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Caught in the Crossfire:
Assyrians and the Turkey-PKK Conflict in Iraq
January 11, 2021
For decades, Assyrians in Iraq have been caught in the crossfire of the wider ongoing conflict between Turkey and the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) along the Iraqi-Turkish border. Turkey has consistently pursued the PKK in northern Iraq with little regard for the negative consequences for civilian populations who inhabit the same areas occupied by the militant group. This first-of-its-kind report documents the dates and locations of Turkish airstrikes across 2020 which occurred in close proximity to villages inhabited by Assyrians in Duhok Governorate. It also examines the consistent challenges to the security and livelihoods of Assyrians as a result of the hostilities. The API has obtained information in regard to 52 incidents in 2020 in which Turkish strikes targeted areas inhabited by Assyrians.
The Future of Security in Iraq's Nineveh Plain
June 1, 2020
The liberation of the Nineveh Plain from the Islamic State provided some reprieve for Assyrians, but security threats and a deep sense of mistrust continue to inhibit the return of internally-displaced persons. Contested control and a legacy of mistrust towards the country’s larger security forces means thousands of displaced persons and refugees, mostly minorities, refuse to return home. This report examines the failed security policies that enabled the Islamic State’s 2014 invasion of the Nineveh Plain. It also examines the differing rates of return to the post-liberation Nineveh Plain as the primary and most objective indicator of a preferred security policy, and assesses the various factors behind differing rates of return.
Erasing the Legacy of Khabour:
Destruction of Assyrian Cultural Heritage in the Khabour Region of Syria
March 31, 2020
Often overlooked in the discourse concerning the atrocities committed by the Islamic State against the Assyrian people is the destruction of cultural heritage. In this report, we analyze the destruction of Assyrian tangible and intangible cultural heritage in the Khabour Region in northeast Syria as a significant aspect of the Islamic State’s policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide. Evidence of destruction is documented and presented in context with other criminal acts to ensure these deeds do not go unrecognized and unpunished.
An Iraq for All:
Improving the Status of Assyrians in the Iraqi Constitution
January 2, 2020
In response to the massive anti-government protests that swept through Iraq in October 2019—which tragically saw hundreds of unarmed protestors killed by Iraqi security forces—a committee was formed to oversee the drafting of amendments to the Iraqi Constitution with the aim of meeting the public's demands and quelling weeks of unrest. Often lost in the national dialogue is the fate of marginalized peoples, such as Assyrians. This report examines Articles in the Iraqi Constitution that negatively and disparately affect marginalized communities, provides commentary, and makes recommendations aimed at improving their protection and advancing their social, cultural, economic, and political rights.
Lives on Hold:
Assyrian Refugees in Jordan
June 20, 2019
The Assyrian refugee in community faces unique challenges in displacement, and their specific needs often go unaddressed by international actors. Their wait for resettlement is characterized by limited information, uncertainty about their futures, and a growing sense of hopelessness. The majority of those stuck in limbo have been waiting more than two years—some since the rise of ISIS in 2014—hoping that they may still be able to access a "better life" defined by safety, equal rights and opportunity, and the chance to rebuild their lives. Unable to move forward and unwilling to go back, their lives are on hold and their wait is becoming intolerable.
Iraq's Stolen Election:
How Assyrian Representation Became Assyrian Repression
November 27, 2018
The five parliamentary seats reserved for Christians in Iraq are intended to provide marginalized Assyrians a voice in the Iraqi Parliament, but a loophole in the electoral law has left the voting process for the selection of representatives who will fill the seats reserved by the quotas open to non-Christian voters, which enables powerful non-Christian parties to exploit the quota system. This report examines deliberate interference of major Iraqi and Kurdish parties in the May 2018 elections for Christian representatives, which included the methodical mobilization of tens of thousands of non-Christian voters.
How the KRG Abuses Human Rights, Undermines Democracy, and Conquers Minority Homelands
On September 25, 2017, the Assyrian Confederation of Europe released a groundbreaking report highlighting KRG human rights abuses against Assyrians in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the Nineveh Plain. The report garnered widespread media attention, and was supported by human rights organizations and advocates both in the U.S. and abroad.
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