Since 2004, hundreds of gay men have been killed or executed in Iraq. Although this deadly campaign has been investigated and recognized by the Human Rights Report of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) in 2007, little has been done to stop the killings.
In 2009 the violence and killing escalated. LGBT people in Iraq are targeted by clerics, such as those associated with Moktada al-Sadr, who are reviving religious pressure against gays leading to killings and by militias seeking rally their bases. Currently, the majority of killing and torturing is being perpetrated by militias. Between February and March it is estimated that 28 to 60 men have been killed and many more have been terrorized and tortured.
Recent news and admissions by US government representatives
regarding the use of torture against Iraqis in it war of terror have served as
a “green light” for violence towards the LGBT community.
TAKE ACTION! HERE IS
HOW YOU CAN HELP IRAQI LGBTs RIGHT NOW
1. Help provide safe passage, shelter, medical and psychiatric care to Iraqi LGBT people in danger. Donate
specify “IRAQ” when ask where you would like your money to go.
2. Contact your Congressperson and Senators and ask them what they are doing to stop the violence. Send them an email or call them directly (contact their local headquarters or DC office). Bringing the issue to their attention gets action!
3. Come out and show your support - search the net to find a rally near you.
Here is a link to a video of a 2009 rally in San Francisco that RWF helped organize. On May 17, International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, RWF along with Gays Without Borders, a group of activist focused on the welfare of LGBT everywhere, held a rally to bring attention to this tragedy and raise funds to help LGBT Iraqis. Click here to see video highlights of the rally.
The issue of support for gay Iraqis is beginning to receive increased attention in the United States. Mainstream media such as CNN and the New York Times political leaders in the United States have begun to focus attention on the human rights violations against LGBT people in Iraq. Openly gay Colorado Representative Jared Polis has taken the lead in calling for an end to the violence. In 2009, Polis met with the Iraqi Charges D’Affairs, members of the Iraqi Parliament's Human-Rights Committee, and US State Department officials in Baghdad regarding the allegations. Polis urged their immediate investigation.
"We will now wait and see whether the Iraqi government
is serious about protecting the human rights of all Iraqis and what role our
own State Department can play in helping to protect this minority in
Iraq," said Polis. “I am most disturbed by allegations that Iraqi
government itself may be involved in the persecutions. This warrants an
immediate investigation from both American and Iraqi governments.” In addition
Polis and Representatives Tammy Baldwin and Barney Frank have written to
Christopher Hill, US Ambassador to Iraq, to make investigation of human rights
violations against gays in Iraq a priority issue and take steps to work with
the Iraqi government to curb the anti-LGBT violence in Iraq whether government
sanctioned or individually perpetrated.
In addition to our advocacy work on a political level, Rainbow World Fund is working to help raise funds to support the work of Heartland Alliance and a number of on the ground organizations that are working to bring at risk LGBT Iraqis to safety. Your donations will be used to provide direct aid to those most in need, providing for safe passage, shelter, medical and psychiatric needs as well as support through the refugee/asylum process. Tax deductible donations can be made through Rainbow World Fund, online at www.rainbowfund.org/donate , or by check made out to “Rainbow World Fund” and mailed to P.O. Box 14480, San Francisco, CA 94114-2336. Please note “IRAQ" on your donation.
San Francisco Baytimes, SF Queers Call For End To Killings in Iraq, May 21, 2009,
Bay Area Report, Support for Iraqi Gays, May 21, 2009,
New York Times, Iraq’s Newly Open Gays Face Scorn and
Murder, April 8, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/08/world/middleeast/08gay.html?_r=1&hp
Gay City News, U.N. Confirms Iraqi Gay Killings, January 25,