Update to Response to Information Request IRQ6217 of 17 July 1990 on the treatment of Assyrians and Christians [IRQ19191.E]

Regarding the treatment of religious minorities by the Iraqi government, Country Reports 1993 states that
[t]he Government has been less intrusive into the religious affairs of Iraq's Christians a small community of approximately 300,000. Their freedom of worship in churches of established denominations is legally protected, but they may not proselytize or hold meetings outside church premises (1994, 1189).

A professor of political science specializing on Iraq at Colombia University in New York states that Iraqi Christians, including Assyrians, are not a target of ill-treatment because of their religion (5 Dec. 1994). However, they could be ill-treated for engaging in anti-government political activities (ibid.).

Amnesty International Report 1994 states that
[t]housands of government opponents and their relatives arrested in previous years remained held throughout 1993 .... They included Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians and Turcomans arrested during the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s as well as thousands of others arrested since the March 1991 uprising (1994, 167).

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Amnesty International. 1994. Amnesty International Report 1994. New York: Amnesty International USA.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1993. 1994. United States Department of State. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office.

Professor of political science specializing on Iraq, Colombia University, New York. 5 December 1994. Telephone interview.