Chris Bowen has again appealed for the Australian parliament and states around the world to take action on the plight of Assyrian Christians facing persecution by ISIL.

Calling the Assyrians one of the ‘primary’ enemies of ISIL, Mr Bowen outlined some of the horrific injustices causing the Assyrian people to flee for their lives. He highlighted the Labor Party’s bi-partisan support for Australian efforts to act in this unprecedented situation.

This echoes Philip Ruddock and Chris Hayes’ efforts to implement a ‘Kosovo Style’ solution allowing refugees temporary safe haven visas in Australia, with the ultimate goal of pressuring other states to act in-kind.

Watch Chris Bowen's speech here.


Taken from Hansard 24/06/2015

Mr BOWEN (McMahon) (13:33): On many occasions in the past this House has considered the plight of the Assyrian people of Iraq and Syria and today, unfortunately, I have to rise again and update the House on their plight.

The Assyrian people, of course—Christian by religion—are the indigenous people of Iraq and Syria. They have been targeted by the cult, Daesh. Daesh has many enemies, of course, but the Assyrian people are primary amongst them. Just between June 2014 and July 2014 alone 45 Assyrian churches were destroyed. Clergy have been targeted and murdered, and many thousands of Assyrians in Mosul, the Nineveh plains, Kubu and the Al-Hasakah province have been forced to flee.

It is the case that the Assyrian people are the subject of what is an attempt by Daesh at genocide. It is important that the world not allow this to occur. This has been one of the reasons the opposition has provided bipartisan support to Australia's efforts and will continue to do so.

The Assyrian people are a great people. They have suffered continual persecution at successive hands both in Iraq and Syria. They deserve to be in the thoughts, prayers and considerations of this parliament and parliaments, congresses and democratic forums throughout the world because they are a good people who have been persecuted for far too long and they deserve not only to be in our thoughts but in our actions as well.