News

International Association for the Defense of Religious Liberty (AIDLR) - 
Open Letter and Urgent Appeal

International Association for the Defense of Religious Liberty (AIDLR) - 
Open Letter and Urgent Appeal

The AIDLR urges the United Nations and International Community to act immediately and decisively by coordinated response effort to provide protection against persecution of Christians and other minorities in Iraq and Syria by the Islamic state (IS/ISIL/IS

September 01, 2014 | L.Olteanu/CD-EUDNews


The AIDLR urges the United Nations and International Community to act immediately and decisively by coordinated response effort to provide protection against persecution of Christians and other minorities in Iraq and Syria by the Islamic state (IS/ISIL/ISIS).

“As General Secretary of the International Association for the Defense of Religious Liberty, (AIDLR) from Switzerland and in the name of AIDLR President Dr. Bruno Vertallier, I thank the United Nations' General Secretary and the International Community for the on-going efforts on human rights, peace-making, security, and active struggle to stop all forms of terrorism, discrimination and persecution related to religious liberty” said Dr. Liviu Olteanu who is also Observer and Permanent Representative of AIDLR at the UN and EP, and Representative at the COE and OSCE.

The AIDLR strongly condemns religious persecution in Iraq and Syria and is highly concerned about the intolerance and discrimination, kidnapping of women and children, detention and killing of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq, Middle East, North Africa and in North Korea. This intolerance has become unimaginable and unprecedented in the 21st century.

The AIDLR believes that (in keeping with the freedom of conscience) respect for human dignity, fundamental rights, international law, and religious liberty, have to be urgent priorities in the International Community.

“The current human rights situation requires vigilance and empathy, a common political approach and decisive measures of action. If not, these tragedies will continue and each year the UN delegation will propose and vote similar resolutions on these sensitive issues, and nothing changes” said Liviu Olteanu.

The AIDLR is in favour of the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2170 (2014) that states: “… terrorism constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security”, “… terrorism can only be defeated by a sustained and comprehensive approach involving the active participation and collaboration of all states, international and regional organizations”.

In the strongest terms, AIDLR condemns the “Islamic State” (IS/ISIS/ISIL) for brutal treatment against Christians, religious minorities and Iraqi Muslims, and for the thousands of civilians that are massacred, for atrocities and mass executions, acts of violence, persecution of individual and entire communities on the basis of their religion or belief, kidnapping of civilians, sexual violence, forced displacement of members of minority and religious groups, killing and maiming of children, attacks on schools, hospitals, destruction of cultural and religious sites and churches. All these acts of violence are committed by the IS.

The AIDLR strongly agrees with the United Nations Security Council concerning the “widespread and systematic attacks” directed against any civilian populations due to their ethnic or political background, religion or belief”. This constitutes genocide, a crime against humanity.

Furthermore, the AIDLR appreciates the assertion, initiatives, and humanitarian intervention shown by several individuals against persecution of innocent Iraqi. The UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon ‘profoundly dismayed’ by the ‘barbaric acts’, stressed: “Any systematic attack on civilian population, or segments of civilian population, because of ethnic background, religious beliefs or faith may constitute a crime against humanity”.
The AIDLR finds it highly significant that Ban Ki-moon asked the international community to do even more to provide protection and condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the systematic persecution of individuals in minority groups”.

“The reports on what happens in Iraq are extremely shocking and clearly show the brutal atrocity of these murderers and slaughterers,” stated Adama Dieng, Ban Ki-moon's special advisor.

Heiner Bielefeldt, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief, said: “Freedom of religion and belief is being denied in the most atrocious, systematic and worst imaginable way possible – through the attempted extermination of religious minorities”.
“We should take all possible measures to avoid mass atrocity and potential genocide; civilians need to be protected…” urged Rita Izsák, Special Rapporteur on minority issues.

Pastor Ted Wilson, President of Seventh Day Adventist Church declared, “great is the sadness and deep concern for the tens of thousands of Christians and religious minorities who are subjected to persecution, bloodshed and intimidation”, and called upon all Seventh-day Adventist Church members around the world to pray for the victims of this fanaticism”.

Today, humanity is at a crossroads. The tragedy that affects Christians, religious minorities, innocent Iraqis and Syrians, terrifies us. Everyone can and must have an active role in asking their own government to support UN and US initiatives to stop cruelty and persecution in Iraq and Syria. Furthermore, let’s not forget the suffering in North Korea.

The AIDLR asks the International Community to act in favour of peace, security, religious liberty, freedom of conscience and protection of life.

The AIDLR is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that supports the UN, US, EU and other International Organizations that are in favour of human rights all over the world.


Back to list