DI is alarmed over the humanitarian tragedy in Iraq and urges the international community to intervene with urgency. “Militants seem to be involved in acts that may constitute crimes against humanity and/or crimes against human diversity, and such acts must be investigated immediately” said DI co-founder Dr. Widad.
DI calls on countries that may be involved in supporting IS militias to reevaluate their position to prevent that the crisis leads to devastating, far-reaching and potentially disastrous consequences.
DI Alarmed Over Humanitarian Tragedy in Iraq &
Urges International Community to Intervene
4 August 2014
(Oslo) – DI is alarmed over the humanitarian tragedy in Iraq and urges the international community to intervene with urgency. Countries that may be involved in supporting IS militias are asked to reevaluate their position to prevent that the crisis leads to potentially disastrous consequences.
Defend International is alarmed over the humanitarian situation in Iraq that has deteriorated drastically as the Islamic State (IS) militias have taken over the northwest towns of Sinjar, Tal Afar, and Rabia’a in Ninewa Province. Over 500,000 people, mostly from various religious and ethnic communities, are estimated to have fled their homes. Accurate figures of casualties are unavailable but reports received from DI members claim that dozens have been killed, and a high number of women have been raped by IS militias. DI is working with local, regional and international agencies to support the civilians affected by the ongoing crisis.
The IS militias has reportedly taken control of Iraq’s largest dam on the Tigris River near the city of Mosul and other towns in Ninewa Province. Consequently, residents have left their homes and their holiest towns, heading to cities under the control of Kurdistan regional government. The Christian communities have also been affected by the ongoing conflict and unrest in Iraq. Numerous Christians fled Mosul last month, following the threats of IS militias to either convert to Islam, pay an anachronistic tax known as jizya or be killed.
“The displaced populations are currently confused trying to make sense of what happened. We are concerned about their health conditions, especially now as the numbers of displaced individuals requiring humanitarians and medical assistance have increased significantly,” noted DI co-founder Dr. Widad.
Defend International underlines that IS militias are possibly committing a crime against humanity because they are systematically attacking human dignity, causing grave humiliation and/or a degradation of human beings. These offenses are committed against civilian populations on racial, religious or political grounds and those involved must be held accountable. “Militants seem to be involved in acts that may constitute crimes against humanity and/or crimes against human diversity. Such acts must be investigated immediately, as well as the blowing up of the symbols of diversity in the cities under their control,” said Dr. Widad.
Given that the current crisis can have dire consequences for the entire region, thereby constituting a threat to international security, we call on the international community to act immediately to ensure the safety and security of civilians at all times. We urge the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan regional government to assist the displaced families. DI calls on countries that may be involved in supporting IS militias to reevaluate their position to prevent that the crisis leads to devastating, far-reaching and potentially disastrous consequences. Therefore, we urge countries to abide by their international obligations and stop any potential flow of arms and funds to IS groups.
DI Media Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org
Credit: Photo from Euronews!