In memory of the martyrs of Simele massacre 1933
Today marks 85 years of the Simele Massacre against indigenous Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people in Iraq with colossal suffering and with the objective of ethnic cleansing. Following the Iraqi independence and establishment of the whole political, social and economic system in the Iraq, the Simele Massacre had been committed against Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people in the Northern Iraq around Dohuk and in the Simele.
In August 1933, Iraqi forces massacred civilians in Simele and at the villages of Dohuk and Mosul. According to different sources around 3000 civilians had been killed and residential areas had been destroyed. During the massacre men, women, children and elders had been victim without any distinction. The remnants of 1915 Sayfo Genocide under Ottoman-Turkish rule had been once again object of genocide. To note, well known lawyer Raphael Lemkin had been inspired from these two events in order to coin the term of “genocide”.
Almost a century after the Simele Massacre, the existence and survival of Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people in Iraq is in dangerous level following the arrival of ISIS and the subsequent exodus from Nineveh Plains. With the forced and massive exodus from Nineveh Plains towns and villages Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people emptied their ancestral lands with destruction of churches, monasteries and villages.
Remembering and recognizing past atrocities and massacres is moral obligation and responsibility for humanity in order to prevent future crimes against humanity and genocide in all forms. In that sense, remembering Simele Massacre, Sayfo Genocide and other massacres against Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian is crucial to enlighten history. European Syriac Union, ESU will undertake various activities and events to commemorate this dark page of our people.
With this regard, European Syriac Union, ESU call on Iraqi government and authorities to officially acknowledge the Simele Massacre and make necessary arrangement to add it in the educational curriculum to be well known for all Iraqi people and on the same time we call international community to stand against all forms of massacres, crimes against humanity and genocide.