On Thursday 29 November 2012, the notice of motion that was raised in the Senate, regarding the plight of Assyrian Christians in Iraq, by Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, was passed successfully with minor changes pursuant to standing order 77. Senator Fierravanti-Wells has called upon the Australian Federal Government to press the Iraqi Government to guarantee the rights of Christian Assyrians and other minorities.
A similar notice of motion was raised by The Hon.
Philip Ruddock MP, Federal Member for Berowra, New South Wales in the
House of Representatives on 28 November 2012 .
Senator Fierravanti-Wells moved the following motion on Wednesday 28 November 2012;
1072 Senator Fierravanti-Wells: moved--that the Senate--
(a) recognises that:
Christian Assyrians, a minority religious and racial group in Iraq, are
subject to ongoing violence, intimidation, harassment and
discrimination on religious and ethnic grounds at the hands of
(ii) on 31 October 2010, 58 Christian Assyrians were
killed in an attack on a church in Baghdad in an act of violent
extremism targeting this minority group,
(iii) since 2003, 600 000 Christian Assyrians have left Iraq, including many thousands to Australia, and
despite the rights guaranteed to minorities in Iraq, including
Assyrians, there are still cases of harassment, intimidation and
(b) condemns violence, intimidation, harassment
and discrimination on religious and ethnic grounds wherever it may be
found, including in Iraq;
(c) welcomes the stated commitment of
the Government of Iraq to the protection of the rights of Christians and
other minorities enshrined in Iraq's constitution, and the steps taken
by the Government of Iraq to address violence and discrimination,
(i) the formation of a Christian Police Force of
around 500 to protect Christians and churches, in the wake of the 2010
bombing attacks on churches, and
(ii) moves to establish an Independent High Commission for Human Rights; and
calls on the Government to continue to press the Iraqi Government to
guarantee the rights of Christian Assyrians and other minorities.
Assyrian Universal Alliance