Iraq arrests three for stealing ancient Christian religious manuscripts in Mosul

Three suspects have confessed to stealing religious manuscripts belonging to the Museum of the Mar Thoma Church in Mosul, Iraq’s judiciary announced on Sunday.
author_image Sangar Ali

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Three suspects have confessed to stealing religious manuscripts belonging to the Museum of the Mar Thoma Church in Mosul, Iraq’s judiciary announced on Sunday.

The Nineveh Investigation Court, which handles cases of terrorism and organized crimes, confirmed the three defendants  admitted to the theft after they were arrested for taking the religious manuscripts belonging to the Christian museum in the city of Mosul.

“Security forces and under the direct supervision of the Nineveh Investigation court arrested two suspects who were in possession of the manuscripts belonging to the Museum of Mar Thoma Church and the Diocese of Syriac Catholics in Mosul,” Judge Abdul-Sattar al-Birqdar, the spokesman for the Supreme Judicial Council, said in a statement.

Biraqdar added that the ancient religious texts were lost after the Islamic State (IS) captured Iraq’s second largest city in 2014.

“The court has confirmed the confessions of the accused and taken all the measures to refer them to the competent court,” the statement concluded.

Following the fall of Mosul and the Nineveh province, the jihadist group destroyed many historical monuments, archaeological sites, and ancient artifacts, selling and transporting stolen items abroad through the territory it controlled in Syria.

IS also demolished many religious shrines and sites in Nineveh belonging to Ezidi and Christian minorities, which the group deemed to be heretics.

Editing by Nadia Riva