Execution of gays in Iraq continues unabated- UPDATE: Call for violence to end

The U.N., and now with the U.S. support, has previously tried to address in a non-binding resolution the issue of the criminalization of homosexuality. It was not so long ago that gays where (as of 2003) were subject to jailing. However, these issues are imprisonment and murder continue unabated abroad.

One country of particular concern is Iraq. My concern is that we are involved with the country in many ways yet this issue remains unaddressed.

The latest story reported by ABC involves two gay men being killed in Baghdad by Shia militias. These attrocities are not the only examples.  More than 30  such murders have occred in the last 3 months. The excuse given is that these men are sexual deviants who are killed to restore honor of their families.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/stor y?id=7448915&page=1

One means of killing gay people there is the use of anal glue.

"A prominent Iraqi human rights activist says that Iraqi militia have deployed a painful form of torture against homosexuals by closing their anuses using "Iranian gum." ... Yanar Mohammad told Alarabiya.net that, "Iraqi militias have deployed an unprecedented form of torture against homosexuals by using a very strong glue that will close their anus."

According to her, the new substance 'is known as the American hum, which is an Iranian-manufactured glue that if applied to the skin, sticks to it and can only be removed by surgery. After they glue the anuses of homosexuals, they give them a drink that causes diarrhea. Since the anus is closed, the diarrhea causes death. Videos of this form of torture are being distributed on mobile cellphones in Iraq.' According to this human rights activist, for the past 3 weeks a crackdown on homosexuals has been going on based on a religious decree that demands their death; dozens have been targeted. She says that the persecution of homosexuals is not confined to the Shiite clerics. Some Sunni leaders have also declared the death penalty for sodomy on satellite channels."

http://www.propeller.com/story/2009/04/2 2/report-iraqi-militia-kill-gays-with-an al-glue-torture/

As we discuss the lack of rights for gays domestically, let  us not forget the need to remember just how much this is not only a civil rights issue, but also a human rights issue. I hope that the U.S. will use whatever diplomatic ability to it has to push for the end of these human rights abuse.

One idea that I wish to hear more about is the idea of granting assylum to those who maybe subject to such attrocities.

Right now such rules do exist as far as I can tell:

"In 1994 former Attorney General Janet Reno decided that a Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) case, Matter of Toboso-Alfonso would be considered precedent, meaning that the BIA, Immigration Judges, and asylum officers had to follow its ruling in the future. Toboso-Alfonso recognized persecution based on sexual orientation as a potential ground upon which to apply for asylum, paving the way for many successful asylum applications on this ground thereafter. Since then there have also been some (though much fewer in number) non-precedential cases granting asylum based on transgender identity as well as some cases (also fewer in number) granting asylum based on HIV status."

http://immigrationequality.org/template. php?pageid=3

However, it is unclear to me how much the state deparment or other channels are offering this as a way for people to escape violence in their local countries.

UPDATE: There does seem to be some progress against the violence. "Radical Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr has ordered the "depravity" of homosexuality be eradicated but warned against the anti-gay violence that has recently erupted, a spokesman said on Friday."The purpose of the meetings is to fight the depravity and to urge the community to reject this phenomenon," said Sheikh Wadea al-Atabi, referring to a Thursday seminar attended by clerics, tribal leaders and police."The only remedy to stop it is through preaching and guidance. There is no other way to put an end to it," he said, stressing that the movement could not resort to violence after a series of killings of gay men in Baghdad."Al-Sadr rejects this type of violence ... and anyone who commits violence (against gays) will not be considered as being one of us," Atabi said." http://www.france24.com/en/20090529-iraqs-sadr-wants-depraved-homosexuality-eradicated

Tags: diplomacy, gays, human rights, Iraq, United States (all tags)

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