Terrible news about Iraq in a press release from the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. Forty people targeted for being “adulterous individuals” were kidnapped, tortured, and murdered in an escalation of anti-gay violence.
Press release after the jump…
INTERNATIONAL GAY AND LESBIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media contact: Roberta Sklar; 917.704.6358;
March 5, 2012
Emerging from Iraq: Reports of kidnapping and murder of Gay and Lesbian people
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission has today received reports from Iraq of a wave of targeted killings of individuals who are perceived to be gay or lesbian. According to Iraqi human rights activists, in early February 2012, an unidentified group posted death threats against “the adulterous individuals” in the pre-dominantly Shiite neighborhoods of Baghdad and Basra. The threats gave the individuals, whose names and ages were listed, four days to stop their behavior or else face the wrath of God, and were to be carried out by the Mujahedin. According to sources inside Iraq, as the result of this new surge of anti-gay violence close to 40 people have been kidnapped, brutally tortured and murdered. The Iraqi authorities have neither responded to this targeted violence nor have they publically denounced it. It is widely believed that these atrocities are being committed by a group of the Shiite militia.
Statement from Cary Alan Johnson, Executive Director, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
Today the Government of Iraq represents a fully sovereign and democratic country. As such, it must protect all of its citizens including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from hate-filled violence and death at the hands of armed militias. Vigilantes who perpetuate the targeted killing of those perceived to be gay or lesbian must not be tolerated in a new Iraq. We have seen these atrocities before. In 2009 vigilantes murdered hundreds of Iraqi individuals for their perceived sexual orientation. There are no excuses for such heinous human rights violations. We demand that the Iraqi Government put a stop to the wanton persecution and killing of gay people, and that the perpetrators punished.
Statement from Hossein Alizadeh, Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
The Iraqi government is responsible for the protection of all Iraqi citizens, including the members of the gay and lesbian community. We call on the Iraqi authorities to immediately intervene to protect the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and to bring to justice those who are responsible for these atrocities. We particularly demand the Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights denounce the anti-gay violence in Iraq and launch an official investigation into these heinous crimes.
For background regarding incidents in 2009 go to:
Needless to say we’ll be keeping a close eye on any developments and update as they come.