Wednesday, April 22, 2009

GLBT Executions in Iraq Have Begun

A cross post with Mike Tidmus, a San Diego blogger.

A few weeks back I wrote about the pending executions of GLBT Iraqis. [UTF's post] According to reports from Colorado Congressman Jared Polis and international human rights organizations the executions have begun. Veteran journalist Rex Wockner has this up at his blog:
Polis: Iraqi GLBT executions have begun

By Rex Wockner

Of the five or six members of Iraqi LGBT who reportedly have been sentenced to death in Baghdad for belonging to a supposedly banned organization, one has escaped custody and one has been executed, says U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo.

According to Polis, the “egregious human rights violations” are “being carried out by Iraqi government officials from the Ministry of the Interior.”

“While I do not know if these executions are being sanctioned at the highest levels of the Iraqi government, it is nonetheless disturbing that government officials and state-funded security forces are involved in the torturing and execution of LGBT Iraqis,” Polis wrote to Patricia Butenis, the chargé d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq.

Polis said the U.S. government “appears to be largely unaware that the executions of gay and transgender Iraqis have been able to occur in Iraq” and has expressed an “unwillingness to seriously consider these allegations and examine the evidence (from) international human rights watchdog organizations.”
Contact the US State Department and demand an investigation. Find and contact your US Representatives here, and find and contact your US Senators here.

Image: On July 19, 2005 the government of Iran executed teenagers Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni in Iran (aged 15 and 16-years-old, respectively, at the time of their arrests), apparently for the “crime” of having gay sex.

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