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Assyrian Organizations Send Open Letter to U.S. Presidential Candidates

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(AINA) -- An open letter by eleven Middle Eastern, European and American Assyrian organizations has been sent to the crop of U.S. presidential candidates. The letter asks the candidates what steps they would take to stop the genocide of Assyrians, Yazidis and other groups by ISIS.

Since capturing Mosul in July, 2014, ISIS has driven 200,000 Assyrians from their villages, killed thousands of Assyrians and Yazidis, sold captured and raped Yazidi women and sold them into slavery, destroyed Assyrian archaeological sites as well as churches both in Iraq and Syria.

Related: Attacks on Assyrians in Syria
Related: Timeline of ISIS in Iraq

The letter also asks if the candidates would recognize the Turkish genocide of Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks in World War One and support reparations for the victims.

The Turkish genocide claimed the lives of 750,000 Assyrians (75%), 500,000 Greeks and 1.5 million Armenians.

Related: Assyrian Genocide 100

Here is the text of the letter:

April 11, 2016

To Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump:

Daily reports from the Middle East and other corners of the world document a campaign of terror against Christians. Assyrians and others are being tortured, kidnapped, raped and murdered by radical terrorist organizations such as ISIS. We have seen this terror in Paris, Brussels, and other cities around the world, committed in the name of Islam by radical Islamic organizations. For Assyrians it feels like 1915 all over again.

As the centerpiece of a larger plan of ethnic and religious cleansing waged from 1915-1924, the Turkish state and its Kurdish tribes exterminated millions of Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians. One hundred years have passed since the era of World War I when no one heard the cries of our ancestors, the Assyrian people, in their suffering in that genocide that is known as the Armenian Genocide.

26 countries have recognized the Armenian Genocide. 12 Countries, governments and institutions have recognized the Assyrian genocide. Turkey, however, continues to deny the genocide.

Secretary of State John F. Kerry has declared that the Islamic State is currently committing acts of genocide against Christians, Yazidis and other minorities in Iraq and Syria. As President of the United States, would you do everything in your power to end these atrocities, bring the perpetrators to justice, and aid the survivors?

As President of the United States, would you acknowledge the Ottoman Genocide against Christians -- Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks -- during World War I and support reparations for the victims?

It is our hope that as President you would aid the victims of genocide, both past and present, and bring relief to their suffering.

Most respectfully,

  • Sabri Atman, Assyrian Genocide and Research
  • Naher Arslan, Federation des Assyriens de Belgique
  • Fikri Gabriel. Institut Syriaque de Belgique
  • Fatrus Gabriel, Sefyo Center Belgium
  • Carlo K Ganjeh, Assyrian Universal Alliance Americas Chapter
  • Dr. Sargon Issa, Restore Nineveh Now Foundation
  • David William Lazar, American Mesopotamian Organization
  • Nail Beth- Kinne, Institut Assyrien de Belgique
  • Johann Roumee, Central Union of Assyrian Associations in Germany and European sections
  • George Stifo, Assyrian Democratic Organization
  • Rosemary Yachouh, Assyrian Chaldean Syriac Student Union of Canada


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