Assyrians in Sweden Protest Against Kurdish Occupation of Assyrian Villages

24-6-2014 – Stockholm (AINA) — Several hundred Assyrians held a demonstration in Sodertalje, south of the Stockholm, on Sunday, June 22 to protest the Kurdish occupation of the Nineveh Plain. The protesters held signs saying “No to Kurdish occupation of the Nineveh Plain.” The Assyrian heartland east of Mosul has come under Kurdish control following the fall of large areas of Iraq to ISIS (AINA 2014-06-14).

“The fact is that Kurdish leaders have done their utmost to block all attempts to form local defense forces on the Nineveh plain since 2003,” said Afram Yakoub, chairman of the Assyrian Federation of Sweden, “and we are now witnessing how the Kurdish leadership is using the current turmoil to establish a de facto occupation. During the last few days Kurds have raised the Kurdish flag on government buildings in the Nineveh Plain and they tried to replace the head of the city of Alqosh with a person which is a member of the Kurdish KDP party (AINA 2014-06-16).”

Mr Mats Pertoft, Swedish MP from the Green party Milj?partiet, echoed the concerns of the Assyrian community in Sweden, saying “No group in Iraq should use the current situation as a pretext to oppress another group, Kurdish leaders should not make this an excuse to deny Assyrians their rights.”

Swedish MP Mats Pertoft addresses Assyrians at the demonstration against Kurdish occupation of Assyrian villages in north Iraq.