Dec 27, 2005

Assyria: EU Commission on a Mission to Protect the Assyrians of Iraq

Over the last few weeks more than 10,000 Assyrian people have left Iraq to move to neighboring Syria and Jordan, these people are forced out of the country

Ever since the fall of Saddam’s regime in 2003, various Human Rights organizations have been active in Iraq to help the poor, the needy, and the victims. Although these services are very much appreciated by the Iraqi laymen, they have not been successful enough to stop the mass migration of the indigenous people of Iraq, the Christian Assyrians.

Earlier this year (2005), a written question was posed to the EU Commission by MEP Glyn Ford. In his question regarding Iraqi emigration Mr. Ford states:

“Over the last few weeks more than 10,000 Assyrian people have left Iraq to move to neighboring Syria and Jordan. These people are forced out of the country due to the problem of having on one hand the Iraqi insurgents and on the other the USA-led military bombings.

With no help from either Iraqi or foreign governments, living conditions are terrible as the people have nothing but the belongings they can carry. With the UN stating that if the number of people forced from Iraq reaches 250,000 the result will be catastrophic for the region; will the Commission investigate this issue and do all it can to set up safe havens for these people robbed of their safe homeland?”

Mrs. Ferrero-Waldner, on behalf of the EU Commission replied to above question on December 20, 2005 stating:

“Consistent with the EU Human Rights policy, the Commission has regularly stressed the importance for all ethnic groups in Iraq to be able to take full part in the political transformation and reconstruction process in Iraq.

Most recently, during the EU Political Director Troika visit in October 2005, the EU underlined with the Iraqi Transitional Government that ensuring adequate protection of persons belonging to minorities and indigenous groups is an inherent part of the EU Policy on Human Rights, which is also applied to the EU relations with third countries. On the specific situation of the small communities living in Iraq such as the Christian, Assyrian and Turkmen, the need to ensure that all ethnicities, religions and communities must enjoy equal rights and obligations both in the political as well as the reconstruction process was stressed.

The Commission will continue to use every occasion to stress with all of its Iraqi interlocutors the importance of exerting every effort to achieve a democratic, pluralist, federal and unified Iraq, reflecting the will of all Iraqi people, in which there is full respect for political and human rights independently from ethnic origin, political and religious belief.”

Source: Assyria Times