mardi 17 juillet 2007

Meeting at the EU Parliament in Brussels - Committee on Foreign Affairs

Mrs. Hélène FLAUTRE
Mr Richard HOWITT
Committee on Foreign Affairs
(Subcommittee on Human Rights)
Meeting Tuesday 17 July 2007 - Brussels
Item 6 of the Session : Exchange of views on Human Rights in Iraq

Invited speakers:
1. Mrs Ivana VUCO, Human Rights Officer of UNAMI in Baghdad
2. Dr Nizam ASSAF, Director of the Amman Centre for the Studies of Human Rights in Jordan
3. Mrs LLOMBART-CUSSAC, Deputy Head of Unit for the Gulf Countries, Iran and Iraq in DG RELEX European Commission
4. Mrs Judith KUMIN, UNHCR Regional Representative in Brussels
5. H.E. Mr Mohammed Jawad Al-DOREKY, Ambassador of Iraq to the EU

The invited speakers reported mainly on the lack of security in Iraq, on the terrible conditions of the four million Iraqi refugees (inside and outside Iraq). They asked the EU to keep their borders open to the Iraqi refugees. They spoke about the difficult working conditions of the NGOs due to the absence of law and order in Iraq...

I was very disappointed that the invited speakers did not mention the threatened communities in the north of Iraq: the Turkmens, the Chaldeo-Assyrians...

I was disappointed that they did not mention the responsibilities of the US-UK-AUSTRALIA for the destruction of Iraq and FOR THE DEATH OF NEARLY ONE MILLION IRAQIS since their illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq in March 2003!

I was disappointed that they did not ask the European Union to put pressure on the US to end their occupation of Iraq.

The occupation IS THE PROBLEM in Iraq!

Haven't they realized yet that as long as Iraq is occupied there will be no security, no peace and no reconstruction possible? That the flow of Iraqi refugees on the roads will continue, that Iraqi children will continue to die or be traumatized, that the sick and elderly will not have access to proper medical care...

Even the hundreds of NGOs they are mentioning are far from sufficient to help the millions of Iraqis who have lost everything.

I have several relatives and friends in Iraq who need surgery, but unless someone finds a way to help them leave the country and pays for their passport, travel expenses and hospital fees abroad they will not have the operation they badly need.

Besides, which country will grant them a visa?

Dr Hassan Aydinly attended the conference, hereunder is the Front page of the Appeal he handed to the MEPs and speakers :-


Despite the fact that the Turkmens constitute the second main ethnic group in the north of Iraq along with the Kurds and the third main community in Iraq along with the Arabs and Kurds, they continue to be institutionally marginalized and constitutionally discriminated in Iraq where they are considered as a ‘small minority’ rather than a main community which downgrades them to ‘second class citizens’ with fewer rights than the Arabs and the Kurds.

The Turkmen population in Iraq is estimated to be around 3 million, representing 12% of the Iraqi population, they live in the region called TURKMENELI which separates the Arab and Kurdish regions of Iraq, as indicated in blue on the map below.

The Turkmens being the only ethnic group in Iraq without any weapons or armed militia are left without any protection; they are extremely vulnerable in the actual violent situation prevailing in their country. Since the occupation of Iraq by the US-UK forces in March 2003 the situation of the Turkmens has dramatically deteriorated they are constantly targeted and have suffered a huge number of casualties in Telafer, in Tuz Hurmatu, in Tisin, in Tavik… last week in Amirli and yesterday once more in Kerkuk.

As the Turkmens are unarmed and unprotected, they are vulnerable and are targeted every day in Iraq. They are therefore in urgent need of the help and protection from the international community especially from the European Union and the United Nations in order to obtain the recognition of their basic human rights and to preserve the existence of their community in Iraq.

Dr. Hassan T. Walli Aydinli

+ Picture of the Map of Iraq indicating the TURKMENLI region

Note: since I made the comments above I have read the European Parliament's 12th July 2007 resolution on the humanitarian situation of Iraqi refugees
Texts Adopted (P6_TA-PROV(2007)0357

Point "O" says:
O.- Whereas Jews, Mandeans and Christians (including Assyrians, Armenian, Greek orthodox and other Christian minorities) are increasingly experiencing discrimination with regard to access to the labour market or basic social services and many are afraid of persecution by insurgent groups as well as Islamist militias, which have gained de facto control over entire neighbourhoods in various cities and villages in Iraq; whereas as part of increasing tensions between Sunnis and Shiite, individuals may also be solely targeted on the basis of their membership of ethnic or religious minorities. Unquote

The article does not specify 'which ethnic minorities'.

The Turkmens are mentioned nowhere…

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