Dr. Srood Maqdasy, MP in the KRG for Bnay Nahren, is currently visiting Sweden to inform parliamentarians and the public about the plight of the Assyrians in Iraqi Assyria. Before he visited the Swedish parliament Riksdag, Assyria TV got the opportunity to interview him. He says that the Assyrians, who are the indigenous people of Iraq, are treated by the KRG’s government as second class citizens. Powerful clans are taking Assyrian land without the KDP or the government intervenes. Instead they constantly delay the issue. If the political will existed the confiscation of Assyrian land would be solved immediately, because the ownership is well documented. For this reason, Dr. Maqdasy and his colleagues in the KRG’s parliament pushed the issue to the Kurdish Prosecutor General and notified the government of violating the law on property rights. This law is clear and defines that no demographic change is allowed to deprive minorities of their rights. Whether this step can lead to a final solution of the land issue, remains to be seen.
The vulnerability of the Assyrians has unfortunately led to many Assyrians continue to emigrate, seeking safety abroad, says Dr. Makdasy. He also accuses the Assyrian political parties for lack of cooperation and coordination of a clear strategy with church men. Our parties are working short-term, he says. They should long ago have sat down and discuss a common long-term strategy for the Assyrian nation together with patriarchs and church leaders, whom now are trying to sabotage the military assistance that the United States has decided to give the Assyrian and other forces on the Nineveh Plains. His party Bnay Nahren, which is a breakaway from the Assyrian Democratic Movement (Zowaa), supports all Assyrian forces (NPU, NPF, Dwekh Nawsha) in their struggle for the liberation of the ISIS-controlled Nineveh Plains. It is also important to set up a joint plan for the status of Nineveh Plains after being liberated from ISIS. He is highly critical to those who refer to the Assyrian people only as a Christian group. In such case Assyrians risk losing their national rights where land, language and heritage remains in the background, says Dr. Srood Maqdasy.