Wednesday, August 19, 2009

more good news

dear people who think that the iraq war was somehow based on anything noble or good, or that the fallout helped civilians, or that foreign soldiers are helping to "rebuild" the country: not true.

according to a report that human rights watch released on august 17th, hundres of gay men have been tortured or killed in iraq in recent months, but the same security forces/milita that have cooperated with the us military and were "trained" to govern the country.

iraqi gay rights campaigner, ali hilli, stated that iraq is the most dangerous place in the world for lgbt people and that even during the saddam years there was more sexual freedom for iraqi citizens. (actually, there is a great article in GQ about ali, which you can read here).

now that's progress.

the report, "they want us exterminated": murder, torture, sexual Orientation and gender in iraq", outlines the rape/torture/abuse/murder of lgbt iraqis and discusses how mahdi army spokesmen have "promoted fears about the "third sex" and the "feminization" of iraq men, and suggested that militia action was the remedy."

one reporter wrote in sawt al-iraq that the army is:
"bullying civilians who have otherwise been safe, in various forms of oppression, discrimination, and killing ... once again, they are intruding in every small and simple detail of everyday life; they prevent the people from practicing daily activities that are normal in most theocratic religious systems even in saudi arabia and iran. ... individuals are violated, assaulted, and encroached upon in an agonizing way. In addition to death threats against any man who grows his hair a couple of centimeters longer than the sadri standards that are measured exactly and applied harshly, there are threats against those wearing athletic shorts or tight pants. ... these standards are being used simply as a justification for killing homosexuals. ...The slogan is to kill and kill, then kill again for the most trivial and simplest things."

the report also details how the excuse of religion is used but not widely believed, according to one young man who was threatened and knows several people who have been murdered:

An 18-year-old who had been threatened with death, and knew several friends who had been killed, made much the same point when he told us:

"god created people in all shapes and sizes. and you just have to accept that this exists. if you don't like gay people, you're free to condemn them; but you can't kill them. don't talk to them. don't associate with them. but don't massacre them. this is just wrong. it has to stop."
besides that no religion really supports massacreing lgbt people, there are a lot of legal reasons that this is completely unacceptaple:

the government of iraqi is legally bound under international human rights treaty law and customary law.

one such treaty obligation is to the international covenenant on civil and political rights(ICCPR), which iraq ratified in 1971. the ICCPR protections "place a mandate for action upon iraqi authorities, including officials who bear responsibilty for enforcing security and law in iraq"to not ignore threats to the life of anyone within their jurisdiction and includes a legal obligation to protect them.

according to the ICCPR, "everyone has the right to liberty and security of person" and this includes people of the lgbtq persuasion.

as well, the arab charter on human rights (which was adopted in '94) states that "every individual has the right to life, liberty and security of person. these rights shall be protected by law."

iraq is also subject to the convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of punishment(the convention against torture).

and guess who else has a legal obligation to condemn these attacks and to take responsibility for fostering an environment in which it can happen more freely: the united states and any other country that supported or participated in the invasion of iraq.

more information here, at iraqi lgbt.

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