Iraqi Christians demand inquiry into killings, intimidation
An Iraqi parliament member requested an international investigation into the killing and targeting of Christians in Iraq.
11/4/2009 Iraq (EarthTimes) – An Iraqi Christian member of parliament on Tuesday asked the speaker to request an international inquiry into the killing and intimidation of Christians in Iraq. Yonadam Kanna, an Assyrian Christian from northern Iraq, petitioned Sunni Muslim parliamentary speaker Iyad al-Samarrai to formally request the inquiry, al-Samarrai’s Iraqi Accord Front (al- Tawafaq) reported on its website Tuesday.
During a Tuesday meeting with al-Samarrai, Kanna asked for an international investigator to determine who was behind the killing of Iraqi Christians that Iraqi Christians believe are designed to convince them to leave their homes, al-Tawafaq’s website said.
Kanna and other representatives from Iraq’s diverse sects of Christians told al-Samarrai that many of the thousands of Iraqi Christians who have fled the killings and threats would like to return home, if they could be assured of their safety, al-Tawafaq said.
The representatives of Christian communities also asked for a higher quota in the parliament, to reflect what they said was the real number of Christians in Iraq.
Since the fall of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s government in 2003, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians have fled the country, driven from their homes in part by the bloodshed that has stalked the country, and in part by specific threats and intimidation from extremist groups specifically targeting them as Christians.
Fewer than 600,000 Christians remain in Iraq, down from an estimated 1.2 million before the 2003 US-led invasion.