Iraqi LGBT community under siege, faces torture and murder

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HRW ReportThe Human Rights Watch issued a report today condemning the violence committed against the LGBT community in Iraq, where it is suspected that hundreds have been murdered since 2004 as a part of a “social cleansing” campaign. From the Washington Post:

Although the scope of the problem remains unclear, hundreds of gay men may have been killed this year in predominantly Shiite Muslim areas, the report’s authors said, basing their conclusion on interviews with gay Iraqi men, hospital officials and an unnamed United Nations official in Baghdad.

“The government has done absolutely nothing to respond,” said Scott Long, director of the gay rights program at Human Rights Watch. “So far there has been pretty much a stone wall.”

Homosexuality was tacitly accepted during the last years of Saddam Hussein’s rule, but Iraqis have long viewed it as taboo and shameful.

Iraq’s human rights minister, Wijdan Salim, has expressed concern about the reported slayings, but few other government officials have addressed the issue publicly or indicated that they are disturbed by the reports.

CNN ran the following segment on the report.

Post by ILO on 08/17/09 at 4:19 pm