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New Discriminatory Regulation for Assyrians in North Iraq

Under a new regulation, the Kurdistan Regional Government is demanding people from the Assyrian-majority city of Ankawa, renew their business licenses with the Erbil Centre District for a fee.

This new regulation is said to apply only to Ankawa -- to the exclusion of other districts -- targeting the predominantly Christian population.

A local business owner said his lawyer had heard the officials expected bribes in exchange for processing.

Ankawa is a predominantly Assyrian suburb with around 80 per cent of the population Christian, and the majority with the Chaldean Catholic Church.

The town is considered the last Christian Assyrian stronghold in the Kurdistan Region.

Assyrian International News reports, an Assyrian politician was told by a KRG official that it was a form of jizya tax for non-Muslims -- and justified because Ankawa is a Christian town.

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