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Activists Launch Campaign for Law on Iraqi Minority Rights | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iraqi autonomous Kurdish region’s peshmerga forces and fighters from Yazidi minority holding Kurdish flag while entering the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar on November 13, 2015 (AFP Photo/SafinHamed)

Baghdad – Activists and legal experts are launching a campaign to adopt a law that grants all Iraqi factions and minorities, which had long been mistreated, their rights.

During a workshop of Masarat institution, the activists called for the spread of culture of diversity.

Minorities and religious sects such as Christians, Yazidis and others had been suffering during the past ten years and their conditions aggravated after ISIS overran Mosul in June 2014.

Former Iraqi Minister of Culture Mofid al-Jazaari said that this legislation is very important and fundamental in a country like Iraq that includes various ethnic and religious groups. He added that over the years, those groups had been marginalized and their rights violated.

Jazaari, who is also the editor-in-chief of Communist party’s newspaper “People’s Way”, said that violence took the lives of several friends and people who helped build this country.

He added that it is very crucial for such a law to ensure the rights of minorities and prevent any discrimination against them.

The head of Masarat institution, researcher Saad Salloum, said he has been working on the draft-law for minorities since 2011.

He added that this law will ensure that rights are respected as part of the diversity that the country enjoys through political and cultural institutions where all ethnic groups can solve their differences without eliminating one another.

Salloum described diversity as the real treasure of Iraq.

The draft-law will guarantee Iraq’s unity against division attempts that are promoted every once in a while.

The researcher stated that the law calls for the establishment of Iraqi minorities council that monitors the implementation of regulations to prohibit discrimination among citizens.

A recent study published on the human rights situation in the country revealed that the Iraqi minorities are threatened and on the verge of extinction after several groups such as Christians, Yizidis, Shabak, and Mandaeans had been killed, kidnapped, forced into marriage, raped and exposed to all sorts of dangers.

Mark Latimer, who participated in the study, said that 13 years of war in Iraq had catastrophic consequences on minorities.