Assyria TV editorial summarizes some key events in the past week involving the Assyrians.
Recently the Syrian army managed to retake both Palmyra and the Assyrian city of Qaryatayn from IS after eight months of occupation. Besides extensive destruction of historic monasteries and churches IS has executed 21 Assyrians and still holds 150 hostages, believed to be in Raqqah. The Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Mor Afrem II Karim recently visited Qaryatayn to instill courage in the people and witnessed the total devastation.
The Syriac Orthodox bishop of Jerusalem Malke Mourad was arrested Saturday 2 April by Palestinian police in Bethlehem, after a police report of a woman in the congregation. What he is accused of is not clear from reports, but it seems to be an old dispute that has now come to light. The bishop was later released and a number of statements have been issued to support him, including the president of Azakh Universal Union Benyamen Kartal in Sweden. Even the Patriarchate issued a communiqué denouncing all rumours that the bishop would have been suspended.
After the Kurdish PYD administration discontinued its cantonal system and proclaimed federalism, a delegation of Kurdish representatives is now expected to make a tour of Europe to seek support for their federalism, so even among the Assyrian Diaspora.
Barbaros Leylani, vice chairman of Turkish Federation in Sweden, held a speech in Stockholm last weekend, where he made racist outcomes and threats against Armenians. After the speech was highlighted in the media, he has been forced to resign and risk prosecution for incitement to racial hatred. Turkish Federation in Sweden has renounced all his statements, but only in Swedish. In Turkish, it is a milder criticism of Leylani. Observers interpret these threats as a warning for the 101-year commemoration of Seyfo on 24 April.
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