Iraq: Shiite leader calls for return of homes illegally taken from Christians

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Pascale Warda
Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr has called for the return of homes and property illegally taken from Christian families in Baghdad, Kirkuk and other Iraqi cities.
Chaldean Christian politician Pascale Warda has welcomed this call. Mrs Warda has asked all Iraqi citizens to support the reinstatement of the rights of the Christians owners – a cause that is also supported by several civil society groups in Iraq.

Many Christian homes have been stolen, with the collusion of corrupt officials, who put themselves at the service of individual frauds and organized groups of fraudsters.

The ‘legalized’ theft of the properties belonging to Christian families was closely linked to the mass exodus of Iraqi Christians, following the US-led military intervention to overthrow the regime of Saddam Hussein.

Opportunists took possession of homes and property which had been left empty, in the hops that none of the owners would come back to reclaim their property.

MPs and Christian associations have long appealed to the local administrative institutions, asking them to cancel the false certifications.

Muqtada al-Sadr is the leader of the Sadrist Movement, the party to which at least 30 Iraqi lawmakers belong. He was also the founder of the Mahdi Army, the militia – officially disbanded in 2008 – created in 2003 to fight the foreign forces in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein.