The 23rd World Congress Marbella, Spain May 15 – 18, 2001
WHEREAS the Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) an umbrella organization for the Assyrian People worldwide, in recognition of the needs of the Assyrian People in the historical homeland (Bet Nahrain), expresses its concern about the political and human rights situation of the Assyrian People;
RECALLING the genocide and the persecution of the Assyrian People in the homeland by the former Ottoman controlled Rule;
RECALLING further the subsequent denial of the recognition and rights of the Assyrian People during the Lausanne conference and the League of Nations;
RECALLING further the subsequent massacres, persecutions and transgressions against the Assyrian People’s physical and cultural rights including in the Simile massacre (1933) and elsewhere;
REALIZING the present situation of the Assyrian People in the safe haven region of Iraq (“Northern Iraq”);
The AUA declares the following:
- We condemn steps being implemented by the Iraqi government to change the population demographics on the Nineveh Plain, the heartland of the historical Assyrian homeland. Specifically, this policy is underway in Telkeppe, Karamlesh, Bartelleh, Bakhdedeh, Telsqaf, Begopeh, Alqosh, Sharafia, Behendawaye, Batnaeh, and others;
- We condemn the prevention of the repair and restoration of the historic buildings and homes of the Assyrian people in the homeland;
- We condemn the destruction of Assyrian archaeological sacred and historical sites, and ancestral villages;
- We condemn the confiscation of Assyrian lands and properties and desecration and destruction of Assyrian churches;
- We condemn the prevention of the construction of new homes in the city of Alqosh, on the mountainside, and the insistence of the Iraqi government on construction on agricultural land, which would have the effect of reducing land devoted to the raising of crops to support food production and employment;
- We condemn the implementation of policy in Kirkuk, Mosul, Ein Sifneh and elsewhere to prevent Assyrians, Kurds, and Turkman from buying land for the construction of homes unless they are willing to change their legal (census) nationality designation to Arab;
- We demand that in any resolution of Northern Iraq, in relation to government representation of the people of Northern Iraq, and in relation to a future democratic state of Iraq, that the numbers of representatives allocated to the Assyrian People take into account the population of the Assyrian People who have been displaced and forced to reside in the Diaspora;
- We demand that the Iraqi government recognize the Assyrian People as the Indigenous People of Iraq;
- We demand that in any local parliamentary election in Northern Iraq, the Assyrian people shall continue to be represented in a way to reflect our historic indigenous presence in Northern Iraq. The present point of reference shall be maintained.
- We demand that the perpetrators of assassinations and other crimes against the Assyrian People be properly brought to justice and that increased security for the Assyrian People be made a priority so that mutual confidence towards the law enforcers of Northern Iraq is enhanced not only among the Assyrian People living in Northern Iraq, but also among the Assyrian People in the Diaspora.
- We condemn the direction made by the Iraqi Government to those administering education in Northern Iraq to close those schools, which teach the Assyrian and Turkman languages. We further condemn the threats made by the Iraqi Government of strong punishment upon the parents/guardians who send their children to these schools. At the same time we applaud the courage displayed by the administrators of education of Northern Iraq in ignoring such directions and threats, and continuing to support the Assyrian and Turkman schools.
- We condemn the continued cultural abuse of the Assyrian People living in Turkey and the threat to their physical, cultural, and economic well being.
- We demand that the Assyrian People in Turkey be free to express their knowledge of their history without threat of prosecution or persecution.
- We demand that the government of Turkey formally and officially recognize the genocide of the Assyrian, Armenian and Greek People during World War I.
- We request of, and encourage the new government of Syria to increase the cultural rights of the Assyrian People and to support Assyrian institutions and organizations.
- We are encouraged by the apparent improving cultural conditions for the Assyrian People in Iran. However, we express our concern about the application and implementation of Shar’ia law, which perpetuates legal inequality for the Assyrian People.
- We request and encourage all Assyrians worldwide to make every effort to remain informed of conditions in our historic homeland, assist in monitoring abuses of Assyrian human rights, and join the campaign in protesting to violations and abuses of the human rights of the Assyrian People.
The AUA hereby resolves to engage or to support the engagement of programs that seek to document the violation and abuse of Assyrian human rights including:
- Urging international bodies to pay specific attention to Assyrian human rights abuses and to this end to constantly consult the AUA in the examination of Assyrian human rights in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq and Turkey;
- Examining or participating in the examination of the Iraqi security documents presently held in the United States of America, relating to the Iraqi human rights abuses against the Assyrian People;
- Gathering relevant information in respect of the active demographic change of population in the Nineveh plain, which is implemented by the Iraqi government in an attempt to displace and thereby to disproportionate the Assyrian population relative to the Arab or non-Assyrian population.