UK Parliamentary Group Monitoring Persecution in Iraq

Latest News Summaries on Situation in Country

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The All Party Parliamentary Group on International Religious Freedom has issued the following monitoring report on religious persecution in Iraq.

An APPG is a grouping in the UK parliament composed of politicians from all political parties and from upper and lower houses.


Religious persecution in Iraq

Ø  Sky News carries reports of a mass grave containing around 500 Yazidi who were executed or buried alive by Islamic State fighters. Meanwhile, the Christian Post relays claims that Islamic State fighters have been systematically beheading Christian children. However, it should be stressed that no independent confirmation of either of these stories yet exists.

Ø  The Guardian reports that 20,000 Yazidi besieged by Islamic State fighters have been able to escape from their mountain hideout following US air strikes. After initially fleeing to Syria, the refugees were then escorted back into Iraqi Kurdistan by Kurdish forces.

Ø  Conservative Home carries an article by Luke de Pulford which strongly criticises the Foreign Office’s response to the attacks by Islamic State fighters on Iraqi Christians. More than two months after the fall of Mosul, Mr de Pulford highlights that not a single statement has been released by the Foreign Office to condemn the ongoing massacre and expulsion of Christians from Mosul or Qaragosh.

Ø  The Religious Liberty Commission has issued a statement on events in Iraq in which it asserts that if left unchecked, the violence against religious minorities in that country could also have profound implications for freedom and democracy across the globe. They call on the UK government to provide assistance to those who have been displaced, and highlight that events in Iraq form part of a wider global wave of religious persecution.

Ø  The Times carries an article (behind paywall) in which the Archbishop of Canterbury has called on Britain to “open its doors” to the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the advance of Islamist militants in Iraq. The article also contains a call from the APPG on International Religious Freedom or Belief vice-chair Lord Alton of Liverpool for Britain to give “every assistance” to the Iraqi government and the Kurdish Peshmerga militia.

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