Statement on the Assyrian Martyr Day and the 104 years anniversary of the Assyrian Genocide
Sydney - August 7, 6769-2019
On August 7 of every year, Assyrians around the world salutes the memory of their martyrs and victims of the genocide. The Assyrian Universal Alliance has designated this day as an occasion to commemorate the victims of the massacres of the Assyrians in the town of Semele and its surroundings by the Iraqi army in August 1933, just one year after Iraq's declaration its independence, which led to the death of more than 3,000 Assyrians in addition to the destruction of about 63 Assyrian villages. This occasion is also a reminder of the Assyrian genocide, by the Ottoman army during and after World War I from 1915 until 1923 because of their ethnicity and Christian faith. About 750,000 of our people were exterminated in that period.
For centuries, genocides, massacres and forced removal have become a normal way of life for our Assyrian community. To this day, history is repeating itself for the Assyrians. Our people are being systematically driven out from their ancestral lands in Iraq and Syria. Assyrians have been subject to gross violations of their human rights by way of murder, rape, assault, and forced conversions to Islam.
Furthermore, the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) is engaging in discriminatory behaviour against Assyrians by illegally occupying and transferring Assyrian owned lands to Kurdish squatters. The Kurds continue to use ruthless measures and terror tactics to intimidate Assyrians in a bid to consolidate illegally confiscated Assyrian towns and villages.
Currently the Assyrians are at the most dangerous point in their history. The sole purpose of the systematic destruction of our cities and our ancient archaeological sites in Syria and Iraq by ISIS, the illegal occupation of the Assyrian lands by the Kurds squatters, the targeted attacks and forced evacuations, is to end both the Assyrian national existence which has become the symbol for indigenous ownership of land and to eliminate the Christian presence in the Middle East.
The sacrifices of our people will only increase our resolve, strength and solidarity to defend our nation’s rights to exist in their homeland “Assyria”, the cradle of civilization, which our forefathers founded on the value of sacrifice. The time has come for all Western nations to lend a helping hand and support the Assyrians’ resolve for their rights and the demand for a protected Assyrian region on our ancestral lands in northern Iraq, especially in the Nineveh Plain where our people still constitute the majority in the villages and towns there, we will work hard to unite and save what we can. Rescue him so that we may live free and obtain all our rights in our homeland like other nationalities in Iraq. We appeal to the international community and the United Nations to support our national cause and do everything possible to preserve our historical existence before we witness an even more devastating event than that of 1915, 1933 and 2014.
On this sacred anniversary on our hearts, the memory of our righteous martyrs, we raise our voices and promise to continue to seek justice for the lives of our innocent martyrs and to recognize the genocide of the Assyrians. Justice will only be served for our people and our martyrs by acknowledging and condemning the actions of those responsible- the Ottoman Turks, Kurds, the Iraqi government, and calling on Turkey - the legal successor of the Ottoman Empire - and the current Iraqi government to recognize the crimes of their ancestors.