Right now in Iraq, young people "perceived as gay" because of how they dress, or what music they listen to, are being targeted, tortured and killed by extremist militias. Youth with a modern "emo" style are being especially singled out.
Our friend Bissam*, a gay Iraqi refugee and a member of All Out, told us that these militias are creating “kill lists", that include men whose hair was too long or whose jeans were too tight, or women deemed overly "masculine." Human rights groups and Iraqi news are reporting that 40 to 90 Iraqis have been brutally murdered in just the last two months.
The United Nations made headlines last week by publicly asserting the importance of respecting the human rights of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people around the world, and urging all member nations to take a stand. Affirming those principles on the global stage is important.
But now it's time for all of us to make sure that world leaders and governments convert those words in to action. Add your name to this urgent letter to world leaders and ALL UN member states, demanding they condemn these atrocious killings and push Iraqi officials to investigate NOW.
To create a global outcry about these horrific killings, we need to push world leaders to speak out. Sign the letter, and share with your friends and colleagues. Whatever you do, don't remain silent.
[All Out is indebted to Bissam*, Gay Middle East, and Gay Star News for tipping us off about this terrifying news, and working to shed light on the ongoing tragedy. We can't use Bissam's real name because as a gay Iraqi refugee, his friends and family in Iraq are potentially still in danger.]