|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Security Council Press Statement on Persecution of Minorities in Mosul, Iraq
The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Eugène-Richard Gasana ( Rwanda):
The members of the Security Council express their deep concern over reports of threats against religious and ethnic minorities in Mosul and other parts of Iraq controlled by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), including the recent ultimatum to Christians to either leave the city, stay and pay a tribute, convert to Islam, or face imminent execution. The members of the Security Council are equally concerned by reports that all religious and ethnic minorities in Mosul and other parts of Iraq controlled by ISIL, along with anyone who opposes ISIL’s extremist ideology, are facing abductions, killings or the destruction of their property, and that the homes of some residents in Mosul have been marked.
The members of the Security Council regret that, over the course of a few weeks, minority communities that have lived together for hundreds of years in Mosul and the Ninewa Province have come under direct attack and persecution by ISIL and associated armed groups. Tens of thousands of members of these ethnic and religious minority groups have been displaced or forced to flee and seek refuge, while many others have been executed and kidnapped.
The members of the Security Council condemn in the strongest terms the systematic persecution of individuals from minority populations and those who refuse its extremist ideology in Iraq by ISIL and associated armed groups.
The members of the Security Council recall that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed, and reaffirm that terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality or civilization.
The members of the Security Council further recall that wide-spread 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. All armed groups, including ISIL and associated armed groups, must abide by international humanitarian law and protect civilians living in areas they control.
The members of the Security Council welcome the Government of Iraq’s efforts, in association with local and regional authorities and in cooperation with the United Nations, to address the urgent humanitarian needs of those displaced by the current conflict; to tackle the terrorist threat facing members of Iraqi minority groups and the country, and call for an intensification of these efforts.
The members of the Security Council further call on all political entities to overcome divisions and work together in an inclusive and urgent political process to strengthen Iraq’s national unity, sovereignty and independence.
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