We are the future!
On Monday 1 September 2014, the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva held its 22nd Special Session regarding “the human rights situation in Iraq in light of abuses committed by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and associated groups.” A number of states and NGOs, among which the World Council of Arameans (Syriacs) (“WCA”), raised their concerns about the escalating human rights abuses in the region.
Mr. Basil Özkaya, WCA Main Representative to the UN Office in Geneva, speaks during the 22nd HRC Special Session on Iraq
Click here to download the below statement in PDF or click here to watch it on the UN Webtv (#41).
Since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, we have repeatedly warned the world to take the growing Islamist threat seriously. When we reported that our people were intimidated, kidnapped, killed and expelled from their homes, the world remained silent and indifferent.
One year ago, at the 24th session of this Council, we urged the United Nations to oppose the diabolical plans of these Islamists to found a caliphate in our homeland. Recently their Islamic State became a reality in Syria and Iraq. When we immediately reported that the Aramean Christians and other vulnerable minorities faced a new genocide and ethnic cleansing, including the destruction of their cultural heritage, the world once again remained silent and indifferent.
Our message to the international community is: Enough is enough!
Our people continue to be sacrificed by states who preach human rights, democracy and freedom, but who in reality pursue their own interests. As a result of their policy, we are now even witnessing the Islamist menace in our Western societies.
In accordance with international law and justice we ask the Human Rights Council to urge the UN Security Council to adopt an unambiguous resolution that ensures:
Urgent humanitarian aid to those who are in need of water, food, medicine and shelter in North Iraq. Tens of thousands of Aramean victims are still complaining about the lack of aid and wonder why the world is abandoning them again.
The re-conquest of North Iraq so that all the displaced can safely return to their homes. Moreover, the UN must name, shame and penalize those states that condone, facilitate, support or otherwise maintain the terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria.
Protection and security by a UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission, similar to the one in Mali, according to the legal principle of Responsibility to Protect, that is inevitably imposing itself now on the international community in the case of the defenseless Aramean people and other minorities of Iraq.
The recognition of the shameless atrocities committed by the militant Islamists, above all by the Islamic State, as genocide. The Islamic law implemented and enforced by ISIS in all controlled areas prescribes the execution of all members of religious communities that do not convert to Islam. This law is a clear call for genocide as defined in the genocide convention and constitutes its mental element, in addition to the well documented physical element, namely the unspeakable atrocities committed by ISIS and associated groups.
Mr. President, we ask the world to stand up and speak up together with us against state-sponsored terrorism and proxy wars that are being fought in our homeland.
Where are international justice, law and order?
Where is the integrity and conscience of our modern, civilized world?
Thank you Mr. President!