Accessibility links

Breaking News

Report Warns Iraq Minorities Being Wiped Out

Human Rights organizations warn that the Islamic State (IS) extremist group has targeted minority communities in Iraq in a “systematic strategy to remove them permanently” from large parts of the country.

In a report launched on February 27, four nongovernmental organizations detailed summary executions, forced conversions, rape, and other abuses suffered by minorities.

It says such acts are tantamount to war crimes, and in some cases, genocide.

Of more than 2 million people displaced since January 2014, the report says, a “disproportionate number” are from minority ethnic and religious groups, including Christian Assyrians, Kaka'i, Shabak, Turkmen, and Yazidis, fleeing violence and persecution by IS fighters.

IILHR Director William Spencer says minorities were subject to “wholesale discrimination and violence” well before the arrival of the IS group.

"Now they face a new threat to their existence" from IS attacks, he adds.

  • 16x9 Image


    RFE/RL journalists report the news in 27 languages in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.