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US under fire for not allowing Iraqi nun to reveal ISIL atrocities

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Sister Diana Momeka

The US State Department has been criticized for its move to deny a visa to an Iraqi Christian nun planning to reveal ISIL atrocities to Congress.

Sister Diana Momeka was part of an Iraqi delegation that was scheduled to testify before the House and Senate Foreign Relations Committee later this month.

Momeka has been a frank supporter for the Christians who have been killed and deported by the ISIL terrorist group.

Other members of the delegation received visas to the US to speak in Washington about the persecution of minorities of the region.

The US consulate in the Iraqi semi-autonomous region of Erbil, Kurdistan rejected her visitor visa application earlier this week.

According to the US State Department, the Christian nun was “not able to demonstrate that [her] intended activities in the United States would be consistent with the classification of the visa.”

The nun was the only Christian in the group that was set to head to the US on an invitation from American NGOs.

The criticism came from Nina Shea of the conservative Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom in an op-ed in National Review Online.

“She told me in a phone conversation that, to her face, consular officer Christopher Patch told her she was denied because she is an ‘IDP’ or Internally Displaced Person. ‘That really hurt.’ Essentially, the State Department was calling her a deceiver,” Nina Shea said in the op-ed.

ISIL destroyed Sister Diana's home forcing her and 50,000 others to flee back in August.


Shea explained that State Department officials concluded from the nun’s application process and interview to obtain a visa that Sister Diana “could be falsely asserting that she intends to visit Washington when secretly she could be intending to stay. That would constitute illegal immigration, and that, of course, is strictly forbidden. Once here, she could also be at risk for claiming political asylum, and the US seems determined to deny ISIS’s (ISIL) Christian victims that status.”

Sister Diana, who is from an Iraqi town of 50,000 mostly Christian residents, was forced to leave her home by ISIL in August.

Since then, she has received refugee status and has been an outspoken critic of ISIL and other terrorist groups creating mayhem in Iraq and elsewhere.


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