Stop the slaughter of Christians and other religious minorities in Libya, Iraq and Syria
On March 27, 2015 during the UN Permanent Council meeting (SC/11840), the Security Council urged to ‘Stop the Madness’ as terrorists trample the cultural and religious diversity of Middle East.
The UN General Secretary-General has passionately affirmed: “the members of this Council — and all those with influence — must help the people of this region reclaim its historic diversity and dynamism...I condemn in the strongest terms all persecution and violations of the rights to life and physical integrity of individuals and communities based on religious, ethnic, national, racial or other grounds."
Thousands of civilians were at the mercy of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant/Sham (ISIL/ISIS), whose fighters had been slaughtering ethnic and religious minorities and those who disagree with its warped interpretation of Islam.
In Iraq, information strongly suggested that ISIS had perpetrated genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, and that minorities had been victims of that violence. In Syria, the government and non-State groups, lacking in responsibilities, had led to an exceptional rise in those atrocities, by the government and non-State armed groups. In Libya, ISIS-affiliated groups were targeting minorities and attacking religious sights. New reports had shown that over 420,000 Yezidis had been displaced and were living in camps in the Kurdistan region, Syria, and Turkey, and that thousands of girls had been sold into slavery. Girls had been sold for $18.
The United Nations were developing an action plan on preventing violent extremism, he said, which will be launched in September, and were strengthening efforts to protect diversity in the Middle East. As well, the UN Secretary-General has planned to form an advisory group where religious, civil, cultural, and academic leaders will be able to offer insight on inter- and intra-sectarian dynamics.
Zeid Ra’ad Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that “ISIS is an abomination”.
In the ensuing debate, nearly 70 speakers from around the world decried the intolerance, the violent extremism and the religious or ethnic persecution that had gained ground in the Middle East, especially against Christians, Yezidis, Kurds, Turkmens and Shabaks.
Closing the Security Council's session, the UN Secretary-General declared that during the Council's upcoming session in September, he will advance a clear and effective action plan aimed to protect local religious communities and to support oppressed people.
The Members of the UN Security Council must be encouraged to defend religious minorities, including Christians, in the Middle East. We ask the Members of the Security Council and its Chairmanship:
to elaborate, promote and sustain the approval of clear and concrete measures, as well as the adoption of the Action Plan proposed by the Secretary-General in defence of human rights, religious freedom of minorities in the area where ISIS terrorists have perpetrated massacres;
to promote the adoption of a legal framework including sanctions and referrals to the International Criminal Court;
to approve measures to stop financial support and the trade of weapons to ISIS-affiliated groups.