Iraqi court approves appeal against illegal appropriation of Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian land

NOHADRA and ANKAWA, Iraq – In a judicial case of illegal appropriation of Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian property and land in northern Iraq, the Duhok Court of Appeals has overruled the handling and ruling of the case by a lower criminal court. According to the Court of Appeals, the lower court neglected to address the issue correctly by not adequately verifying the legal titles to the property and land, and date of establishment.

According to Nohadra (Duhok) Province and the Duhok Agricultural Directorate official documents, the lands in lower and upper Zuli village are the property of 117 Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian farmers. The appropriation of houses and appropriation would hence be illegal.

According to the National Unity Coalition, the final decision of the Duhok Court of Appeals will be issued soon. The National Unity Coalition in the Kurdistan Regional Parliament raised the issue with the Duhok Court of Appeals after it considered a lower criminal court to be negligent after charges were pressed by Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian landowners against the illegal Kurdish appropriator. According to the National Unity Coalition, the court neglected the evidence and did not investigate the case properly.

Nahla valley in northern Iraq.

On 19 October 2020, the National Unity Coalition visited the Presidency of the Court of Appeals in Nohadra to raise the issue of property violations against Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian villages in the Nahla region, especially the village of Zuli. The delegation included National Unity Coalition leader Romeo Hakkari, and Jinan Jabbar and Rubina Oumlek Aziz.

According to the National Unity Coalition, “On 3 November, the Duhok Court of Appeals showed its full readiness to deal with the case in a transparent and fair way taking into account that all Iraqis and components are equal before the law.”

In its comment on the Court of Appeals’s decision, the National Unity Coalition is a victory for preserving the demographic composition of the region and proves the importance of Law No. (5) of 2015 which protects the rights of peoples.