August 7 marks the Assyrian Martyrs Day commemorating 3,000 Assyrians whom the Iraqi government slaughtered on August 7, 1933.
The Assyrian people are one of the oldest (predominantly Christian) communities in Mesopotamia. They have lived in Mesopotamia for more than 6,700 years – their first king was crowned during a time that is not recorded on any calendar.
It is estimated that Assyrians number about 5 million people today. They are located in Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Syria. In Syria, they live in the north of Aleppo.
The Assyrian population used to be much larger than it is today, but the bombings, displacement of people, and genocide carried out by the Islamic State have caused a severe decline since 2003, with thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands forced to flee their homes.
Facts about August 7, 1933- Assyrian Martyrs Day
- Every year on August 7, Assyrian communities mark Assyrian Martyrs Day.
- The Assyrians have suffered since the 1930s under different governments in Iraq, especially during the Simeon II and Nuri-Said periods (1925-1934 and 1937-1939). The period was characterized by many arrests, hostage-taking, and mass executions.
- Around 1,000 Assyrians were arrested monthly, and 20% remained imprisoned for one or two years without any charges.
- In 1933, the government decreed the execution of all Assyrians who had not officially left Iraq. Around 3,000 Assyrians were killed in one day.
- The Assyrians' property was taken over and sold to compensate people who had been arrested.