Iranian Assyrians hold rally, condemn ISIL crimes

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TEHRAN – Hundreds of Iranian Assyrians have held a demonstration in Tehran, condemning the crimes perpetrated by ISIL militants against religious minorities in Iraq and Syria.
They gathered in front of the United Nations headquarters on Thursday to condemn the dreadful killings of civilians, especially Assyrians, in Iraq and Syria.
They urged the international community to take prompt action against the ongoing “genocide” in the two countries.
They also deplored the demolition of the ancient sites belonging to the Assyrian civilization in Iraq by ISIL extremists.

The demonstrators also called for “an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council in coordination with international human rights organizations and the European Parliament.”

The UN must mobilize all forces to secure the release of the Assyrians from ISIL captivity, they said.

According to a report by the Minority Rights Group on February 27, ISIL is systematically targeting religious and ethnic minorities in northern Iraq.

“Summary executions, forced conversion, rape, sexual enslavement, the destruction of places of worship, the abduction of children, the looting of property and other severe human rights abuses and crimes under international law have been committed repeatedly by ISIS.

“While minorities have long been vulnerable to attacks by extremists, this violence appears to be part of a systematic strategy to remove these communities permanently from areas where they have lived for centuries,” the report says.

The report came shortly after ISIL terrorists kidnapped 220 Assyrians in the northeastern Iraqi province of Hasakah.

The report added that more than 5,000 Yazidi women who have been abducted, raped, and sold as slaves.