For Immediate Release
Kelsie Wendelberger, Director of Communications
Iraqi Christian Relief Council
262-751-0454 – 312-912-4300
Historic demand from Christian (Assyrian, Syriac, Chaldean) political parties to Prime Minister Al-Abadi for creation of Nineveh Plain Province
WASHINGTON, DC, March 8, 2017 — The largest seven Assyrian, Syriac and Chaldean political organizations in Iraq made a historic unified appeal to Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi on Tuesday, March 7, demanding the creation of a Nineveh Plain Province to serve as a home for Iraq’s long-targeted minorities.
The appeal stated that a Nineveh Plain Province will encourage stability in Iraq and stem the exodus of minorities, such as Assyrian, Syriac and Chaldean Christians and Yezidis, who have fled sectarianism and recent genocide at the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Tens of thousands of religious and ethnic minorities have been killed and millions have fled for their lives since 2003.
The signatory political parties referenced Parliament Resolution 16 signed on January 21, 2014 as a preliminary approval for the creation of a Nineveh Plain Province. The letter also demanded that a future Nineveh Plain Province be excluded from all political and military conflicts, and that its borders be considered a green demarcation line, politically and militarily neutral.
“The people of the [Nineveh Plain] region should be granted their constitutional right to administer their areas, and should be enabled to defend themselves and protect their properties with the integration of all private security forces formed by minorities under Iraqi federal forces and local police,” the appeal stated. The signing groups cited that Iraq’s instability has not benefitted minorities.
“This is a historic moment for Iraq’s minorities who rightfully deserve a homeland where they can live in freedom and without fear of persecution or death,” says Juliana Taimoorazy, founder and president of Iraqi Christian Relief Council and a senior fellow at the Philos Project.
The organizations also called on the Iraqi Government to fully reconstruct homes and infrastructure destroyed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in the Nineveh Plain. The Kurdistan Regional Government was asked to end land grabbing, and include Article 35 from the draft constitution in the final version to guarantee the rights of Assyrians, Syriacs and Chaldeans to have autonomy wherever they represent a majority of the population.
Available for media interviews
Founder of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council and Senior Fellow at Philos Project
Juliana Taimoorazy is internationally recognized for her work with persecuted Christians in the Middle East. She is sought after for her analysis on terror’s impact on indigenous Christian communities in Iraq and the Middle East. She has appeared in Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Post, Al-Arabiya, BBC, The Telegraph, National Catholic Register, Fox News, The Stream, and Israel News. Juliana is a contributing writer for the Huffington Post.