(AINA) -- Despite having ancient roots in the Middle East, Assyrians living in the area have struggled for survival in recent centuries. In addition to regular societal marginalisation and persecution, calamitous massacres have been carried out against this vulnerable minority community, from the 1915 Ottoman genocide (known as ܐܦܝܣ or Sefo, meaning 'Sword,' in Assyrian) to the brutal violence perpetrated by Daesh (ISIS) since 2011. These more recent atrocities have been recognised by the European Parliament as genocide perpetrated against a number of groups, including Assyrians. Hundreds of thousands have fled to Europe, North America, and elsewhere, seeking peaceful and prosperous lives.
Related: Timeline of ISIS in Iraq
Related: Attacks on Assyrians in Syria By ISIS and Other Muslim Groups
Now that Daesh is virtually defeated, Assyrians are confronted with other challenges. In 2018, they were targeted for political and cultural repression and were affected by ongoing regional violence. Across the Middle East, Assyrians are facing an existential crisis due to these continuous pressures. Vulnerable Assyrian communities are increasingly marginalised and disenfranchised. They are being slowly smothered by repressive systems. This is remarkably tragic in Iraq, where Christianity has long been a vital aspect of Iraqi culture and history and has been practiced by Assyrians for millennia. If Assyrians are to be wiped out in Iraq, it will mean the end of this ancient and venerated practice in the country.
This report seeks to give an account of human rights abuses, as well as other concerning factors that pose this existential threat to the Assyrian community that remains in their Middle Eastern homeland.
Read the full report here.