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tv   News  Al Jazeera  March 5, 2021 5:00pm-5:31pm +03

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muffs on al-jazeera play an important role protecting it when. calling for an end to violence in iraq pope francis seeks to galvanize one of the world's oldest and most persecuted christian communities during a historic visit. hello again i'm just on the attack of this is al jazeera live from doha also coming up tightening its grip on hong kong china is to expand its veto power in deciding who can run for election. security forces in myanmar are accused of issuing death
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threats to protesters on talk the video sharing app says it's removing content that incites violence. c 6 street battles and set a goal protesters are demanding the release of an opposition leader they say is falsely accused of rape. pope francis is calling for an end to violence and intolerance in his opening address in iraq as he starts a historic visit to a nation scarred by war and now the coronavirus he landed just a short while ago in baghdad and was welcomed by barham salih at the presidential palace the head of the roman catholic church is hoping his 3 day visit will boost the morale of the country's dwindling christian population he's also looking to strengthen interfaith ties but in a speech to those gathered at the presidential palace the fight for iraq's
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political leaders to strengthen justice and transparency and to foster a sense of hope especially amongst the youth. the politicians need to promote the spirit of fraternal solidarity there is corruption abuse of power that's not the way at the same time you need to think of justice transparency to strengthen certain values that's how credibility can grow so everyone especially the young people can have hope for the future while iraq's president saleh greeted the pope as a cherished guest and called for the visit to be a turning point for his country but know what that this is a historic chance to have this visit be a cornerstone you know building peace increasing corporation increasing the tolerance and understanding among all sides of society. well as you can see pope francis has now arrived at the our lady of salvation catholic cathedral that's where at least 55 people were killed back in 2010 after having been taken hostage
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by al qaeda in iraq the pope has been with bishops priests and religious figures he has greeted them as he entered he is expected to speak shortly we will be bringing you that live here on al-jazeera our correspondents mona fulton is following the pope's visit in baghdad at the moment and joins us now on the phone simona this is clearly a very very symbolic site can you tell us a little more about the significance of his choice of this venue as part of his itinerary today. so the our lady of salvation church in augusta but as karada district was the venue of one of the deadliest terror attacks against iraq's christian community back in 2010 when a number of gunmen laid siege to the church and took over 100 worshippers hostage india and as you mentioned over 50 people were killed in that attack and that attack is one was one of many in the wake of the u.s. led 2003 invasion as groups like al qaeda targeted
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minority groups but that attack in particular is one that really accelerated the exodus of christians from iraq and is back today only a handful of survivors are left in iraq we interviewed one of them for our report that has been running throughout the day and he said that the reason he stayed in iraq is because indians this is his country and he's hoping that things can get better and of course the pope's visit is a very symbolic moment for iraq's christians they have been waiting for him to come for years they hope that he can really highlight the plight that they have been through over the past especially over the past 17 years but of course many are wondering whether dispirited can actually bring about any change because so many christians don't feel safe in iraq they still feel targeted they still feel
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persecuted and president barham salih mentions the importance of protecting churches just like pretend for sexing mosques and that is of course something that many christians feel that has not really taken place still until today we have concrete blast walls that surround the our lady of salvation church itself a sign that there is still as least the 1st action that the christian community might be targeted here in but that of course the pope says. it's to this particular church is this very symbolic you want to meet the religious leaders there but of course for certain all to commemorate the victims among the christian minority here in iraq smyrna speaking of security the strip itself is also happening within a backdrop of escalating violence we've been seeing in various parts of iraq over the last few weeks and months and of the pope himself insisted on going on this trip he didn't want to let people down that in itself is a real call for unity. exactly he's trying to show with this is visit that he
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believes that those differences between different groups and all these. differences can be overcome if people really listen to each other if people really find the commonalities between the different religions and really focus on trying to get iraq out of the many crisis that it has been through and there are really numerous security challenges that the government is facing on the one hand we have still isis sleeper cells that operate in the country and that are capable of launching attacks on the capital that we had one such attack just in january which claimed the lives of dozens of people and that was really quite a wake up call for authorities here because it had been several had been quite a long time since i saw had been able to pull off a major attack in the capital so that's a threat it's very much still there that on the other hand we have frequent rocket attacks targeted particularly against u.s.
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interests here in iraq targeting for example military bases where u.s. troops are based we had one such attack just a couple of just a couple of days ago which ended up claiming the life of one u.s. civilian contractor and then of course there is still many other sources of instability was had anti-government protests that have been going on for over a year which have faced a violent repression from parts of the security apparatus then and those protests have largely subsided but they are still ongoing occasionally especially in the southern city of nasty which is very close to the heritage site of order which the pope will be visiting tomorrow and there just last week at least 3 protesters were killed when security forces opened fire so they're really numerous challenges here and securing the pope as he travels thousands of kilometers through iraq in.
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certainly know my our task we have thousands of security forces from different units that are deployed throughout the capital to make sure that nothing really gets in the way and there's also been a curfew imposed on friday saturday and sunday to 3 days that the pope is present in iraq to simply minimize movement on the streets to prevent any cars for example of of coming close to the areas that he will be looking to also keep movement of people down to some extent because of course the pandemic is still ongoing and the number of cases in iraq have been on the rise they have reached over 5000 cases new cases per day and there is also a concern that as the pope's visit draws masses especially among the christian community who want to see him that could result in in a spike of new corona virus infection that of course we have seen the pope himself shake hands with many of the shows as in the he was arriving very well he is
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actually dated as is the the entourage that is traveling with him but there may still be of course a risk for the for the people who are who are gathering to see him as he visits iraq of course and watching him now sit there in the church we do expect to hear from him and very shortly that he is surrounded by quite a large number of people and then people have gathered and i head of this moment to hear him speak i know there were concerns that this could potentially turn into a super spreader event where there any other kinds of precautions taken because obviously as we say that the pope himself 84 he's been inoculated but there aren't that many vaccines in iraq. not at all in fact iraq has not begun vaccinating anybody yet they have received the 1st batch of 50000 the scenes from china which were donated but that vaccination campaign it was officially announced just a few days ago but i don't believe anybody has actually been vaccinated yet or
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exhaust it is a very small number of people so of course for those people inside the church who are who are potentially there was preexisting conditions who may you know be predisposed to catching the coronavirus because it is a pretty tight space there is of course a lot of people in there so it is of course a risk for them but i would imagine that their desire to meet the pope their desire to be close to the pope overcomes any kind of health concerns on their part in general the iraqi population is not very committed to mask wearing or social distancing and that is certainly also not the case when it comes to the pope's visit smyrna fault and they're following that visit for us very closely in the iraqi capital baghdad will be hearing from the pope shocking will be bringing about life and so much simona. well area i spoke to you not in canada he's the head of
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iraq's christian refuge and parliamentary block and he says this is a historic moment for christians in iraq. that almost 2000 year later the pope about to come visit us here in such a difficult situation and iraqis suffering from very different issues and they make and economical and everything and even the conflicts in the region in america iran and many many other issues so we are very happy and welcoming his holiness we hope that he is for sure he is bringing the. message of peace and love and forgiveness juices message and his visit will have many many positive effect on iraqi society and in the region and globally as well because. as as you know they. reflect and effect of the eyes is. crimes against
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humanity against people here reflects very negatively on the islamic image in europe and america and everywhere so his visit to our religious leaders in iraq gives very very good positive for the. bring down a bit before we are new europe and america and western. society well i also spoke to martin read he's a senior vice president at the safe and great that's a new york based strategic security and intelligence consultancy and he says that security forces are on highest alert in baghdad amid fears of possible i feel attacked. there's an armed security companies a pole where he travels this is this is common and he's the by all kinds of purposes the same as the head of state when it comes to security so he has his arm secured that will travel with them made up of schools are and. they will work hand
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in hand with the iraq security intelligence services to provide a security cordon around the pope wherever he goes now a trip like this involves a lot of planning and interagency coordination likely weeks in advance that they've been doing is preparing contingency plans for every conceivable incident that could happen there will be a plan for a medical emergency will be a plan for emergency evacuation in case of a bombing it is it a riot in case of ground attacks and what we've seen recently in case of a missile attack. and as part of this plan the have primary and alternate routes to every every site that the pope will visit the islamic state would be would certainly be a group that. security officials would be concerned about and also the possibility of not high but the possibility that one of the shia militias could.
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could start to attack i think the biggest threat would be through islamic state or lone wolves that here to that idiology well as i've been saying the number of christians in iraq has dropped significantly and recent has not spotted years of them being prosecuted by al qaeda. they hope that their struggle to survive will get a boost from the pipes of as us correspondent some on a fault tells us a little bit more about the chats where the pipe is expected to speak very shortly . 10 years ago louise francis a claim is survived one of the deadliest terror attacks on iraq's christian community it cost him his left ear drum $4.00 to $6.00 other christians their lives . about in the last thing i look at i thought it was the last seconds in this life there were very difficult moments you take the shot towards the room where we were in one hand grenade exploded that's when i was injured some of the project also still in my head and my chest lewis and his son the were among more than 100
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worshippers trapped inside the lady of salvation church in baghdad as gunmen laid siege to the building. claimed responsibility for the attack one of many carried out against iraq's christian minority after the 2003 u.s. led invasion lewis is one of the few survivors of the church attack who stayed on in iraq and. i don't want to leave this is my home. but preserving iraq's dwindling christian population can feel like a lost cause let me. there's no hope left for the christians and other minorities to reassure them all the political parties and politicians don't care about the citizens interests they just care about their own interests the denomination's interests and regional interests this is the part as we interrupt that report to take you right back to that chatrier pope francis has just begun speaking let's listen and. dear brothers and sisters you are absolutely one of the top but
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i thank you. but can i say larvae then sank the law was misleading the prophecy was she has made it possible to me as your day so i thank 1000000 a protector rang out you see if you know. thank you no ability to live in any kind of nightly news has cards unknown apparently even then. for the welcoming words that is not who you know since you know it should be here together in the cathedral people follow orders and if salvation. you and i had to press here and of course. we have seen. how those people. are going to future and of sacrifice and also a feeling inspires you to refuse to throw faith and trust in the strength of the cross will be planted so they should and then pour your heart and
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focus the next reconsideration and rebirth. with thank yous you money. for witnessing the love of christ restoring law in jail this is the course for proclaim my interest to proclaim his grace to my took place and also here are some of your country in this last harvest of love and country. but we. are somehow not getting the yet to learn here and not talk we are. washed littles of thought about your motives are not just yourself a thought if you are none was a thought about your a cardinal matter we sort of fly in circles i can imagine a majority be young. next gen you almost got the right to patrick's
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cardinal who failed to make. all of them for their words were he today in this cathedral where we are. getting the blessings of those who sacrifice their lives for the sake of the lord and for the sake of the the people you hold their sacrifices will support and when you give us that moment to believe more of the message of the cross the christian and white invited to love jesus christ everywhere to the question is this incident was really just men and women in this beloved can. you share the charlie. suffering you christ. the people girl.
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had to tackle on a daily basis situations and also during this pandemic and. you. have the presence and uninterrupted presence of the church since the very beginning in fact. you have had this school right. and of course the pandemic the virus has cause discouragement it's all around us let's. go and. so lord we prayed to have a good vaccine and this gives hope through prayer
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person their own yes and no and. i keep faithfulness to. and with a vaccine we'll be able to go forward with strength and courage. he saw living. off the kingdom of call and the importance of peace and justice. what. you have now out of this translation most. usually. capacities here as teachers of the christianity you have to use all here to participate in the joy. of the believers the people. of need. and
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much to be supported during this age of the pandemic. the. message should not stop. you need to derive this from being a president of the church in this land and we know that it's easy to be depressed and to be frustrated because this virus of depression is all over the place but the road has given us the vaccine that will help us to get cured which is the believe the prayer is and with this vaccine we would go forward we will be always in shape and in time to be happy with the
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blessings of the lord blessings of justice peace. we never forget that christ. you know announced everything through the witnessing and in the joy of the gospel with. it we know they've long ancient tradition of the church in these lands. the world could change and it shows us how by following jesus is not just something just and right and beautiful. for life it is a deep jury if you know minutes upon various difficulties are part of your experience and of the people of
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iraq. with your citizens have had to. stick with you and can turn and tackle all of us to the bus you have one also reconstructed mary if you don't. get special at supper that was for family level and yeah i mean other levels but integration you know and in things that happened in different parts of the world yes but if the priests and religious remained close to the people closest to the people of supporting them viz a viz. a viz on trying to meet your youth the needs of these people swap out and help them if you. as
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a service. we're going to give you the education a postulate represent no one operates your service is precious resource your life in the could close community and in the community to encourage. was doing. it's a commitment. you know to guarantee. that the community in iraq. which is small just small grain continues to value and to be together that's what are the moment how do you know you have some there you heard the news then listening there to pope francis he's addressing iraq's christian community at the cathedral of our lady of salvation in the capital baghdad that's where at least 55 people were killed in 2010 after
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having been taken hostage by al qaeda in iraq the pope has given a message of faith and hope speaking about how belief in prayer as a vaccine for the virus of depression while our correspondents manifolds and us following his visit for us in baghdad he joins us now on the phone some on a really strong message there from type francis today also from his choice of venue where he decided to deliver this address. of course the church is hugely important for the christian community here in baghdad it is the side of one of the deadliest terror attacks against the christian minority here back in the twenty's 10 when gunmen late speech to that very true church when a 100 over a 100 worshippers were present there and it was it was several hours until security forces could make their way into the church and. at that point dozens of christians had already had already been killed and the those people who survived of
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course many of them were injured many of them have since left iraq but there are a handful of christians who have survivors from the church of hackle have remained here and i met one of them just a few days ago his name is luis francies claims he's actually the head deacon of that specific church and and we had a very lengthy discussion about the reasons why he has decided to say he believes that there is still hope for iraq's christians that this is in fact their ancient homeland that is the political problems that are affecting this nation can be fixed that this is actually the place where he prefers curse to stay but of course he had some very strong words for iraq's political elite he accused them of being self-serving only pursuing their own personal or sectarian or even regional interests while not thinking about the homeland not thinking about iraq citizens
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and there is also another thing that he emphasized he said the situation of iraq's christians today is simply a reflection of where the country and society as a whole stands that many of the problems that are concerning christians today are problems that are concerning many many of all iraqis in fact it's that the lack of rights the lack of. services the lack of infrastructure the lack of really security of course christians them particularly been targeted and persecuted but many many years that this is really a structural problem that the iraq exploited is facing that is both is the true national issues are not the iraq christian them. and indeed the pope himself also calling on iraq to hold themselves to account simona fault and there with all the latest for us from the pope's visit thanks so much them are all moving on to some other news now and china has unveiled plans to overhaul hong
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kong's electoral system allowing beijing veto power over just who can run for the lives that legislative council now that announcement was made during the national people's congress the country's biggest annual political gathering the proposed changes would mean a pro china election committee decides which candidates can run for legislative council seats and that move would effectively stamp out any opposition in hong kong's parliament or there are reports that at least one person has died in myanmar city of mandalay after protesters there clashed with police many have been defying a crackdown and marching to demand an end to the military coup activists have been out in a number of cities 38 people were killed on wednesday and now chinese video sharing app to talk to says it's removed videos of apparent death threats from members of manaus military to anti crew protesters digital rights group me and my i.c.t. for development has found more than 800 such trips have been recorded and posted on social media since the military coup last month while the un security council has
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held its 2nd session on manama this comes a week after me and as u.n. ambassador made a dramatic plea to world leaders to take all means necessary to oppose the coup diplomatic editor james bass has more. this 2nd security council meeting on the situation in myanmar is being held one week after a dramatic general assembly session whether me and my ambassador jorm or torn spoke out against those currently in control of his country the security council session will be closed and that means the ambassador will not be allowed to address is the current president of the security council is the united states. the united states since gravely concerned about the coup and the black shit that has followed here instead of demonstrating respect for the rule of law pursuing dialogue and refraining from violence the military has dramatically celebrated violence against
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the people of burma previously the council issued a statement expressing its deep concern and calling for the release of and son suchi and the other detained political leaders it's not clear whether russia and china both permanent members will now support tougher action. her lawyers her senegal's opposition it was money songkhla says he has been placed in custody after a court appearance sancho's arrest $2.00 days ago for taking part in an unauthorized rally triggered 2 days of battles between protesters and police separately sankoh is also facing rape charges he says that accusation is part of a process to block him from running for president and 2024. this is al jazeera and these are the headlines pope francis is calling for an end to violence and intolerance in iraq as he's.


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