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Militants Kill, Kurds Intimidate Iraqi Minorities

By Jack Kimball

Editing by Richard Williams.

BAGHDAD (Reuters) -- Iraq's Kurdish-Arab tensions in the disputed Nineveh province may create a human rights catastrophe for minority groups that have faced rising attacks since the 2003 U.S. invasion, a rights group said on Tuesday (report).

Baghdad's Arab-led government and ethnic Kurds controlling a semi-autonomous northern enclave are battling over issues of wealth and power as the nation tries to thrash out tricky constitutional issues after the fall of dictator Saddam Hussein.

"Before we understood that we had a totalitarian government and therefore abuses happened. But now we are supposed to be free and democratic. This democracy is killing us," an Assyrian Christian elder was quoted as saying by Human Rights Watch.

Violence in the world's 11th largest crude producer has fallen over the last two years, but bombings, drive-by shootings and other attacks are still common in Baghdad and the ethnically- and religiously-divided north.

The New York-based group said that minorities such as Chaldean Christians, Yazidis, Shabaks and others remain vulnerable to attacks by Sunni Arab extremists and intimidation from Kurdish forces in Nineveh.

"Iraqi Christians, Yazidis and Shabaks have suffered extensively since 2003," Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.

"Iraqi authorities, both Arab and Kurdish, need to rein in security forces, extremists and vigilante groups to send a message that minorities cannot be attacked with impunity."


Human Rights Watch said since the 2003 U.S. invasion, Kurdish authorities have moved into disputed territories to take control of areas that are rich in oil and ethnic diversity.

In the 1970s and 80s, Saddam encouraged thousands of Arab families to move to disputed areas under his "Arabisation" policy and the former ruler used forced displacement and killings to move that forward.

The 51-page report -- based on interviews during a three-week trip to northern Iraq -- accused Kurds of spending millions of Iraqi dinars to build a pro-Kurdish patronage network and of funding private militias to "protect" minorities.

"Minorities in Iraq find themselves in an increasingly precarious position as the Arab-dominated central government and the Kurdistan regional government vie for control of the disputed territories," the report said.

The nation's minority groups have also faced brutal attacks by insurgent groups in Nineveh, especially in and around the province's capital, Mosul. In August 2007, militants killed more than 300 Yazidis with explosive-laden trucks, the group said.

"Extremist elements among the insurgents have viciously attacked Chaldo-Assyrian, Yazidi and Shabak communities, labelling them crusaders, devil worshipers and infidels," the report said.

The situation for minorities will likely be complicated by the upcoming January parliamentary election where the groups are likely to ally with the nation's bigger parties in a country still mired in sectarian politics.

"Everyone is willing to sacrifice us for their goals," farmer Avas Mohammed Jabar was quoted as saying.




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Militants Kill, Kurds Intimidate Iraqi Minorities Nov. 11, 09

Ancient canal network is recasting archaeologists' understanding of t
he Assyrian capital
Nov. 3, 09

Refugees Turn Their Backs on Iraq Nov. 3, 09

Asking for international investigation about who is terrorizing Iraqi Christians
Nov. 3, 09

October = Teeshreen-I

Foreign Degrees in Hand, No Jobs in Sight for Assyrian Refugees Oct.15, 09

Biblical music with lyrics drawn from the Aramaic and Greek texts Oct. 14, 09

Iranian Female Converts Charged With Apostasy, Spreading Christianity
October 14, 2009

British MPs Call for Investigation of Kurdish Militia in Assyrian Assassinations
October 14, 2009

Assyrian refugees- After ruin in Iraq, a new Life in Minnesota Oct.r 13, 2009

Who is driving non Arab minorities out of Iraq? October 10, 09

U.S. government is failing to help Iraqi refugees resettle Oct. 10, 09

Conflict Between Arabs and Kurds in the Nineveh Province Oct. 10, 09

Christians in Iraq fearing more violence October 07, 2009

Iraqi Government's Inaction about Crimes against Christians Oct. 07, 09

Meeting With Iraqi Official about the plight of Assyrians Oct. 06, 09

Marathon in Brussels Calls Attention to Assyrian Persecution Oct. 05, 09

Body of Kidnapped Assyrian Businessman Discovered in Iraq Oct. 04, 09

Kidnapping of Christian Assyrians in Kirkuk Continues Oct. 04, 09

Iraqi Arabs Wary Of Joint Patrols With Kurds In North Oct. 04, 09

Angelina Jolie Urges World Not to Forget Iraqi Refugees Oct. 04, 09

Anti-Kurdish Militia Demonstrations in Iraq's Mosul Oct.r 02, 09

“Assyrian Medical Society Responds to Refugee Medical Concerns”
October 02, 2009

September = Eilool


The US and the Internal Islamic Threat Sept. 29, 2009

Assyriska defeats Syrianska 1- to Zero Sept. 28, 2009

Kidnapped Christian Doctor Released in Northern Iraq: Police Sept. 28, 2009

Fire Destroys Assyrian Club in Sweden Sept. 28, 2009

Assyrian city of Nineveh Sept. 27, 2009

Kidnapped Assyrian Doctor in Iraq Freed, in Critical Condition Sept. 23, 2009

Statement of Pax Christi Delegation which visited Iraq Sept. 22, 2009

Muslim Man Beheads Christian in Egypt Sept. 21, 2009

Bishop of the Assyrian town of Qaraqosh explains why it's demographic balance should not be changed. Sept. 19, 2009

Assyrians in Iraq Hope for Autonomous Region Sept. 14, 2009

Chaldean Church denial of its Assyrian Heritage Sept. 14, 2009

Kurdish and syriac to be taught in Turkey for the first time Sept. 11, 2009

Cry My Beloved Nation Sept. 11, 2009

Christian Soldiers; Protecting towns in the Plain of Nineveh Sept. 07, 2009

Assyrian Empire: Bringing Civilization to the Near East Sept. 07, 2009

Sargis Agajan; Assyrian Christian Leader in Iraq Has Hope ! Sept. 03, 2009

From Security Withut Freedom to Freedom Without Security Sept. 03, 2009

AUA youth of America statement Sept. 03, 2009

Syria Opens the Gateway to Humanity for the Assyrian Medical Society
Sept. 03, 2009

Assyrian Refugees in Transit; Documentary Film Sept. 02, 2009

August = Thabakh

Assyrian Medical Society Sponsors Patients in Syria August 31, 2009

Chaldean Church promoting ethnic identity based on Church affiliation
August 31, 2009

Ancient Assyrians Accomplishments August 27, 2009

Assyrianhistory-accomplishments.html August 27, 2009

150 christians of Iraq face deportation in Sweden August 27, 2009

3 Iraqi refugees who crossed the Rio Grande and landed in a federal lockup August 25, 2009

A “Shrine” for almost every Assyrian child that has visited US for medical treatments August 21, 2009

Unique football rivalry in Sweden between two Assyrian migrant teams August 19, 2009

Pregnant Christian Dragged Naked Through Pakistani Police Station
August 18, 2009

Yalo; a novel, By Elias Khoury August 14, 2009

Polish Aid Organization Visits Assyrian Refugees in Syria
August 14, 2009

U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom Letter to President Obama August 14, 2009

Australian Conference Calls Attention to Endangered Assyrians of Iraq August 14, 2009

University of Toronto archaeologists find cache of cuneiform tablets in 2,700-year old Assyrian temple August 13, 2009

Two Iranian Women Arrested for Converting to Christianity
August 13, 2009

UNPO Publishes Report on Kurdistani Elections August 12, 2009

Iraq's Christian Community At Risk of Disappearing. August 12,2009

Assyrian Refugees Expelled From Sweden -- Fleeing Again
August 11,2009

Attacks on Iraqi minorities soar August 11,2009

Iraq attacks raise fears of renewed ethnic tensions
August 11,2009

Large explosion rocks a village near Bartalah, kills dozens
August 10,2009


Mr. Obama, What About the Christians of the Middle East?
August 9, 2009

Bombing Christian family in Mosul August 9,2009

The Kurdistan region's Election Results for Our people
August 7, 2009

How to steal minorities voting rights, the Kurdish style?
August 7, 2009

Desperate plea for help came too late for ancient Assyrian leader August 7, 2009

Iraq's Assyrian Christians Find Temporary Home in Kurdish North August 6, 2009

Resolution on Genocide Committed by Ottoman Empire
August 6, 2009

Pakistan Must Abolish Blasphemy Law August 5, 2009

Christianity's long, storied tradition in Iran August 5, 2009

Business Models in Antiquity. August 2, 2009

Christian in Mosul deny the discontinuation of attacks
against them.
August 2, 2009


Tamuz = July

"I am Assyrian, not Kurdish. We were here first and now we are treated as strangers." July 29, 2009

Q&A: Iraqi Kurdistan elections July 29, 2009

July 29, 2009

Local Assyrians protest Iraqi church bombings July 29, 2009

Iraq’s Kurdish Region Elections, Derailed July 28, 2009

Patriarch: ‘Our survival depends on the unity of Christians’
July 27, 2009

Gunmen kill Iraqi Christian outside factory July 27, 2009

July 26, 2009

Coptic Human Rights Organization Condems recent Church Bombings in Iraq. July 25, 2009

Some Christians express doubt that their representatives will "obtain all their rights." July 24, 2009

Supporters Of Iraq's Assyrians Rally In San Francisco. July 23, 2009

Iraq Steps Up Security Measures for Christians.
July 23, 2009

US Lawmakers Send Letter Regarding Assyrians to Iraq's PM. July 22, 2009

Assyrian Medical Society helps Two Young Visitors from Iraq to Receive Vital Medical Care
July 22, 2009

Statement by the Executive Committee of the Council of Churches about persecution of Christians in Iraq. July 16, 2009

Amnesty International condemns attacks on Christian minority in Iraq. July 15, 2009

Shameful attacks. July 15, 2009

7 Iraqi Churches Bombed Within 48 Hours
July 14, 2009

Why is Britain Deporting Persecuted Christians? July 14, 2009

The Desperate Plight of Iraqi Christians July 13, 2009

Kurds, Arabs Cooperate; Christians Suffer July 13, 2009

Iraq Curfew in Some Christian Areas After Church Bombs July 13, 2009

Virgin Fatima Church in Mosul Bombed July 11, 2009

Assyrian Medial Society – Turkey Mission Press Release. July 11, 2009

Aramaic; The language of Christ is not dead in the Syrian village July 05, 2009

Video of British Parliament Report on Assyrian Persecution - Kurds Stealing Assyrian Land!
July 03, 2009

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Dhimmitude
July 03, 2009

Secretary of Sate Hilary Clinton's Town Hall Meeting With PRT Leaders and Iraqi Partners
July 02, 2009

Khzirun = June

Britain's Indifference to the Plight of Iraqi Christians emphasised in the House of Commons June 27, 2009

USCIRF Expresses Concern Over Reported Attacks on Coptic Orthodox Christians in Egypt June 27, 2009

In Nineveh, tensions between Iraqi Kurds and Arabs simmer June 25, 2009

Dominican sister vows to remain in Iraq despite increasing violence June 24, 2009

Parliament of the Kurdistan region to ratifies the territory constitution June 24, 2009

Turkish Court Rules Against Assyrian Monastery
June 24, 2009

Iraq Kurds pass new constitution to include Kirkuk June 24, 2009

Fear of Massacre Grips Christian Village in Egypt; Crops Destroyed June 24, 2009

Muslim Mob Attacks Church and Loots Christian Homes in Egypt June 20, 2009

Christian Coptic Twin Boys Struggle Against Forced Islamization June 20, 2009

Organization Helps Injured, Ill Iraqis
June 20, 2009

A member of Drafting Kurdistan Constitution Describes Our Clergies interference in Politics as a "major crime" June 20, 2009

Assyrian Refugees in Sweden Caught in Political Struggle June 19, 2009

Autonomy and the Assyrians of Iraq
June 16, 2009

Motion in the UK Parliament for the return of our Churches June 16, 2009

Assyriska versus Syrianska; World's Most Competitive Football Contest June 10, 2009

Assyrian Medical Society Without Borders, Without Passports June 10, 2009

Sweden's New Asylum Policy
June 10, 2009

Rosie Malek-Younan Awarded Assyrian Woman of the Year June 10, 2009


The war on Christianity in the Middle East
June 4, 2009


Iraqi Christians in need
June 2, 2009



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