Does anyone know if AUA has any presence in Iraq today?
Australian Contractors Killed As Assyrian Christians Face Daily Persecution in Iraq
Two Australian private contractors have been killed in Iraq on Sunday with a third being treated for injury after a bomb went off destroying the car they were travelling in. This comes as a conference was held recently to highlight the plight of the Assyrian Christians living in Iraq.
The Foreign Affairs Parliamentary Secretary Greg Hunt confirmed the attack and on Sky News described the attack as 'carefully planned and ruthless executed' to bring a lethal outcome, which sadly materialised.
The men were employed by the privately-owned United Arab Emirates-based BLP International which secured the lucrative contract to provide training services for the Iraqi National Police Service in 2004, reported AAP.
A conference was recently held last Monday to discuss about alleviating the persecution and suffering of Christians in the Middle East. Mr. Hermiz Shahen, the Secretary of the Assyrian Universal Alliance in Australia told the delegates about the sad plight that the Assyrian Christians are living in Iraq on a daily basis.
In his speech, he talked about Assyrian churches being bombed and young Assyrian girls being abducted and raped by criminal gangs who were subsequently force to marry Muslim men. He also spoke about the discrimination facing them in areas such as education and property law.
"Currently in Iraq, the persecution and oppression of Assyrians by different Islamic Fundamentalist groups continues unabated. We keep receiving disturbing news on a daily basis including the following: Assyrian churches being bombed; Assyrians are still being killed, kidnapped or assaulted; young Assyrian girls are being raped by criminal gangs who abduct and forced to marry Muslim men; Assyrians are being removed from their homes in the cities of Baghdad, Mosul, Kirkuk and Basra; Assyrian students are being deprived of education; properties owned by Assyrians have been confiscated; Assyrian priests and children are being abducted and beheaded; and Assyrians are being persecuted and punished for non-compliance with Islamic (Shari'a) Laws," he said.
Mr. Shahen, congratulated Reverend the Hon. Fred Nile MLC on behalf of the Assyrian Australian Community and the Assyrian Universal Alliance for organising the conference and for taking the initiative in supporting the plight of the embattled Christians in the Middle East and in particular the Assyrian people of Iraq.
By Robert Williams