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HRC38 – MRG calls for greater attention to the situation of minorities in Iraq, Egypt and India

27 June 2018

Human Rights Council

38th Session

General Debate – item 4 (Situations deserving the attention of the Council)

Thank you Mister President,

In Iraq, MRG is concerned over continued abuses against IDPs and barriers to minority political participation in the national elections in May 2018. Thousands of IDPs were reportedly forcibly returned to areas of origin in the months preceding the election, despite the lack of infrastructure, security and services in these areas.

Many IDPs were obstructed from voting, while others were reportedly coerced to vote for particular parties or candidates, leading the Iraqi parliament to pass a resolution dismissing the results of conditional voting centres in some IDP camps for ‘evidence of fraud’. Meanwhile, minority demonstrations in Kirkuk led by the Turkmen community continue in protest of alleged electoral fraud.

MRG condemns any attempt to hinder minority participation in political life. As Iraq slowly recovers from conflict, minority representation is integral to rebuilding the state and securing inclusive governance.

In Egypt, MRG is concerned by the continued violations against the Sinai based Bedouin community, who is facing serious humanitarian conditions as a result of the ongoing “Comprehensive Military Operation” in Sinai. Serious shortages in food supplies, the forced displacement of Sinai based Bedouin communities, the scraping of their agricultural lands, forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings of members of the Bedouin community constitute serious violations of human rights that must be addressed.

Finally, MRG is also concern by ongoing high levels of violence and discrimination facing religious minorities and members of lower-caste groups in India. This includes a rise in mob and lynchings in recent months, that have primarily targeted Muslims: since May 2018, NGOs have reported at least 4 such cases involving allegations of cow slaughter, resulting in 5 deaths, numerous injuries, and significant damage to property. The Government of India must take urgent steps to reverse this troubling climate of intolerance, including concrete measures to secure access to justice for minorities and address impunity by holding perpetrators to account.

I thank you