicious plans underway aimed at the exclusion of any possible free and independent representation of ChaldoAssyrians Christians in the coming Iraqi National Assembly and Northern Iraqi Parliament.
On behalf of our ChaldoAssyrian people in Iraq and worldwide, we ask the European Union to utilise its influence and to exert pressure on those who were oppressed by the ousted Baath regime and who continue to be fully supported by the European Union to this day, to make it absolutely clear that it is totally unacceptable and hypocritical for the oppressed to transform into oppressors.
If the legitimate national and political rights of ChaldoAssyrians in Iraq are not recognised and guaranteed within the permanent Iraqi constitution, which will be written within the next few months, then the world will face yet another large-scale humanitarian crisis, a mass exodus of ChaldoAssyrians from their ancestral homeland will commence. It is worthwhile noting that since April 2003, over 40,000 ChaldoAssyrian syriacs have fled Iraq to neighbouring countries.
On behalf the Committee
Tel : + 32 (0) 475 69 83 80
Fax: + 32 (0) 10 45 21 84
Iraqi Elections Support and Follow-Up Committee
- Assyrian Democratic Organisation (ADO) -- Abroad sections
- Assyrian Democratic Movement (ADM) -- Europe
- Shuraya Party -- Europe
- Assyrian Liberation Party (GFA)
- Diyzesanrat der Syrisch-Orthodoxen Kirche von Antiochien in Deutschland
- Assyrian Federation in Sweden (ARS)
- Assyrian Federation in Europe (ZAVD)
- Tour Abdin Federation in Holland
- Association des Assyro-chaldyens de France
- Assyrian Society of the United Kingdom
- Institut Assyrien d'Europe (INASE) -- Bruxelles
- Federation syriaque arameenne de Belgique
- Centre Culturel de la Tour de Babel -- Bruxelles
- Assyrische Gemeenschap -- Mechelen
- Ninive Kultureel sportief ontmoetingscentrum -- Antwerpen