Posted by Peter B(reposted by Jeff) from LTU-207-73-65-124.LTU.EDU (18.104.22.168) on Wednesday, July 10, 2002 at 6:36AM :
In Reply to: Fred, re: AINA [Kurds and Assyrians] posted by Kurd (reposted by Jeff) from LTU-207-73-65-124.LTU.EDU (22.214.171.124) on Wednesday, July 10, 2002 at 6:35AM :
Re: Kurds and Assyrians -- NOT
Posted By: Peter BetBasoo <email@example.com> (chintgnt-3a.ameritech.com)
Date: Tuesday, 9 July 2002, at 10:38 a.m.
In Response To: Kurds and Assyrians (Kurd)
: And to all those Assyrians who for no reason
: hate the Kurds you guys need to open your
: eyes. Dont get mad U know we love you
If you are going to come into this Assyrian forum and make a "peace" gesture, then start by saying "I'm sorry for all the Kurds have done against Assyrians" (see below for that). Second, don't give us some song and dance story about Assyrians saying "we are Kurds". How insulting can you get? No Assyrian would say that.
Kaka, let me give you some reasons why Assyrians do not trust Kurds (from www.aina.org/martyr.htm):
1261 A.D. - The coming of the Kurds
Thousands of Assyrians flee the Nineveh plains villages of Bartillah, Bakhdida (Qaraqosh), Badna, Basihra, Karmlis towards Arbil to escape the overwhelming numbers of Kurds who were ordered by King Salih Isma'il to emigrate from the mountains of Turkey to the Nineveh plains. The villages were looted and thousands who did not reach Arbil were butchered by the newcomers. The nuns' monastery in Bakhdida (Qarqosh) was invaded and it's inhabitants were brutally massacered. (Bar Hebraius, Summary of the History of the lands, Arabic edition P. 492-497).
Arabs and Kurds attack Arbela, killing, looting and destroying the houses of the Assyrian inhabitants. Isa Bar Mokates (an Assyrian), the governor of Arbela, is hung by his feet and burned alive.
According to the 12th century Bar Hibraius, a battle took place among the Kurds and Tatars near the village of Bakhdida (Qaraqosh). At its end, the kurds chose 12 of the bravest and best looking young men from the village and killed them to show their strength and secure their presence. (Bar Hebraius, Syriac Civic History, Arabic edition P. 516).
Kurds attack over 70 Assyrian towns. Over 500 men are killed and 1000 children are carried away into captivity.
A kurdish force of 10,000 attacked the Assyrian city of Urmi [in Iran], and killed, looted and carried off over 1000 Assyrian prisoners. Soon after this, the Turkish Pasha of Rawandoz sacked the villages of Alqosh and Tel Kepe, and pillaged the monastery of Rabban Hormizd, killing many monks and one bishop.
A kurdish force under the leadership of Tahmaz Nadr Shah attacks of the Christians in the region. Many monks were murdered and monasteries damaged such as the famous Assyrian Dair Mar Behnam (located 4 miles away from the ancient city Nimrod), Dair Mar Elia, Dair Mar Oraha, and Dair Mar Mikhael (all are a few miles from the ancient Nineveh). (F.. John Feye, Assyrien Christien, Part 2, P. 591)
The Kurdish leader, Rwandez, made an alliance with mayor Sifdeen against the Assyrians. He did not harm the Assyrians of Alqush and pursued those of the Syriac Orthodox Church. After crossing the Tigris, they assaulted every church and neighboring village. Among the well-known victims are:
* Reverend Shimun
* Deacon Abd Ishou
* Deacon Murad, who was slaughtered while praying
* Deacon Bahnam, along with his 80 young students
The first village that was attacked was Bit-Zabda, where 200 men were killed. Subsequently, the Kurds stormed the Asfas village, first slaying the leader, Deacon Rais Arabo, and then Reverend Aziz. Eighty children fleeing to a nearby valley were attacked and murdered by the pursuing Kurds. The young girls of the village were unclothed. The attractive girls were enslaved while the others were shot on-site. The notebooks of fleeing victims were torn and flung out of houses and churches into the streets. The attackers then moved to Nisibin (on the border of Turkey and Syria) and repeated similar atrocities. (Gorgis, Deacon Asman Alkass, Jirah Fi Tarikh Al-syrian, Trans. Subhi Younan. 1980. pp. 14).
Badr Khan Bey, A Hakkari Kurdish Amir, combined with other Kurdish forces led by Nurallah, attacked the Assyrians, intending to burn, kill, destroy, and, if possible, exterminate the Assyrians race from the mountains. The fierce Kurds destroyed and burned whatever came within their reach. An indiscriminate massacre took place. The women were brought before the Amir and murdered in cold blood. The following incident illustrates the revolting barbarity: the aged mother of Mar Shimun, the Patriarch of the Church of the East, was seized by them, and after having practiced on her the most abominable atrocities, they cut her body into two parts and threw it into the river Zab, exclaiming, "go and carry to your accursed son the intelligence that the same fate awaits him." Nearly ten thousand Assyrians were massacred, and as large a number of woman and children were taken captive, most of whom were sent to Jezirah to be sold as slaves, to be bestowed as presents upon the influential Muslims. (Death of a Nation, pp. 111-112).
burns.jpg (5910 bytes)The burning of the bodies of Assyrian Women by kurdish women, to recover the Gold and precious stones they were supposed to have swallowed. (Shall This Nation Die?, 1899)
"In Asheetha, Zinger Beg with a force of 400 Kurds practiced the most barbarous cruelties upon the villagers of Tyari. The Assyrians bore his tyranny patiently for some time, but finally decided to put an end to it and decided to attack the garrison. They slew twenty of their numbers and besieged the remainder for the space of six days. On promising that they would immediately surrender and evacuate the fortress they were supplied with water by the Assyrians, when suddenly defying their besiegers a fresh conflict succeeded. In the midst of these renewed hostilities a company of 200 cavalry arrived from Badr Khan Beg, and turned the fortunes of the day. The Assyrians, taken by surprise, were completely routed, no quarter was given, and men, women, and children fell in one common massacre. The village was set on fire, and three bags of ears were cut off from the wounded, the dying, and the dead. And sent as trophy to Badr Khan Beg. All the chiefs of Tyari were killed in the massacre, besides thirty priests, and sixty deacons, Mar Shimoons's brother Kasha Sadok, and his nephew Jesse, and many of his relatives. In the month of October 1846, a united force of Badr Khan Beg and Noorallah Beg entered the Tkhooma district, and committed ravages too horrible to be related. During the invasion 300 hundred women and as many children were brutally put to the sword in one indiscriminate slaughter; only two girls who were left for dead on the field escaped to relate the sad tale of this horrible tragedy.
The Kurds then attacked the men, who had taken up a most disadvantageous position in a valley, where they were soon surrounded by their enemies, and after fighting bravely for two hours gave up the contest. Numbers were killed in attempting to escape, and as many as one hundred prisoners, mostly women and children, were afterwards taken from the houses, which were then fired by the Kurds, as were the trees and other cultivation in the neighborhood. These unfortunate victims were then brought before Noorallah Beg and the lieutenant governor of Jezeerah, as they sat near one of the churches, and heard their doom pronounced by those blood-thirsty barbarians: Make an end of them', said they. A few of the girls, remarkable for their beauty, were spared, the rest were immediately seized and put to death" (Nestorians and Their Rituals, pp. 370)
Estimated Property Values in Tyari:
Places Sheep Oxen Muskets Church and House properties (in Tcerkhies)
Four villages of Walto 9000 1000 400 15000
Ishte d'Nahra 5000 100 150 8000
Beth Mariggo 1800 50 60 9500
Mabbuaa 1500 34 64 4000
Dadosh 4500 120 150 14000
Ko 3500 90 70 5500
Chamba 8000 100 200 30600
Kalayatha 3000 80 160 16100
Athra d'Roomta 8000 180 400 22000
Siadhor 1000 30 53 3500
Serspeedho 3000 150 160 8000
Asheetha 20000 1500 500 31500
Zaweetha 3000 500 160 13500
Minyanish 2500 400 140 15500
Five villages of Lagippa 18000 200 550 27000
Matha d'Kasra, Leezan, Zerni 16000 220 560 30000
Beth Rawole 120 100 200 10000
Salabeken and Be-Alatha 330 260 600 31500
 Besides the property of Sheeno, the head of this village, valued at 5000 Tcerkhies.
 Besides 16 mules belonging to this village, as also the property of Malek Ismaeel, valued at 100,000 Tcerkhies, and that of Chief Auraham at 7000, and that of Samano at 4000.
 Besides the property of Khiyyo, valued at 50,000 Tcerkhies; also the property of Audisho, valued at 5000 Tcerkhies.
 Also the property of Malek Deelo, and of the chief Zarwanda, valued severally at 4000 and 2000 Tcerkhies.
 Also the property of Sulmo and Shimmon, valued at 7000 Tcerkhies.
 Besides the property of Maleks Barkho, Chico, Hasaddo, and of the priest Jindo, valued at 8500 Tcerkhies.
The above table does not include the property of Mar Shimoon, valued at 50000 Tcerkhies.
After the attack upon Tyari, Noorallah exacted from the mountain Nestorians the following sums:
From the province of Jeelu 30000 Tcerkhies
From the province of Baz 15000 Tcerkhies
From the province of Tkhoma 10000 Tcerkhies
Estimated Property Values in Diz:
Places Sheep Oxen Muskets Church and House properties (in Tcerkhies)
Golozor 3500 320 85 6500
Soowwa 500 90 25 1660
Koorsen 1300 220 67 3870
Chiri-Chara 4500 160 350 10000
Mades 800 190 54 2000
Mar Kuriakos 450 75 23 1350
Choolchan 760 60 26 4300
Akose 1360 180 94 2900
Beth Shamasha 1600 250 115 5100
Saramos 700 150 55 2960
Rabban dad'Yeshua 100 30 6 800
Makeeta 300 60 20 1100
Number of person killed in Dez: 850
 Besides the property of Malek Neesan, valued at 2500 Tcerkhies.
 Besides the property of Malek Oda, valued at 5000 Tcerkhies.
 Besides the property of the chief of Nakhwashu, valued at 3500 Tcerkhies.
In Lebanon, from April to July, more than sixty villages of Al-Matn and Al-Shuf were burned to ashes by the Druze and Kurdish forces. The big towns then followed. The Ottoman garrison commander again offered the Maronite population asylum, as he had offered to the small villages, asking for the surrender of their arms and then slaughtering them in the local serai. Such was the fate of Dayr al-Qamar, which lost 2600 men; Jazzin and environs, where 1500 were slaughtered; Hasbayya, where 1000 of 6000 were cold bloodedly killed; Rashayya, where 800 perished. The orders for Hasbayya were that no male between seven and seventy years of age should be spared. Malicious eyes feasted on mangled, intermingled bodies of old and young in the courtyard of the Shihabi palace. Zahla, largest among the towns with 12000 inhabitants, held out for a short time and then succumbed under an attack by a host including fighters from Harwan and Bedouins from the desert. The town lay snugly in a deep ravine carved by the Bardawni flowing from the Mount Sannin. Hardly a house escaped the flames. The total loss of life within the span of three months and a space of a few miles was estimated at 12000. From Lebanon the spark of hate flew to Damascus and ignited a reservoir of Muslim ill-feeling generated by the policy of Ibrahim Pasha and the egalitarian provisions of Khatti Humayun. The Assyrian quarter was sent on fire and some 11000 of its inhabitants were put to the sword.
Monday, January 1, 1895
Kurdish soldiers attack and butcher 13,000 men and women in the city of Urfa (i.e., Ancient Urhai). This time the attackers were indiscriminate, slaughtering Assyrians of various churches. One soldier, Sheik Hassan, boasted that he alone killed 40 Assyrians during that day. The Kurdish soldiers besieged the city to prevent Christians from escaping, and slowly entered the village and murdered every Assyrian in site.
Assyrian population centers were attacked in the following order:
1. Village of Soyirkah
2. City of Bila Jokah
3. City of Amid
4. Village of Mlatiya
5. Mar'ash and Siwas, and all their surrounding villages.
Although the number of murdered victims is approximate, several fleeing eyewitnesses as well as captive women all agree that the number exceeds 100,000. (Gorgis, Deacon Asman Alkass, Jirah Fi Tarikh Al-syrian, Trans. Subhi Younan. 1980. pp. 19).
November 3,1895 Tel Mozilt (3000 Assyrian inhabitants)
On the morning of November 3, the neighboring Kurdish tribes pillaged and looted the city. Abrahim Pasha, the Turkish authority in the region, immediately dispatched a force to stop the attackers. On November 4th 4, the Kurds repeated the attack, which was again arrested by the Turkish leader. This time, however, many casualties met their fate
Massacres which took Place in the Assyrian Villages in 1915
The following villages were attacked and their Assyrian inhabitants killed. The number of the casualties is unknown.
* Waren Shehir
* Tel Reman
* Sheb'een (Qarahasan)
* Kfar Dis Mamra Koniya
* Deir az-Zor
* Ras al-Ain
* Amid (Diyarbakir)
* Hisn Kifa
* Deir as-Salib
* Ain Ward
* Hwar Gaj
* Deir Mar Aho
* Deir az-Zaffron
Turkish troops and Kurdish tribesmen invade and plunder the villages of Urmia.
February 25, 1915
Turkish and Kurdish troops attacked the village of Gulpashan, one of the most prosperous villages of Urmia. Almost all of the men ware shot, and most of the women were violated. March 5, 1915 About 800 Assyrians who remained in Salamas, most of whom were old people, with some of the poorer and younger women, were gathered together and killed. April, 1915 Massacre in Gawar and other districts in Turkey. The number of martyrs is unknown.
1915 Tel Mozilt
Twenty years later, the Turkish saviors of 1895 were now the attackers of the 600 Assyrian homes in cooperation with neighboring Kurdish tribes. After capturing the city, they took all the men they found between the ages of 12 and 70, a total of 475, and imprisoned them.
The next morning, the prisoners were taken out in rows of four and shot. After some arguments between the Kurds and the Turkish officials on what to do with the young boys and girls left behind, the army decided to slay them as well. Approximately 1,500 children, among them Reverend Gabrial (the red-bearded priest), were murdered. Agha Ayoob Hamzah personally butchered the Priest. (Gorgis, Deacon Asman Alkass, Jirah Fi Tarikh Al-syrian, Trans. Subhi Younan. 1980. pp. 24).
March 5, 1915
Turkish and Kurdish troops attacked their village of Gulpashan, one of the most prosperous villages of Urmia. Almost all of the men were shot, and most of the women were violated.
March 3, 1918: The Assassination of Mar Benyamin Shimun
"On the 3rd day of March, 1918, the Patriarch sat in his carriage, and with a bodyguard of one hundred and fifty horseman started for the headquarters of the Kurdish chieftain, Simkoo. He went to assure the notorious brigands that he could remain absolutely certain of the peaceful attitude of the Assyrians, provided his own men indulged no longer in deeds of violence and lawlessness. But was not this noble, brave and Christian attitude of a great Patriarch equivalent to the giving of bread to the dogs and the casting of pearls before the swine? The news of Mar Shimon's departure preceded him; and before his arrival, the great assassin, who could hardly believe the report, stationed seven hundred of his best marksmen in concealed and commanding positions, with the order to shoot simultaneously at the sight of the Patriarch, when he emerged from the house of their chieftain after the visit. No servant could have received his master with a great honor. The Patriarch was escorted into the house. Two of his bodyguard accompanied him within. The others remained outside. The apparent absence of the Kurds from environs of their chieftain's residence took the Assyrians off their guard. In the course of the friendly interview between the Patriarch and The Kurdish chief, one of the men who had accompanied Mar Shimon into the house, noticed from the window the presence of the concealed Kurds on the surrounding roofs. Realizing the full import of the situation, the attendant said to the Patriarch, in Assyrian: " My Lord, our end is certain, permit me to kill this dog (Simkoo) just to avenge The blood that will surely be shed." The Patriarch, with an incredulous smile, bade his attendant be calm. "My Lord," repeated the Assyrian guard, "they will surely kill us all, let me kill this dog, perhaps we can save your life!" The Patriarch restrained his attendant again. He arose to depart, accompanied By Simko to the door. The later shook the hand of his guest, and went back into the house. And just as Mar Shimon was seated in his carriage, surrounded by his bodyguard, the seven hundred Kurds fired, all simultaneously, into the group of their unsuspecting victims. Only six of these men escaped, with wounds in their bodies, to give the news of the tragedy, and tell the story of the Patriarch's assassination. " (The Flickering Light of Asia. pp. 123-125).
1918 The Massacre of the Assyrians in Khoi, Persia
" In order to accommodate the mountaineer Assyrian refugees, who had fled into Persia, the Fate Mar Shimon Benyamin had arranged for some thirty five hundred Assyrians, mostly Thorn Tkhooma, to reside in the district of Khoi, These Assyrians were attacked and massacred by Kurds. Here is a description of this Moslem barbarism given by the Rev John Eshoo, who himself was one of those few that escaped in a most miraculous way from the wrath of Islam He Writes; `You have undoubtedly heard of the Assyrian massacre of Khoi, but I am certain you do not know the details Here had migrated a part of our people, and on~fourth of or refugees were stationed in Sardavar (Khoi). These Assyrians were assembled into one caravansary, and all shot to death by guns and revolvers. Blood literally flowed in little streams, and the entire open space within the caravansary became a pool of crimson liquid~ The place was too small to hold all the living victims for the work of execution. They were brought in groups, and each new group compelled to stand up over the heap of the still bleeding bodies, and was shot to death in the same manner The fearful place became literally a human slaughter house, receiving its speechless victims, in groups of ten and twenty at a time, for execution. At the same time, the Assyrians, who were residing in the suburb of the city, were brought together and driven into the spacious courtyard of a house. . .The Assyrian refugees were kept under guard for eight days, without anything to eat except a handful of popcorn served daily to each individual, This consideration was by no means intended as a humanitarian act, but merely to keep the victims alive for the infliction upon them of the most revolting tortures at a convenient time set for their execution. At last they were removed from their place of confinement and taken to a spot prepared for their brutal killing. These helpless Assyrians marched like lambs to their slaughter, and they opened not their mouth, save by sayings "Lord, into thy hands we commit our spirits~= The procession of the victims was led by two green turbaned Sayids (the highest religious order in Islam), one with an open book in his hand, reading from it aloud the passages pertaining to the holy war, and the other carrying a large bladed knife, the emblem of execution When the procession arrived at the place appointed, the executioners began by cutting first the fingers of their victims, join by joint, till the two hands were entirely amputated~ Then they were stretched on the ground, after the manner of the animals that are slain in the Fast, but these with their faces turned upward, and their heads resting upon the stones or blocks of wood Then their throats were half cut, so as to prolong their torture of dying, and while struggling in the agony of death, the victims were kicked and clubbed by heavy poles the murderers carried Many of them, while still laboring under the pain of death, were thrown into ditches and buried before their souls had expired- The young men and the able-bodied men were separated from among the very young and the old They were taken some distance from the city and used as targets by the shooters They all fell: a few not mortally wounded One of the leaders went close to the heaps of the fallen and shouted aloud, swearing by the names of Islam's prophets that those who had not received mortal wounds should rise and depart, as they would not be harmed any more. A few.- thus deceived. stood up, but only to tall this time dead by another volley from the guns of the murderers. Some of the younger and goodly looking women, together with a few little girls of attractive appearance, who pleaded to be killed. against their will were forced into lslam's harems. Others were subjected to such fiendish insults that I cannot possibly describe. Death. however, came to their rescue. and saved them from the vile passions of the demons.' The Assyrian victims of this massacre totaled twenty-seven hundred and seventy men, women and children," (The Flickering Light of Asia, pp. 156-58).
1962 - Barwar, Iraq
Thirty-three Assyrians were killed by the forces of the Kurdish chief Mustafa Barazani. The Following is the list for the names of those who were killed:
Esho Jajou Belathi Sliwo Aprim Choushino Belathi Jajou Mandou Youkhana Belathi Loqou Hanou Sliwo Odisho Belathi Bobou Shamizden Youkhana Belathi Kasha JaIlou Parto Belathi Shamasha Gewargis Markos Odisho Belathi Pityou lather of Zadouq Jajou Sliwo Bolathi Youkhana Toman Ishac Belathi Gewargis Londo Yonan Yousip Zaya Daoud Sawa Chokhaya KashaWarda Marcus Bet Hanou Chobou Bet Qashisha Warda Gisou Baba Dishbata Dinkha Qisrani Hasdo from Daraah Hasdou Hasdou's brother from Sardashi Baba brother of Eshaya
Two Martyrs could not be identified (History of Mar Youalaha of Barwar, pp. 42-43).
April 26, 1969
Margaret Giwargis "The Assyrian Lioness" was killed by Kurds in Aqare Sorya.
anuary 13, 1993
Five Assyrians were shot and butchered by Kurdish Turks in the village of Mzezakh.
(Furkono Magazine, Vol. 1, Issue 3, October 1997, pp. 43).
July 8, 1993
Ninos Samir murdered in Zakho by Kurds.
December 17, 1994
Zaya Yonadam murdered in Arbel by Kurds.
March 6, 1995
Mr. Edward Khoshaba of Aqla was tending his sheep last year when he came across 3 Kurds who had killed and butchered some of his livestock. When confronted, the Kurds attempted to kill Mr. Khoshaba. Mr. Khoshaba was able to kill two of the attackers before the third fled to his home village. Reportedly, when the Kurd returned to his home village, a celebration had ensued as the Kurdish villagers had assumed that the Kurdish intruders had successfully killed Mr. Khoshaba in addition to his livestock. When they learned that 2 of the Kurdish intruders had died instead, the entire village mobilized to exact revenge.
Mr. Khoshaba likewise fled to an area controlled by his Assyrian compatriots. A standoff ensued for some time until Mr. Khoshaba's parents (fearing a wholesale escalation in violence) convinced Mr. Khoshaba to turn himself in to the local authorities for an investigation and trial. Needless to say, the Kurdish authorities released Mr. Khoshaba to the relatives of the Kurdish intruders. He was tied up in their village and eventually butchered into hundreds of pieces on March 6, 1995. Prior to his death, he was reportedly struck in the head repeatedly by an axe by one of the elder women of the village. NONE of his murderers have been brought to justice. There has been no investigation of these crimes. There has been no investigation of the authorities who evaded their responsibilities.
The Kurdish leader who reportedly heads this village is Qaem QamFarzanda Zbeer. Mr.Zbeer has now extended his threats, persecutions, and vast land expropriations to the Assyrian village of Hzarjat.
January 13, 1996
On January 13, 1996 Wassan Mishael, a sixteen year old girl from Simel was kidnapped by armed Kurds. She was threatened and forced to renounce her Christian faith. Then she was forced to marry one of the Kurdish kidnappers. The attackers have been found and identified. The information has been brought to the attention of the local governmental officials. There has been no investigation. None of the attackers have been brought to justice, there has been no trial.
May 12, 1996
In Ankawa, a militia group affiliated with the Kurdish Student coalition attacked an Assyrian Student gathering and killed Peris Merza, the assistant director of the Assyrian Democratic movement headquarters in Arbel, and Samir Moshi, a guard at the Ashur Television Station. These two Assyrians tried to peacefully stop the attack by the Kurdish mob on the Assyrian youths gathered at the Assyrian student club.
April 27, 1997
On April 27, 1997, an unarmed Assyrian from Shaqlawa, Mr. Sabri Odo Sowrish (58 years old) was assassinated while he worked in his store in Sedara, Arbil. He was struck by three bullets fired from a silencer. Shortly thereafter, another assassination attempt by means of a silencer was directed against another Assyrian from Ankawa while he was working in his store in the center of Arbil. The Assyrian defended himself and was lucky to survive the attack. The assailant escaped.
September 25, 1997
Iskandar Araz and his wife were attacked at their home in the village of Mzezakh in Southern Turkey by Turkish Kurds. (Syrian Orthodox Resources, 1997).
December 13, 1997
On 13/12/97 a group of militants belonging to the Kurdish Labour Party (PKK) attacked six Assyrians through in the district of Mangeesh-Duhok, Northern Iraq. Two of the Assyrians were killed immediately and the others were wounded; the armed group killed the four wounded. Wardia Yousif, the wife of one of the victims, Naji Mikho, survived and was wounded in her leg. The victims were:
* Slewo Jumaa
* Samir Esho
* Majid Shimon
* Arkhan Hermiz
* Salam Yousif
* Naji Mikho
Salam Yousif was a member of the Assyrian Democratic Movement (ADM Bulletin, December 14, 1997).
December 9, 1998
On Wednesday, December 9th, 1998 Mrs. Nasreen Hana Shaba born in 1963 and her young daughter Larsa born in 1995 were killed when a bomb exploded in their home. The bomb was planted by unknown assailants in the home of Mr. Najat Toma, located in the district of Terawa in Arbil. Mrs. Nasreen Hana Shaba and her daughter Larsa were killed when they opened the door to their home, which triggered the bomb.
Assyrians visiting from Iraq have reported that bombings of such technical sophistication must be engineered by these same major Kurdish organizations or the Iraqi regime. Since the Kurdish groups are in control of the area, have remained silent, and have refused to mount any investigation into the attacks, it is generally believed that these Kurdish groups are responsible for the attacks.
(AINA and Bahra [magazine of the Assyrian Democratic Movement] reports).
June 19, 1999
Helena Sawa, 21 year old Assyrian woman murdered in North Iraq
helena.jpg (13583 bytes)
Early in June, the body of Ms. Helena Aloun Sawa, an Assyrian woman, was found by a shepherd partially buried in a shallow grave in Dohuk province near Dohuk dam.
Ms. Sawa was a twenty-one year old Assyrian from the village of Bash in the Nerwa o Rakan region of Dohuk province. Ms. Sawa was the daughter of Mr. Aloun Sawa, an Assyrian member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). Mr. Sawa died in 1991 and was formally recognized by the KDP as a martyr and, as is customary for fallen fighters of the KDP, the party had promised a pension to the Sawa family in recognition of the sacrifice made by Mr. Sawa. After only two monthly stipends, however, the pension was inexplicably denied to the Sawa family while other Kurdish families continued to receive their pensions.
When the Sawa family appealed to the KDP for reinstatement of the pension, the KDP instead suggested that the Sawa's turn over their young daughter Helena to work as a housekeeper for a senior KDP leader in order to continue the monthly payments. Thus, out of desperation the Sawa's were obliged to ask their daughter to work for a pension that other Kurdish families were provided outright. Consequently, Ms. Sawa came to work in the home of Mr. Azet Al Din Al Barwari, a higher echelon KDP operative and a leading member of the political bureau of the KDP. Ms. Sawa lived and worked in the Al Barwari home and was allowed to return to her family's home only once monthly.
Most recently, Ms. Sawa was expected home for her monthly furlough from work on May 5, 1999. When she did not arrive at her family home, the concerned Sawa family inquired regarding Helena's whereabouts. The Sawa family had already been deeply troubled about Helena's well being since she had appeared agitated and distraught on her previous visits home. Mr. Al Barwari and the KDP denied any knowledge about Ms. Sawa's whereabouts since she was alleged by the Kurds to have left the Al Barwari home on May 3. The KDP offered no assistance in searching for Ms. Sawa. Mr. Al Barwari has used his authority within the KDP to intimidate the Sawa family into not pursuing an investigation of the crime. Once again, the KDP’s reluctance to launch an investigation and Mr. Al Barwari’s intimidation has led many Assyrians to suspect KDP and Al Barwari complicity in the murder of Ms. Sawa.
More than four weeks after her disappearance, Ms. Sawa’s shallow grave was discovered by a shepherd tending his flock. The decomposed body was partially exposed and appeared to have been partially eaten by scavenging wild animals. The Sawa family was brought to the burial site in order to provide a positive identification of the remains of the body. Following identification, the body was exhumed and taken to a Dohuk hospital for examination. Because of the mysterious circumstances of Ms. Sawa’s murder and the family’s belief that she may have been raped, an autopsy was requested. However, because of Kurdish intimidation, the final report has been delayed and is not expected to be scientifically objective or valid.
-- Peter B(reposted by Jeff)
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