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Iraqi Minorities Seek UN Emergency Session

Iraqi Minorities Seek UN Emergency Session

Maryam Wahida, an Iraqi Christian in Geneva, addresses anti-genocide rally alongside UN Watch director Hillel Neuer

GENEVA, August 19, 2014

At a rally in Geneva today, an international coalition of activists launched an appeal for the U.N. Human Rights Council to convene an emergency session on the plight of minority groups in Iraq, including the Yazidis and Christians.

The rights activists said the U.N. council had the unique power to ring the alarm and galvanize the world into action.

The executive director of the monitoring group U.N. Watch, Hillel Neuer, said the activists were appealing to U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to call for the special session. He said the rights council could mobilize action to protect vulnerable populations in Iraq against mass killings.

Breen Tahseen, the son of Yazidi leader Prince Tahseen Saeed Bek, said the world is not doing enough to halt the "genocide." He blamed international inaction for a recent massacre. "We call upon the free world to immediately act," said Tahseen.

A member of the community of Iraqi Christians in Geneva, Maryam Wahida, described the conditions under which tens of thousands of displaced Christians were living in Dohuk, Kurdistan. She said they needed shelter, food and medicine.

She said the Christian population has been decimated and there was no future for them in Iraq.

“Very, very few of them still have hope and want to go back to their houses. But, most of them want to leave now. They just want to go to a place where it is safe. That is all what they want - to be safe and have a decent place to live,” said Wahida.


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