Mosul (Agenzia Fides) - The Iraqi Shiite leader Muqtada al Sadr, head of the Sadist political group who enjoys strong representation in the Parliament of Baghdad, has ordered the creation of a Committee in charge of collecting and verifying news and complaints regarding cases of illegal expropriations from Christian property owners in various regions of the country. The decision was communicated in a statement published in the first few days of 2021, in which the names of the collaborators of Muqtada al Sadr chosen as members of the Committee are indicated, as well as the e-mail addresses and Whatsapp accounts to which the Christians can send ownership documents concerning real estate - houses and land - illegally expropriated in recent years by other people or groups of people.
The intention of the operation launched by the Shiite leader is to restore justice and end violations of the property rights of the "Christian brothers", including those for which members of the Shiite movement led by al Sadr were responsible.
The request to report cases of illegal expropriations suffered is also addressed to families of Christians who have left the country in recent years. Complaints about abuse against Christian property owners can be sent to the committee by the end of next Ramadan.
On the morning of Sunday 3 January 2021, a delegation sent by Muqtada al Sadr and led by Sheikh Salah al-Obaidi visited Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako to offer the Head of the Chaldean Church a message of congratulations for the Christmas season, together with a copy of the document with which the Shiite politician set up the Committee in charge of collecting documentation on houses and land that were previously owned by Christian owners and illegally expropriated. The Patriarch and Cardinal Sako, for his part, thanked Muqtada al Sadr for the initiative aimed at putting an end to the injustices suffered by Christian citizens and underlining the importance of ensuring the protection of the common good of the Nation and placing this above any private or sectarian interest.
Already at the beginning of 2016 (see Fides, 8/1/2016) Muqtada al Sadr had demanded the rights of Christians to the houses and real estate that had been illegally expropriated from many Christian families in Baghdad, Kirkuk and other Iraqi regions and their return. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 4/1/2021)