Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Stop the Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing of the Mandaeans in Iraq

Written by  The Mandaean Human Rights Group


The Mandaeans Of Iraq situation in the last two months is getting to a genocide level by the Islamic militants and other evil powers and individuals in all Iraq not just IS (Islamic State) controlled area.

Mandaeans in areas under IS control have already fled to other areas and are living as refugees either inside Iraq or in Turkey, which some have fled to. The escape of more than 50 families from Ramadi, Fallujah and Abu Ghraib area close to Baghdad due to the constant threat and escalation of violence demonstrated by the IS. Some displaced families currently live in temporary shelters built by the Mandaeans in the Mendi area (worship area for Mandaeans).

The situation in Shia controlled areas of Iraq , is getting even worse The following are Killing and kidnapping cases that the MHRG (Mandaean Human Rights Group) has investigated and documented for this month (October 2014)

On October 1st 2014 A 36 year old man Atheir Abed Al Kader Lazim was kidnapped in the very centre of Bagdad during lunch time on the 12.102014 his body was found in a plastic bag with sever torture signs, he was killed by hanging with a robe; he leaves a pregnant wife and a daughter child. No belonging were stolen.

On the October 8th .2014 at 3 pm four houses inhabited by Mandaean families were burned at the same time in one area Al-Mostenseria – Baghdad , many injuries sustained by they occupants needed hospital treatment ,photos of the burned houses are available on request. .

On the October 11th 2014 In Misan Provence, in town of Mejjer Al Kbier at 5 PM a young man named Wasfi Abed Al Nabi L'abi Khalawi was shot with 3 shots 2 to the head and on to the spines He died later in the hospital . No belongings were stolen.

Other recent atrocities:
On August 18th 2014, a man aged 25 named Nowar Hussein Rathi was kidnapped , tortured and then killed after his family paid the ransom of $50,000

On August 16th 2014 a man named Mr Wisam Weshah Al Mohena was kidnapped in Al Shatrrah in the Nasriyah province, was only released when a big ransom was paid.

on August 1st 2014 a man named Mr Hossam Naji Swadi was kidnapped, in Missan Omarrah in the south of Iraq, he was taken with gold goods valuing in the region of $50,000, was held to ransom for $60,000 which was paid by his family yet he was not set free and no one knows his whereabouts.

On February 26th 2014 a tragic, and most importantly avoidable incident happened in Al Mahmodia south of Baghdad, to a man named Mr Aid Nezal Khaleff Al Kohieli, who had returned to Iraq from Sweden as he was rejected asylum was killed with no belongings or valuables and left a family behind.

On February 2nd 2014 another man, Mr Samir Sami Yassien was killed in Baghdad with no valuables or belongings were took.

On January 17th 2014 A heart breaking story of a young man called Rami Jebar Swadi aged only 21, was killed in the south of Basra, they cut his throat and burned his body.

Since the beginning of the year we have recorded that more than 50 families been displaced with a lot of bereavements and financial losses.

The most striking thing about the killings of Mandaeans in Iraq is that it ranges from monetary gain by the extremists to the more sinister reason of ethnically cleansing the population of Iraq to get rid of the entire population of Mandaeans.

The Mandaean Community in Iraq is currently and more than ever in its history under real threat of being wiped out at the hands of IS and other religious extremist groups. As we could notice that all areas of Iraq are affected and there is increasing intensity and severity of the atrocities.

As the constant threat from IS grows in Iraq, as does the crimes committed against some Mandaeans. Crimes against them such as looting of their houses, forced conversions, kidnappings for ransom, threats to leave the area continue to go on without intervention from the government or the police, all matters are reported to the police and noted, but not investigated.

Frequent circulars from the MHRG were circulated very widely updating the international community about the continuous plight of the Mandaeans,

Dr Nashi General Secretary of the Mandaean Association Union in Exile met together with other Iraqi minorities with officials in the Pentagon on the September 22nd 2014 .

Representative from the MHRG attended the UPR Precessions organised by OHCHR from the October 7th 10.2014 in Geneva.

Representatives from the MHRG attended the Peace Summit in Seoul Korea from September 23rd-26th 2014.

What is needed

1. Urgent actions are needed by the international community to protect the religious minorities in Iraq by putting them under the international protection whether through UN Security Council resolution or individual governments mandates like USA, Australia and UK and holding the Iraqi Government accountable.

2. The formation of The Minority security Council which comprise of representatives from the different minorities, the armed forces, the police force, the office of the Prime minister and Ministry of Human Rights and international representation from UN to oversee the immediate security issues. Along with long term welfare and security of those minorities including their rights as ethnic, linguistic and as indigenous people of Iraq as implemented by the UN articles on religious ethnic and linguistic minorities rights and indigenous people.

3. Iraqi Government should give legal, economic, cultural and socio-religious rights for the Mandaeans and other religious minority groups both as citizens and as indigenous people of Iraq.
4. Iraq Government should take care and support the refugees/displaced inside and outside of Iraq, until that time that it is deemed safe to return to their homes.

5. The start of religious tolerant campaign among Iraqis that identifies all Iraqi religions as equal citizens and fight hatred and divisiveness. The campaign should start in all media, religious establishments and the national curriculums in schools.

6. Correction of voting system for parliament that minority and not everybody else will choose the representative of a minority.

7. The properties and entitlements of refugees whether inside or outside Iraq should be protected by the government of Iraq.

8. Expediting the resettlement process for the Mandaean refugees in Syria by the UNHCR and IOM.

9. The International community, should allow the affected families in Iraq who want to leave and resettle somewhere else to do so and start the resettlement process inside Iraq.