We Demand Justice for Simele.
The Simele Massacre of 1933.
Read our joint letter to
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
This August marks the 85th anniversary of Iraq's 1933 campaign targeting its Assyrian citizens, known as the Simele Massacre. The Iraqi Army systematically targeted the indigenous Assyrian population in northern Iraq, massacring the inhabitants of more than one hundred Assyrian villages across modern-day Dohuk and Mosul. As many as 6,000 innocent Assyrians were killed, and tens of thousands more were externally-displaced. Learn more about the Simele Massacre of 1933.
Despite conclusive evidence documenting this crime, the Iraqi Government has never recognized this state-sanctioned massacre. Historical injustices against the Assyrian people in Iraq have had lasting consequences that threaten their future. The Simele Massacre stands as an important reminder that crimes against humanity must not go without recognition, condemnation, and resolution.
Assyrians worldwide recognize the anniversary of the Simele Massacre annually as Assyrian Martyrs Day on August 7. Keep reading to learn ways you can do justice to the innocent victims of the Simele Massacre.
Knowledge and information can be powerful tools in the struggle for human rights, especially when secrecy, silence and denial of atrocities—whether historic or contemporary—continue to violate the rights of people living today. Learn more about what happened in Simele in 1933 by reading the Assyrian Policy Institute's newly-released report.
Continue to stay informed about the current news and situation for Assyrians in Iraq and other parts of their traditional homeland through the Assyrian Policy Institute website.
When the Simele Massacre and other crimes against Assyrians are not talked about, they are erased. In this sense, a double injustice occurs—first when the crime takes place and second when it disappears.
Take action to empower and amplify voices of Assyrians across the globe that have in one way or another been affected by the Simele Massacre of 1933. Share information on your Facebook page, send a text message to your friends, or simply bring it up in conversation with family and friends. Write an Op-Ed or a blog post. Donate relevant books to your local library.
Contact your representatives.
Write or call your representatives urging them to recognize the Simele Massacre of 1933 and support policies benefiting Assyrians in the Middle East today. Let them know you care about these issues. As their constituent, it's their job to listen to you and act on things you care about.
An commemorative statement from a member of the European or Canadian Parliaments or United States Congress can be a great way to raise awareness.
Attend a commemoration event.
Assyrian Martyrs Day is more than just a holiday. Remembrance goes beyond a dutiful act of commemoration—it's a passageway into events that are not isolated to a specific time or place. Remembrance is a narrative carried by our people that transcends generations. The Simele Massacre is not merely part of our past. It's not merely a part of our history. It's part of our active memory and part of our identity.
Each year, Assyrian Martyrs Day commemorations are held around the world. Connect with your local organizations to find out what's happening in your city. The Assyrian Journal keeps tracks of Assyrian community events across the United States. Mark your calendar.
Social media gives us the power to highlight injustices, call out inaccuracies and misrepresentations, and brings about better understanding of challenges facing Assyrians both past and present. By creating and supporting hashtag campaigns, we can invite people from all over the world to get involved in important conversations related to Assyrians.
Use your Twitter to build awareness and reach relevant officials. They're paying attention. Tweet your representatives and urge them to recognize the Simele Massacre of 1933. Tweet @IraqiGovt and @HaiderAlAbadi and demand #JusticeforSimele.
Petition your local government for recognition.
Work with local Assyrian organizations and activists to pass a local resolution in your city or town to officially designate August 7 as Assyrian Remembrance Day within your community. Passing a local resolution can be a great way to build awareness about the historical suffering of the Assyrian people.
It's important that Assyrians are recognized within the communities they are part of and contribute to across the diaspora.
Join the "Closed on the 7th" Campaign.
In 2016, the Assyrian American Association of Southern California started their "Closed on the 7th" campaign, through which they encourage Assyrian-owned businesses to close on August 7 in observance of Assyrian Martyrs Day. Participating businesses are given informative signs to hang in their storefront.
If you're a business owner and you'd like to participate, contact the AAASC for more information.