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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Rights group reports murders of Iraq gays and lesbians
From the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
2012-03-05

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The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission has 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:

www.iglhrc.org/cgi-bin/iowa/article/takeaction/partners/889.html .

www.iglhrc.org/cgi-bin/iowa/article/pressroom/multimediaarchives/961.html .

*****

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), founded in 1990, is a leading international human rights organization dedicated to improving the lives of people who experience discrimination or abuse on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. We are dedicated to strengthening the capacity of the LGBT human rights movement worldwide to conduct documentation of LGBT human rights violations and by engaging in human rights advocacy with partners around the globe. We work with the United Nations, regional human rights monitoring bodies and civil society partners. IGLHRC holds consultative status at the United Nations as a recognized Non-Governmental Organization representing the concerns and human rights of lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender people worldwide. For more information visit: www.iglhrc.org .


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