12/03/2022, 14.51
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UN report: Iraqi Christians victims of Islamic State’s crimes against humanity and war crimes

Today's other news: North Korea publicly executes two minors for distributing South Korean films; Indonesia is set to approve a law that punishes extramarital sex with prison for both Indonesians and foreigners; China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Russia on the US "blacklist" for violations of religious freedom; the number of child brides is up in Afghanistan since the Taliban seized power.


In 2014, after conquering a third of the country, the Islamic State group committed crimes against humanity and war crimes against Iraqi Christians, this according to a report presented to the UN Security Council. The document describes in detail forced displacement and conversions, persecution, seizures of property, slavery, sexual violence, and destruction of cultural and religious sites.


North Korean authorities publicly executed by firing squad three young men, two for distributing South Korean films, and a third one for killing his stepmother. People in Hyesan were forced to watch the execution after being told that the alleged crimes committed by the offenders, aged 16 and 17, were of equal seriousness.


Indonesia's parliament plans to pass a law later this month punishing sex outside of marriage, with penalties of up to one year in prison. If adopted, the law will be applied to both Indonesians and foreigners, without distinction. In case of adultery, it will be applied only upon complaint by one of the spouses. Living together before marriage or having premarital sex are also prohibited.


China, Iran,  and Russia are on the US State Department’s list of countries that allow or tolerate serious violations of religious freedom. The US government agency also considers Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan as countries of particular concern. Vietnam is one of the countries placed on its watch list. The latter also covers non-state organisations, and includes entities like the Islamic State Group, al-Nusra (al-Qaeda), and the Taliban.


In the 15 months since the Taliban came back to power, the number of marriages of young women and girls has seen a huge upsurge. This stems from the widespread belief among many parents that it is better to marry their daughter than to see her forced to wed a Taliban. For many families, it is also a way to get rid of an extra mouth to feed during a serious economic crisis.


Like other Asian countries, Pakistan announced its willingness to buy Russian oil at a 40 per cent discount price. However, according to Russian blogger Anatoly Nesmiyan, aka El Murid, writing on Telegram, Moscow's "conversion to the East" is actually a bluff due to the lack of infrastructure and suitability.


Turkmen embroidery has been included in the list of intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO. The decision was taken at the 17th session of the intergovernmental committee for the safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage hosted in Rabat, Morocco, Turkmenistan’s Foreign Ministry proudly announced. Turkmenistan launched the nomination process in March 2021, co-sponsored by Iran.

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