U.S. State Department Finally Acknowledges Gays are Being Tortured In Iraq

Huzzah! It took a reporter’s question, but the U.S. State Department at least appears to have Iraq’s gay torture on its radar: “Well, let me say that, in general, we absolutely condemn acts of violence and human rights violations committed against individuals in Iraq because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This is an issue that we’ve been following very closely since we have been made aware of these allegations, and we are aware of the allegations. Our training for Iraqi security forces includes instruction on the proper observance of human rights. Human rights training is also a very important part of our and other international donors’ civilian capacity-building efforts in Iraq. And the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has raised and will continue to raise the issue with senior officials from the Government of Iraq, and has urged them to respond appropriately to all credible reports of violence against gay and lesbian Iraqis.” —State Department spokesman Ian Kelly at a press briefing yesterday (via)