Assyrian Universal Alliance – Australian Chapter Meeting in Canberra
The future of Iraq is at risk because of its grim outlook. The human rights situation is worsening and repression of the civil and political rights continue deteriorating by the day. Indiscriminate bombing of civilian settlements and arbitrary killings is causing grievous concern to the Assyrians and other Christians.
The Assyrian nation can no longer continue on the present course of silence. The threat posed by terrorism is real and cannot be ignored. Our people have become the primary target by the insurgency. It is evident that the Assyrian nation in Iraq is suffering, and our people have been left without protection. Other unforeseen threats are imminent.
Assyrians in Diaspora must be prepared to face the problematic and challenging situation that is yet to come. The ethno-religious persecution of Christians in Iraq has reached extreme forms of human degradation.
Fundamentalist groups are conducting pogroms against the Christians in general, which includes burning Churches, assassinating civilians, robberies and kidnappings. Our Assyrian nation is systematically being discriminated against, in violation of the constitution, political and administrative laws in Iraq.
Our plight is attracting little attention in the outside world. Governments of the willing, as well as, the Vatican have turned away from the current problem.
The final solution to the Christian presence in the Middle East is rapidly approaching its final stage. Within a generation or two, the Christians would be forced to follow the Jews in fleeing the bitter oppression of the Islamic fascist socio-political order of the Middle East. Christianity, its birthplace in the Middle East, will dwindle to a mere naught.
Recently, however, American organizations have taken up the cause of the persecuted Christians around the world, primarily in the Muslim countries. The Senate has conducted hearings on this topic. Therefore, it is our obligation to lobby harder, concentrate on the sufferings of our nation and find a permanent solution for hundreds of thousands of our Assyrian refugees that are left stranded in the neighbouring Muslim countries.
The Assyrian Universal Alliance – Australian Chapter continues in its efforts and appeals, through the Assyrian Parliamentary Friendship Group, to seeking the assistance of the Australian Government. As a result, a number of intensive meetings has recently taken place with certain governmental departments in this regard.
We are proud to announce that a very important meeting took place, on this subject, on Thursday, 17 August 2006, between a delegation from the AUA – Australia chapter and The Human Rights sub-committee Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade. Senator Marise Payne chaired the meeting. During the meeting a comprehensive report was presented to the committee, supported by several documents, which explained the tragic and dangerous situation our people are facing in Iraq.
AUA presented an immediate plan of action to the committee, requesting to take the discussion further with the Australian authorities. The meeting was successful. Members of our delegation where officially congratulated for their professionalism in presenting the Assyrian issue. The issue was supported with many comprehensive documents relating to the subject matter.
The Human Rights committee will meet soon to make its recommendations on the issue.
We would like to acknowledge and thank the Assyrian Parliamentary Friendship Group for their great efforts and support of the AUA delegation, particularly Mr. Paul Azzo for his successful lobbying of the Assyrian case in the Federal Parliament.
Assyrian Universal Alliance
The above is in reference made in the senate about the meeting that took place between AUA delegation and Human Rights sub committee Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs on Thursday 17 August 2006. By Senator Marise Payne
Wednesday, 9 August 2006 Page 106-107
Senator PAYNE (New South Wales) (7.27 pm)-
When the Senate rose in June, I was part way through remarks-and I think that poor Senator Coonan was here at the same time, so she gets to hear instalment No.2- regarding serious human rights issues in a number of countries, both in our region and further a field. That evening, I raised concerns relating particularly to the welfare of the Assyrian people of Iraq. As I mentioned at that time, representatives of Australia’s Assyrian community had met with a number of colleagues in the parliament, through the parliament’s Assyrian friendship group, in June. I now note that representatives from the community will next week address a meeting of the Human Rights Subcommittee of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, which I chair and of which Maria Vamvakinou is the deputy chair. There are very deliberate human rights violations that are both ruining and taking the lives of Assyrians in Iraq. They are obviously not the only human rights breaches that are occurring to a number of people in Iraq, but they are the ones on which I wish to concentrate this evening. Whether it is torture, kidnapping, extortion, harassment, bombings of their churches, the forcing of religious conversion, political disenfranchisement or the destruction of property, the whole range is being brought upon many of the Assyrian people in Iraq. Assyrians in Australia are justly concerned about the fate of their countrymen and countrywomen in that reconstruction process. I think it is important that we raise it and discuss it in this parliament.
I look forward to again meeting with members of that community under the auspices of the Human Rights Subcommittee next week and to the opportunities that our subcommittee and, indeed, this parliament can provide to advance human rights for all peoples in that country under the extraordinarily difficult process of rebuilding and reconstructing.