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Joint Statement: Assyrian Organizations Call for Recognition of the Simele Massacre of 1933

Sept. 1933 satellite image of Bartashah, an Assyrian village northwest of Simele, after an attack by Arab and Kurdish irregulars. The circular pits are traits of bombings. ( via S. Donabed, 2016, 119)

Four Assyrian organizations—the Assyrian American National Federation, the Assyrian Confederation of Europe, the Centre for Canadian-Assyrian Relations, and the Assyrian Policy Institute—have issued a joint letter addressed to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi calling for recognition of the Simele Massacre of 1933.

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. Click here to learn ways you can do justice to the innocent victims of the Simele Massacre


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