UN slams ISIL persecution of Iraqi Christians
Thousands of Iraqi Christians have fled Mosul after ISIL threats this week (File/AFP)
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The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has denounced the persecution of Christians and other minorities in Iraq by the ISIL militants.
In a unanimous declaration issued on Monday, the body condemned the systematic persecution of minorities and warned that such actions can be considered crimes against humanity.
“The members of the Security Council further recall that widespread or systematic attacks directed against any civilian populations because of their ethnic background, religious beliefs or faith may constitute a crime against humanity, for which those responsible must be held accountable,” the declaration read.
It also asked the UN and the Iraqi government to do their best to remove the “terrorist threat” against minorities and provide humanitarian aid for those displaced because of the conflict.
This comes after the ISIL militants started marking houses belonging to the Christian community in the Iraqi city of Mosul and issued a statement that told the Christians to convert, pay a special tax, leave the city, or face death.
Thousands of Christians left Mosul ahead of the ISIL’s ultimatum. The fleeing Christians have largely sought refuge in areas under the control of Kurdish regional government. But Shia shrines and institutions in Najaf and Karbala also offered to shelter them.
A large number of Shias as well as people from other faiths escaped the city fearing violence by the ISIL terrorists.
The crisis in Iraq escalated after the ISIL terrorists took control of Mosul on June 10.
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