Our partners at the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Program (IRAP) have been able to immediately relocate those most in danger AND place two more people on the ground to help identify more at-risk people, knowing that those most in-danger are often the most hidden and hardest to reach.
Yousif*, now on his way, has written us this message:
"For so long, I was frightened and nervous every minute. Police had come to the house I was hiding at in more than one city, and I didn't know where to go. I know that hard times aren't over yet, but I cannot tell you what a weight has been lifted from me by being in this safe environment. (...) So much tension has just gone out of me. I actually laughed yesterday, and I could not stop. It has been so long since I laughed - I am so emotional. Thank you for doing this. I can actually relax now. I can breathe."
However, there are still people in danger and one of them, Nasser*, has told us his story.
"I am in hiding in Baghdad because people found out I am gay, and I fear being beaten badly and killed. There are many of us now. We are sick of the unbelievable and continual hardships in our lives. We can't get work. Our community rejects us all. People just don't want us and have no mercy upon us."
If you haven't donated yet, we are still raising funds to assist with this life-saving project...
April 29, 2012. We just learned that 30 young people in Iraq are being marked for death - just because they are perceived as gay or "emo". Many have already been attacked and gone into hiding - with nowhere to turn.
All Out is partnering with the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) who is ready to put a team on the ground in Iraq to smuggle our friends to safety. If we each chip in just a few dollars right now, they can get transport vans and set up safe houses to get these 30 Iraqis to safety.
Will you chip in to help us make it happen?
READ STORIES OF SOME OF THE IRAQI LGBTS DESPERATELY AT RISK:
"Naseer" is being blackmailed for his sexual orientation in the wake of having been assaulted and raped by the Iraqi police in Baghdad. Naseer's blackmailer has threated to send a picture of Naseer with another man to Naseer's family and friends - causing Naseer to fear that he wil be killed either by his family or milita groups. Naseer needs to leave Baghdad immediately.
"Rasul" lives in Dora, a Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad that is only slightly safer than other neighborhoods in the city. Rasul lives at his boyfriend's house, which he is too scared to leave because of the violent threats against gay men in Iraq - and his brothers' threats to kill him for being gay. Rasul says he can't live in Iraq because it isn't safe for him. He is gay, his brothers know it, and they are threatening to kill him if they find him.
"Abdul" was just attacked and bludgeoned in the head with a pipe by men who thought he was gay because of the way he dressed. (Many men Iraq have been "blocked" over the last two months - smashed in the head with a cinderblock - a newly popular and gruesome method used to kill men suspected of being gay or "emo"). When Abdul went to the hospital for treatment, the doctors suspected he was gay as well - and called the police. Abdul fled the hospital and is in a safe place now, but lacks money for medical treatment and is scared of his own shadow. Abdul needs to leave Iraq immediately.
The names of the men above have been changed to protect their identity.