ANKAWA, Kurdistan Region of Iraq — Joseph Sliwa, Vice President of the Bethnahrin Patriotic Union (Huyodo Bethnahrin Athroyo, HBA), strongly condemned the recent desecration of a Christian cemetery in Shaqlawa District, Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), calling for the perpetrators to be punished.
Sliwa emphasized the need for swift action, underscoring that such acts of disrespect towards the deceased undermine the principles of coexistence and mutual respect within the KRI.
In a statement to Suroyo TV, Sliwa highlighted the significance of Shaqlawa, situated in the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (KDP) sphere of influence, where tolerance and respect for all communities are deemed essential.
Expressing his dismay, Sliwa revealed that he has reached out to various officials, including representatives from the KDP, the Erbil Bishopric, and international organizations, sharing video evidence of the incident circulating on social media platforms.
Demanding accountability, Sliwa urged for the perpetrators to publicly apologize to the Christian community via a televised broadcast. He lamented the lack of substantive action taken thus far, asserting that mere rhetoric about coexistence from political leaders rings hollow without tangible measures to address such transgressions.
Moreover, Sliwa voiced concern over the silence of certain clergy and community members in the face of such violations, cautioning against the exploitation of Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian interests for political gain.