Waymon Hudson

Rep. Alcee Hastings Speaks Out for Gay Iraqis

Filed By Waymon Hudson | August 18, 2009 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Alcee Hastings, gay Iraqis, Human Rights Watch

Rep. Alcee Hastings of Miramar, Florida has issued a scathing statement against the extreme violence against gays and lesbians in Iraq. The Human Rights Watch has released a 67 page report detailing a wide-reaching campaign of extrajudicial executions, kidnappings, and torture of gay men that began in early 2009.

alcee-hastings.jpgHastings, who has been an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights (including opposing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"), issued this statement:

The report documents the extrajudicial persecution, torture, and execution of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Iraqis. In recent months, hundreds of gay men have been tortured and murdered in Iraq in a systematic campaign of social cleansing by Shiite militiamen and extremists. Furthermore, victims and witnesses allege that Iraqi security forces have colluded and joined in the killing.

The alarming testimonies detailed in this report are undeniable evidence that the rights and safety of gay Iraqis are at risk.

Gay Iraqis should not have to live in fear of being tortured, mutilated, or murdered by their countrymen. International human rights law explicitly condemns torture and guarantees the right to life and the right to effective state protection. These abuses fundamentally threaten the rights and safety of all Iraqis.

I urge the Iraqi government to stem this tide of violence and hate and to protect its LGBT citizens.I also commend Human Rights Watch for raising awareness of this urgent matter and for its ongoing dedication to defending and protecting human rights around the world.

Thank you, Rep Hastings, for once again standing for our community!

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