The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission has put out a press release reporting that almost 40 people perceived to be LGBT have been “kidnapped, brutally tortured, and murdered” in the Iraqi cities of Baghdad (right) and Basra last month.
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.
IGLHRC has called on the Iraqi government to take action, but perhaps we also need to call on the UN to start moving forward with its efforts to champion gay rights as human rights around the world.
Hillary Clinton made her landmark speech to the UN on the issue in December, and we have seen some commitment to activity in Ecuador and Honduras. But in the Middle East, we haven’t seen any commitment to intervention—yet.
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