The Assyrian National Petition
which was based on the
preceding Kurdish autonomous plan, included the following demands:
1. A constitutional amendment to the Iraqi Constitution, which was amended
on July 16, 1970, stating that the region where the majority of its inhabitants
are Assyrians (Syriac speaking Assyrians, Syrians and Chaldeans) should
be granted an autonomous status. Since the Revolutionary Command
Council issued a Decree on September 13, 1972 stating that the national
minorities in Iraq should have their own recognized administrative entities
to preserve its national character, and since the Command Council, by virtue
of its Decree, dated December 25, 1972, reinstated the citizenship to those
Assyrians who took part in the events of 1933, the Assyrian people are
entitled to their own administrative region as mentioned in the September
13, 1972 decree.
2. The Petition asked the Government to adopt the census of 1927 as
a base to determine the Assyrian population and Assyrian right for an autonomous
region in the Province of Dohuk. The Assyrians asked for the census
of 1927 instead of the one taken in 1957 which the Kurdish plan was based
on. The Assyrian Petition argued that the census of 1927 was taken
before the events of 1933 (Assyrian massacres) and before the Assyrian
region in the north was depopulated due to economical, political, and other
3. The Petition reminded the Government of Iraq about the decisions
of the League of Nations in 1925 regarding the assignment of the Province
of Mosul to Iraq with the condition that it should be used to settle the
Assyrians in the Province with their rights restored.
4. The Assyrians requested that the city of Dohuk should become the
capital of the autonomous Assyrian region. All the internal administrative
duties will be handled by the Assyrians.
5. The Petition asked that the Assyrian language should become the
official language of the proposed Assyrian autonomous region. The
teaching of the Arabic language in the region will be mandatory.
This Assyrian National Petition was accompanied with other supporting
documents, including one in which the Assyrian Committee gave undisputable
evidence proving that the so called "Syriac Speaking Assyrians, Syrians and
Chaldeans" constituted one nation and they were all descendants from the
ancient Assyrian people.
This well documented Assyrian National Petition was submitted to the
Government of Iraq in 1973, and so far the Assyrians have not heard an answer
from the said Government regarding this Petition. It is hoped that one day
the Iraqi Government will realize the wisdom of granting the Assyrians, the
loyal citizens of Bet-Nahrain (Iraq), their historical rights.
While awaiting an answer from the Government, the Assyrian people all over
the world were shocked to hear of the sudden death of Malik Yacu D'Malik Ismail
on January 25, 1974 in Baghdad. His son, Zia, took over the negotiations
and tried for more than a year to get an answer from the Government regarding
the Assyrian Petition. No answer was coming, so he left the country
disappointed. In a conversation with the author of this book, Malik Zia
D'Malik Yacu pointed out that the negotiations with the Government of Iraq were
handled by an Assyrian committee, consisting of all segments of the Assyrian
community in Iraq (Assyrians, Chaldeans, and Syrians). The committee was
headed by Malik Yacu. According to Malik Zia, no Assyrian organization was
involved in these negotiations.
The text of the Assyrian National Petition, and the supporting documents
regarding the origin of the Assyrian people, are reproduced here in their