European Syriac Union calls for official recognition by Iraqi state of Simele Massacre on the Suraye people

BRUSSELS – On 7 August 1933, Iraqi state military forces and local allied Kurds and Arabs massacred Suraye in the village of Simele. During that whole month of August more than 60 Suraye villages in Amadiya, Zakho, Nohadra (Dohuk), Sheikhan and Mosul, northern Iraq, were destroyed and burned.

The European Syriac Union, a non-governmental Syriac representative body based in Brussels, issued a written statement calling for the Iraqi government to take its responsibility and officially recognize the Simele massacre as such.

According to the European Syriac Union, with an official state recognition of the massacre and the role of its army, the Iraqi state would fulfill its moral and constitutional obligation toward its own people. Official recognition would also create an inclination to provide a safe place for the threatened Suraye people in Iraq.

Recognition would send a clear message that indigenous components, such as the Suraye and the Yezidis, which have suffered greatly and whose existence and future in Iraq is under serious threat, need protection and that repression, discrimination, and killing of indigenous components and vulnerable groups in the country needs to stop immediately.

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