Nuri al-Maliki in Germany
Personal appeal to Iraq ‘s Prime Minister: Minorities need especial
The Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV) will hand the Iraqi Prime
Minister, Nuri al-Maliki, in a personal meeting during his visit to
Berlin an appeal to give especial protection to the smaller communities
in Mesopotamia . "Irak does certainly find itself in a very difficult
position and is always being shaken by the attacks of international
terrorists which are supported from neighbouring countries. But because
they suffer particularly from persecution it is precisely the ethnic and
religious minorities – like the Assyro-Chaldaean Christians, the
Mandaeans, the Shabak, the Armenians, the Yezidi and the Feilis – which
need protection. So we appeal to you to take the example of the
minorities policy of the autonomous federal state of Kurdistan in North
Iraq and to give these groups nationality rights", says the letter from
the GfbV, which t he two Assyro-Chaldaean Christians, Pater Emanuel
Youkhana and Kamel Zomaya, who are living in exile in Germany, will
bring to the head of state. Al-Maliki arrives in the German capital
today, Tuesday.
After the fall of the regime of Saddam Hussein in April 2003 the
situation of the smaller ethnic groups in Iraq has not improved, but
deteriorated, writes the GfbV, which has for several years been
represented in the autonomous North Iraqi federal state of Kurdistan
with an independent section. Members of these groups are subject to
constant danger in central and southern Iraq . Hundreds of thousands
have had to take to flight in the face of deliberate attacks,
abductions, rape and constant oppression. For this reason the Mandaeans,
for example, who number only a few thousand members, are threatened in
their complete existence. The Christian ethnic group stands in central
and southern Iraq before the Exodus.
It lies in the responsibility of the Iraqi government and all Iraqis to
conserve the variety of cultures in their country and to combat threats.
The three largest groups in Iraq – the Shiites, the Sunnis and the Kurds
– must find a solution for all Iraqis so that they can find new
confidence in the future and feel safe in their own country. Fair
co-existence calls for fundamental changes in the Iraqi constitution.
Religious freedom must be guaranteed and therefore the separation of
state and religion must be secured. The central government must also put
into practice political, cultural and administrative rights for minorities.
The GfbV also draws attention in its letter to the fact that Article 140
of the Iraqi constitution has still not been implemented. As a
consequence the people of the areas where the administration is
controversial can freely decide in a referendum whether their areas
shall belong to federal=2 0state of Iraqi Kurdistan or to the central
government in Baghdad . This is the only way of overcoming the
consequences of the policy of forcible Arabicization of the Baath
regime. Iraq can only continue to exist in its present boundaries if the
peaceful co-existence of all ethnic and religious minorities is secured.
In Iraq there are still about 400,000 Assyro-Chaldaean Christians,
400,000 Turkmens, 550,000 70,000 Shabaks, 500,000 Feili Kurds, 18,000
Armenians and less than 5,000 Mandaeans.
The GfbV Near-East consultant, Dr. Kamal Sido, can take questions by
tel. ++49 (0) 551 499 06 18

 >>>>>>>>>>>>> Für Menschenrechte. Weltweit. <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker / Society for Threatened Peoples
P.O. Box 20 24 – D-37010 Göttingen/Germany
Nahostreferat/ Middle East Desk
Dr. Kamal Sido – Tel: +49 (0) 551 49906-18 – Fax: +49 (0) 551 58028
E-Mail: [email protected]