Al-Sheikh Dr. Humam Hammoudi
Chairman, Iraqi Constitutional Committee
On behalf of the Assyrian Universal Alliance, an international alliance of various establishments of the Assyrian people throughout the world, I would like to thank you for your efforts to include Assyrian national rights in the constitution of Iraq and to thank the government of Iraq for its commitment, its leadership, and magnificent work in opening a new chapter in the history of modern Iraq. The Assyrian Universal Alliance supports the policies of the Iraqi government to fight terrorism and extremism and toward building a free and democratic Iraq. However, we would like to bring the following points, which are of our great concern, to your kind attention.
As you are well aware the Assyrians of Iraq are the indigenous people of Iraq. The 1.0 to 1.25 million Assyrians living in Iraq constitute the third largest demographic population of the country, known by various designations such as Chaldean, Nestorian (Church of the East) and Syriac. Since the establishment of the Iraqi state until now they have been deprived of their political, religious, cultural and human rights.
The constitution of Iraq, since its establishment until now, has not recognized the Assyrians as a nation equal to other fellow countrymen. This lack of recognition has once again been repeated in the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL) and even now in the drafting of the final constitution (from what we have heard so far), the Assyrian nation is not going to be considered a Principal nation as the Arab and the Kurd nations have been.
We firmly believe that the Assyrian nation, according to all international law, has the right to claim and demand to be constitutionally accepted as one of the principal nations within the political framework of the republic of Iraq. The constitution should also provide for an autonomous region for the Assyrians on the land of their ancestors located between the Greater Zab and Tigris under jurisdiction of the central government of Iraq.
The modern history of Iraq has shown that the Assyrians have always supported and struggled for the establishment of a unified, democratic, secular, pluralistic and parliamentarian government in Iraq that will guarantee human rights and equal status for all citizens regardless of their ethnic background or religion; an Iraq that is based on the rule of law; an Iraq that enjoys full sovereignty and territorial integrity.
While we appreciate your efforts to include Assyrian national rights in the constitution, we believe that you are in a position to alleviate our great concern and by your positive efforts you will succeed to safeguard and guarantee the existence of the Assyrian nation within the great family of Iraq. We would be grateful if you could forward a copy of the attached concerns and demands of the Assyrian people to be included in the Iraqi constitution to your committee and the Iraqi National Assembly. Attached please find the declaration (in Arabic) of the 24th Worldwide Congress of the Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA), which convened in London, England from July 7 to July 10, 2005.
The Assyrian nation is eagerly waiting to see an Iraqi constitution, which would be highly regarded by the international community.
Emanuel Kamber, Ph.D.
Assyrian Universal Alliance
[url=http://www.assyriatimes.com/engine/downloads/aua-iraqi-constitution.pdf]AUA's Letter to the Chairman of the Iraqi Constitution Committee (PDF)[/url][url=http://www.assyriatimes.com/engine/downloads/assyrian-concerns.pdf]Assyrian Concerns and the Iraqi Constitution (PDF)[/url][url=http://www.assyriatimes.com/engine/downloads/aua-iraqi-constitution.pdf]AUA's Letter to the Chairman of the Iraqi Constitution Committee (DOC)[/url][url=http://www.assyriatimes.com/engine/downloads/assyrian-concerns.pdf]Assyrian Concerns and the Iraqi Constitution (DOC)[/url]