Washington (AINA) -- On January 20, 2011 The Assyrian Democratic Movement, American Mesopotamian Organization, and the Iraqi Christian Relief Council attended a hearing held by Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. The topic of the hearing was the continued persecution and mass murder of the indigenous Christian populations of Iraq and Egypt.
A Congressional bi-partisan delegation delivered a tough message to the Obama administration to take the attacks on the Christians of Iraq and Egypt seriously. "Human Rights have been significantly demoted in the past two years, and it's appalling," said Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J. His sentiments were echoed by David William Lazar of the American Mesopotamian Organization: "The people of the US have shed blood and spent billions of dollars to transform Iraq into a full-fledged democracy, all these sacrifices will be meaningless if the future of the indigenous people of Iraq is not secured". "There have been so many hearings which have been held throughout the last 7 years and we are yet to see any substantial action to be taken to protect the Christians of Iraq", said Juliana Taimoorazy of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council.
In addition to attending the hearing, the three organizations mentioned above met with both Republican and Democratic congress and senate members outlining their concerns on the following important issues:
* Adopt a resolution calling for the creation of the 19th province in the Nineveh plain region
* Recruitment of more Christians for the police force.
* Assist in building the economy of the Nineveh plain region by providing micro-lending opportunities.
* Investigate the misappropriation of USAID funds spent in 2008 and 2009.
* Pressure the Kurdistan Regional Government to remove its secret police and militia known as "Peshmerga" from the Nineveh Plain region.
The Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac representatives were extremely optimistic with the commitment they witnessed from the House and Senate representatives. There were several meetings arranged and attended with different human rights and advocacy organizations, seeking their support in the future lobbying efforts.
While in Washington, Taimoorazy was interviewed by the Concerned Women for America radio. Taimoorazy spoke of the importance of the American media in achieving what the Assyrian nation is set to accomplish.
The Obama Administration must create policies which will protect and help the Iraqi Christians in their ancestral homeland. If such actions are not taken immediately, then the lack of a clear and focused American Policy to protect the most vulnerable community in Iraq will be indirectly responsible for its extinction from that country.http://www.aina.org/news/20110125210439.htm