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07/19/2019 Iraq (International Christian Concern) –  Yesterday, the U.S. Treasury Department announced Global Magnitsky Sanctions against four Iraqis on the basis of perpetuating serious human rights abuses and corruption. These sanctions target the individuals’ finances and prevent them from traveling to the United States.

Three of the four individuals have played a detrimental role in the reconstruction of the Nineveh Plains following ISIS’s genocide of Christians and Yazidis. The two militia figures—Rayan al-Kildani and Waad Qado—lead brigades that are known for extorting these victims, harassment, illegal arrests, and kidnapping. The third individual, Nawfal Hammadi al-Sultan, was the governor of Nineveh but was removed from office earlier this year after the Mosul ferry disaster. The fourth individual is a former governor of a different province.

Each individual has maintained close ties with Iran, who has built a strong de-facto presence in areas previously occupied by religious minorities. Their displacement under ISIS opened the door for other groups to move into the region following the militants’ defeat. Most Christians have refused to return home, citing infrastructure and security related problems as the primary deterrents. Addressing these underlying issues is an important step in restoring the homelands of Iraq’s religious minorities.

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