The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Elections Commission has confirmed that territories that are “under Peshmerga’s control” in Nineveh Province shall be included in the KRG independence referendum on Sept. 25th.

The referendum question will be:

“Do you want the Kurdistan Region and the Kurdistani areas outside the region’s administration to become an independent state?”

(“Kurdistani”: a newly invented political term by the KRG to designate lands where Kurds represent a consistent minority but are still deemed its rightful owners.)

This referendum comes after the Assyrian mayors of Alqosh and Tel Keppe were deposed by strategically placed Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) toads in the provincial council.

These mayors were then replaced by the KDP with members of the KDP.

Such acts were deliberately undertaken to promote and deliver the referendum in areas outside of the KRG.

Assyrians who have chosen to resist and protest these abuses in Alqosh have been targeted by the KDP and threatened with severe consequences if they should continue.

Yet they continue to resist.

None of the demands put forward by our political parties in Iraq have been met by the KRG. These demands, which included a rejection of the referendum in the Nineveh Plain, were all ignored.

Protests need to be organised in the lead up to a referendum being imposed on our people in the Nineveh Plain against their will.

It doesn’t matter how small or how large these protests are.

Show your community that, contrary to the endless lies in the media and the positive rhetoric from the political classes, Assyrians say “no”.

And that “no” is not in answer to the referendum question, but the referendum itself.

Just like Kurds in diaspora are voting “yes” and broadcasting their choice and support to the world, you must make your voice heard in unison with our people in Assyria:

We reject the referendum.

We reject being asked.

It doesn’t even matter which way the votes are cast on our part: our forced participation in it in the Assyrian heartland of Nineveh legitimizes the claim on our lands in the question itself.

That is the trick.

What is Nineveh if not Assyria?

What are we if we remain silent in these moments?

Express solidarity.

Give voice to those who are threatened for giving theirs. Join with those who already have.

If nothing else, that is the minimum we can do.

And must do.


Max J. Joseph