Monday, August 7, 2023
His Excellency Mohammed Shia’ Al Sudani
Republic of Iraq
His Excellency Mr. Al Sudani,
August 7 marks the 90th anniversary of the Semele Massacre, when in August 1933 thousands of unarmed innocent indigenous Assyrians, including children, women, and men were slaughtered by the newly established Iraqi Kingdom army. The Semele Massacre, targeting the Assyrians, was designed to destroy and dismantle the resettlement of the Assyrians on their ancestral lands in Northern Iraq. The massacre occurred despite the fact that Assyrians remained loyal to Iraq.
To honor the souls of the Iraqi Assyrians that were mercilessly murdered in that massacre, our request from His Excellency is as following:
- National recognition of August 7thas the Assyrian Martyrs Day. Assyrians observe August 7th as the Assyrian Martyrs Day worldwide, a day of remembrance for the tragic massacre of Iraqi Assyrians in Semele, Iraq. It is also a day to reflect on the injustices committed against other vulnerable communities in Iraq, such as the Yazidis in Sinjar,the Shi’ites in southern Iraq, the Kurds in Halabja and the Sunnis in Nineveh.
- In honor of Iraq’s Assyrian martyrs, the government of Iraq shall erect a monument, establish and fund a building complex featuring a museum, research and community centers in Semele, Iraq.
- The Republic of Iraq shall recognize the Assyrians as indigenous people of the Republic of Iraq. Assyrians shall have all the territorial, administrative, and internal-governing rights pursuant to the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Indigenous People, where the Republic of Iraq is a signatory of the UN resolution, approving the said declaration.
- Iraq’s Ministry of Interior shall establish an Assyrian Affairs Office, which will be managed by Assyrians and will operate in conjunction with the offices of the President and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq.
- The laws and administrative policies of the Republic of Iraq shall allow all Assyrians, regardless of their place of birth, to return to their homeland and receive full and unrestricted citizenship upon pledging allegiance to the Constitution, laws, and flag of the Republic of Iraq.
- As the true indigenous people of Iraq, the Assyrians deserve distinct representation in the Parliament of Iraq. Currently, there is no such representation. The five allocated Parliamentary Christian seats do not guarantee representation of Iraqi Assyrians.
I thank you for considering these items and acting on them. I will be more than happy to provide you with information in support of each of these items. I look forward to meeting you in person upon your availability.
Carlo K. Ganjeh