- Dispute on ownership of land
- Escalation of disagreement into a scuffle causing injuries
- The matter has been referred to court
In a follow up to the land dispute between the Assyrian people of the village of and a Kurdish family claiming ownership of part of the land. Our correspondent from Duhok Mr Naseem Sadiq, has been following the case since its beginning.
In April this year, Naseem Sadiq interviewed Lina Bahram, a former member of the KRG parliament and a lawyer. She is from the Assyrian village of Badarash and has closely followed the matter.
She told SBS Assyrian that this land dispute dates back to 2011-2012, and no legal agreement has been reached about the ownership yet.
In 2020, A Kurdish family started claiming they had ownership of parts of the lands in that village, claiming they had documentation and proof that they had the rights to those lands.
Ms Bahram said a member of this family produced documents proving his land ownership. Ms Bahram said- she didn't believe there was any legality to the documents, according to law by the government that prohibited the acquisition of the land by the individuals.
Ms Bahram says the Kurdish family has never been to these lands since the 1920s and never cultivated or lived on these lands and only Assyrians were living and working on these lands.
Listen to the Arabic translation here.
You can listen to the details of the interview in Assyrian here.
On 11 May 2022, several Kurdish men came back to the village and started putting fences around the land they claimed belonged to them. The Assyrians from the town of Badarash confronted those men and tried to stop them from erecting the wall, claiming that it was their land.
This incident resulted in a confrontation and a scuffle where the Mukhtar (selected head of the village), Zaia Minas, was physically assaulted and hurt.
The police of the area came and arrested two Assyrians, Mr Minas and a young man James Polus who was filming the incident when it happened and the police arrested the Kurdish group involved in the quarrel. They were detained at the police station for 24 hours and then released.
This incident created an angry reaction among Assyrians worldwide on social media, blaming the Kurds for grabbing the Assyrian lands.
SBS Assyrian saw it as very important to find out the other side of this dispute to balance the story's reporting.
The case has been escalated, seriously handled by the authority and brought to the court to put a final resolution to this dispute.
Naseem Sadiq interviewed Sabri Haider in Kurdish. You can listen to the interview by clicking below.
Both interviews were translated into Arabic and read by Naseem Sadiq for the purpose of clarity and transparency.
To listen to the Arabic translation with Attorney Sabri Haider, click below.