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Assyrian Universal Alliance Media Release

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Most countries of the Middle East, are undergoing difficult political circumstances, and these circumstances affect public security and reflect the transgressions of civil and human rights by their non-democratic governments; governments that control the people of these countries, especially the oppressed indigenous peoples in the region.

Consequent upon abuses of all relevant international human and citizenship covenants, our Assyrian people are subjected to endless persecution and denial of their human rights, the confiscation of their lands and properties, and the forced departure from their homeland; with their political institutions being used as a tool and trumpet in support of their corrupt non democratic governments.

Among these well-known Assyrian political institutions that suffer from these pressures is the international umbrella organisation, the Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA), which currently has as its Secretary General, Mr Yonathan Betkolia, also a member of the Iranian parliament representing Assyrians of Iran.

The most recent statements issued by an Iranian News agency in relation to the recent US air raid targeting Qasim Soleimani, an Iranian general of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, quoted Mr Betkolia, an Assyrian Member of the Iranian Parliament’s condemnation of the US attack, as also purporting to extend Mr Betkolia’s comments to represent those of AUA, the latter being officially denied by Mr Betkolia. The fact is that Mr Betkolia’s stand as an Iranian MP do not reflect the position of the AUA.

Realising the conflicting status of Mr Betkolia serving both as an Iranian MP and as the Secretary General of AUA, and the impediment that causes to the Assyrian national cause, serious attempts have been made by the AUA - Australia Chapter, together with other members in the Executive Board and Board of advisors in both Europe and America, to compel Mr. Betkolia to resign his position in AUA and to cease making statements in the name of AUA without consensus.

Appreciating the importance of an immediate leadership change and having regard to the paramount interest of the Assyrian cause, efforts are continuing to be vigorously made to call a congress in a non- Middle Eastern country to achieve this objective.

To that end, and in order to represent the impartial, politically unbiased stand of AUA, it is hereby announced that the deputy Secretary General of AUA, Mr. Hermiz Shahen, calls for carrying out the tasks of the AUA, in place of Mr Betkolia and to be the Spokesperson for the AUA, until such time that the AUA calls a congress for the purpose of electing a new leadership team carrying the confidence of the Assyrian people and representing the paramount interest and objectives of our ancient Assyrian nation, in the manner that accords with the constitutional principles and objectives of the AUA founded in 1968.

Hermiz Shahen

Deputy Secretary General,

Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA)


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