(AINA) -- Residents of Mangesh, an Assyrian town located in the autonomous Kurdish region in north Iraq, have issued an appeal to the world community, asking for relief from harassment, intimidation and discrimination directed at them by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). According to the letter, the Assyrians of Mangesh are subjected to systematic coercion to support the KRG and are prevented from exercising their civil freedoms and subjected to economic sanctions for failing to support the KRG.
Here's the full text of the letter:
We demand that the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) and on behalf of the people of the town of Mangesh, to stop their policies of intimidation in forcing the people of the town to vote for Kurdish supported candidates. We are appealing to civic and Human Rights organizations to put an end to these abuses by the Kurdish Regional Government.
We, the sons and daughters of the town of Mengesh are being harassed by Kurds and their agents in all aspects of our lives, below is a list of their bullying tactics:
- We can't freely vote for candidates running for political office
- Our lands are stolen and we are not able to speak out
- We are not able to join any political party other than Kurdish parties or those parties "owned" by Kurds.
- We are not able to host any representative from any of our nation's independent political parties.
- We are not permitted to undertake any activity not sanctioned by the ruling Kurdish party (KDP)
- We can't form any organization or any cultural center outside the realm of Kurdish control.
- Any individual that attempts to stay independent or tries to join a political party that is not under Kurdish domination and specifically under the hegemony of the KDP is attacked profusely and even prevented from earning a living.
- Anyone who doesn't blindly support the policies of the KDP is not able to get a government job.
- Individuals that don't support the KDP or a political party controlled by the KDP are not able to register their lands in their names.
- Members of the KDP have formed gangs to terrorize the residents of the town to intimidate them and to have complete control over their lives.
- They (Kurds) monitor every person's moves and if they become suspicious that a certain individual has any relations with another political party not controlled by them, that person is interrogated and is threatened.
For the above reasons we're appealing to International Human Rights organizations and civil societies to help us stop Kurdish abuses because we have the right to live freely and we also have the right for self determination.