Will Iraqi LGBT Ever Be Accountable?
For five years, the Iraqi LGBT advocacy organization operating from London under the direction of Ali Hili, has performed much good work in bringing attention to the plight of gays in Baghdad and the refugees escaping Iraq. The organization has also been soliciting and raising funds for numerous projects, and has yet to issue any sort of acceptable fiscal accounting.
Almost a month ago, after I prodded Ali and his supporters in the UK, Peter Tatchell and Paul Canning, accountant Josh Botham, and Doug Ireland in USA, to produce financial report, a release was issued and this promise was made:
Botham said that as part of the application [UK charity status] the group would publish full accounts on its website shortly.In a July 14 email, Peter offered his views on this money matter:
Of course there should be proper accountability by Ali and everyone at Iraqi LGBT. I have been pressing for this longer than anyone else - for years, not months.It didn't sit well with me that Peter, who closely works with and advises Ali, had been trying for years for an accounting, and hadn't received one.
I regret that this openness has been so slow in coming and is still only partial and incomplete. I will keep pressing for full transparency and accountability.
On July 15, Doug shared this email with a listserv I created:
Ali assured me this afternoon that the full financial report will be made public around the end of next week at the latest (sooner if his volunteer accountant is available for a final review after Ali sees it this week), and even though the Internet connection in the new little flat he just moved into this past weekend (a move that was a major disruption to Iraqi LGBT's work) won't be established until July 25 (he's having to pop into Internet cafes when he can until then). I have no reason to believe we won't see this report soon.The report Doug was promised, didn't materialize. At the same time, Ali was really pissed with me, as reflected in a few emails he shared sent to me and the listserv:
LISTEN PHONY MONKEY , THE GROUP STARTED IN SEPTEMBER 2005 SO IT IS NOT 45 YEARS THAT THAT RIGHT ASS HOLE ...Naturally, I disagree with his assessment, worse things have been said about me and my thick skin is not troubled by Ali's nastiness. He can throw all the scorn he wants toward me, and none of it will detract from this central point: Iraqi LGBT and its supporters still have not allowed their long-promised report to see the light of day.
WELL AT LEAST I AM A MAN , I SUPPORT MYSELF , IM HEALTHY HAPPY AND BUTCH MAN, WAHT ARE YOU A VERY SAD HIV+ ON POT ALL DAY.
EAT YOUR HEART AND HOPE YOU BURN IN HELL FOR YOUR SINS
So my question to Ali, Josh the accountant, Peter, Paul and Doug is this: Will this organization ever get around to keeping its word on the report?