Yezidi activist Nadia Murad and 34 human rights organizations to Pope Francis: Visit comes at a pivot time for minorities in Iraq

BAGHDAD — Yezidi human rights activist and 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad joined the list of signatories to an open letter sent by international non-governmental organizations and Iraqi human rights groups to His Holiness, Pope Francis, welcoming him to Iraq, according to the Vatican News website.

The letter, signed by 34 organizations and groups, calls for adequate protection of minorities in Iraq, threatened by terrorist groups and unjust laws, most notably in Nineveh Plains, home to hundreds of thousands of Yezidis and Christians.

Murad signed the letter on behalf of the Nadia Initiative, a non-governmental organization which she founded to defend survivors of sexual violence and help rebuild societies in times of crisis.

The letter indicated that the papal visit, which comes at a critical moment in the history of Iraq, is an important opportunity to consolidate peace and inspire collective action to prevent further atrocities that cause suffering for future generations.

She also stressed that minorities in Iraq are facing increasing levels of persecution and violent attacks based on religious beliefs, which has forced tens of thousands to flee from their homelands.

Also Read: Pope Francis’ Visit Offers an Opportunity for Christians in Iraq — Nadine Maenza