ICC Note: In just over two months, more than 800,000 people have been driven from their homes and an ethnic and religious cleansing has taken place. The religious minorities, including Christians, Yazidis, and others have been driven from lands that they have occupied for thousands of years. The brutality of ISIS has claimed thousands of lives in mass executions and massacres and the security forces have done little to prevent this. Without serious international intervention these lands will have been irreparably emptied of their Christian communities. There has been A Demand for Action to provide protection for these groups, but the response has been limited so far, and still the atrocities continue.
by Nuri Kino
09/04/2014 Iraq (Sabotage Times) – “Tell the world that we are being slaughtered for for not having been born Muslims. Where are all world leaders? The Pope? Obama? Putin? Where are they?”
Last week began badly and kept getting worse.
I wanted to take at least one day off from the genocide, I needed some rest from all the heinousness. But then, early last Monday morning, I got a Facebook message from Esho Nona Esho, from our A Demand For Action team in Iraq, asking me to call him urgently. A three year old girl had been kidnapped by the Islamic State. I was put in contact with someone close to the parents. The mother was crying and couldn’t go on, so someone else finished her story.
“They stopped the bus my family was travelling in and pulled Kristina out of my arms, pointing a knife to her throat and ordering us to continue without her.”
My friend went on giving a voice to the Kristina’s mother.
“I begged on my knees for them to return Kristina. He threatened to slit her throat – to kill her and the whole family if they didn’t travel on.”
A few minutes later a photograph of three-year old Kristina was published on ankawa.com. Here is an interview with the mother conducted by the British International Institute.
A few hours after my conversations about Kristina, I went out for a long walk around Årsta Bay in Stockholm to catch my breath. One of Stockholm’s most beautiful walks with a perfect mix of sunshine, clean fresh air and lively music in my ears. And people catching some sun, clueless of what went on in my head. A Turkish colleague interrupted my pleasure: he informed me that the Islamic State was intensifying their recruiting efforts in Turkey. He wanted to send me some photographs.
I hoped that Wednesday would be more of a normal European day. And it was – until the afternoon. I received a message on Facebook again:
“A city in Syria, inhabited entirely by Christians, is under siege by terrorists.”
The 20,000 inhabitants of the Syrian city of Mhardeh are trapped by Islamists. It is unclear whether the terrorists belong to IS or the al-Nusra brigade. Some 1500 Mhardeans had armed themselves prior to this onslaught, but fear they will be unable to withstand the much better equipped Islamists, who also employ the most destructive weapon of all: themselves as suicide bombers. Around 3pm local time I managed to get in touch with abu-Fahid who heads Mhardeh’s Christian Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac militia.
”We need all the help we can possibly get! Women, children, we have armed them all and we will fight till the last drop of blood. We know they will kill us anyway. We plead to the international community, we plead to president Bashar al-Assad to come to our rescue before it is too late. They already started bombing us hours ago. We need arms.”
The line was cut.