Assyria: Amnesty International on Assyrian Human Rights in Iraq
Summary of Amnesty International reports from 1995, 1997, 1998 and 1999 on Assyria
Untitled Document Amnesty International (AI) Country Report, Iraq, 1999
Human rights abuses were reported in areas under Kurdish control.
AI Country Report, Iraq, 1998
In February two members of the Assyrian community, Lazar Mati and his son Havel Lazar, were deliberately killed when a group of armed men stormed the KDP-controlled Asayish Prison in Shaqlawa where the two men had been detained. No investigation was known to have been carried out into the killings nor into the apparent failure of the authorities to protect the prisoners.
AI Country Report, Iraq, 1997
In May, two unarmed members of the Assyrian Democratic Movement (adm), Samir Moshi Murad and Peris Mirza Salyu, were killed in 'Ain Kawa, near Arbil, by Kurdish students allegedly associated with the puk. The adm members were reportedly intervening to settle a dispute between Kurdish and Assyrian students when they were deliberately shot. Although puk leaders condemned the killings, no one was brought to justice (see below).
AI Country Report, Iraq, 1995
- Francis Yusuf Shabo: born 1951 in Mangesh (Duhok Province), married with four children. An Assyrian Christian of the Chaldean sect, he was an active member of the ADM. He became a member of parliament after the May 1992 elections and was a member of the National Assembly's Economic Committee. He was also responsible for dealing with complaints submitted by Assyrian Christians regarding disputed villages in Bahdinan from which they had been forcibly evicted by the Iraqi Government and subsequently resettled by Kurds. He was shot dead by armed assailants on 31 May 1993 as he approached his home in Duhok. No suspects were subsequently apprehended.
- Lazar Mikho Hanna (known as Abu Nasir): an Assyrian Christian born 1933 in Mangesh, married. He was a member of the ICP's Central Committee for the Iraqi Kurdistan Region and was also a member of a three-person committee responsible for the IKF's financial affairs. He was shot dead by armed assailants on 14 June 1993 near his home in Duhok. No suspects were subsequently apprehended.
No effective or meaningful investigations into these and other killings have been carried out to date. All the above victims were killed after the Kurdish administration was established. In most of these cases, the Council of Ministers set up committees, headed by investigating or court judges, to gather and examine the evidence. None have so far resulted in any convictions.
Amnesty International has received numerous allegations attributing these killings to special forces within the KDP, PUK and IMIK. The security apparatus of the KDP, Re[^]kkhistini Taybeti, and that of the PUK, Dezgay Zanyari, are said to have units akin to assassination squads, whose members receive orders from senior party officials. There is also widespread conviction that such unlawful and deliberate killings could not have been perpetrated without the knowledge, consent or acquiescence of the leaders of these two parties, to whom the security and intelligence apparatuses are ultimately responsible.