IRAQ: Civil society organizations, incl. Shlomo Organization for Documentation, issue statement in support of victims of faith-based violence

IRAQ – On the international day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief, fifty-two international and Iraqi local civil society organizations, including the Shlomo Organization for Documentation, issued a statement in support of Iraqi victims of violence because of their belief or religion. The statement calls on the central government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government to take a series of serious steps in support and protection of victims of violence based on belief or religion.

The statement said; “On this international day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief around the world, we as civil society actors stand together in honor of those who have been persecuted and killed in Iraq because of their religion or beliefs,” and makes reference to the “ISIS genocide against ethnic and religious indigenous components in the Nineveh Plain and Sinjar, where ISIS massacred those who rejected conversion to Islam and destroyed numerous churches and temples.”

The fifty-two organizations call on the Government of Iraq, Kurdistan Regional Government, international community, and the United Nations to take a range of actions, including:

  • Adoption of legislation guaranteeing reparations for survivors and justice for victims of genocide;
  • Empowering groups working for social cohesion such as the Yazidi Survivors Network;
  • Promoting religious education in Iraq to educate the population about minorities, and integrating education on religious minorities into school curricula;
  • Implement innovative approaches to promote religious and cultural diversity using virtual reality technology;
  • Facilitate the convening of a conference to follow up and expand the ratification of the statement of religions by other religious communities.