'Strongly Condemn' Anti-Gay/Emo Killings
This just hit my in-tray. I wish to commend the American embassy in Iraq for this statement, its work on stopping the killings of gays, goths and emos and for including the U.S. State Department in the wording deploring the situation for the targeted communities.
Good to see them clearly spell out sexual orientation and gender identity matters as part of their agenda.
A reminder that Gays Without Borders holds a vigil in San Francisco on March 14. Please, no matter where you are, take action for gay, emo and goth Iraqis today.
The full email from our embassy in Baghdad:
From: McClellan, Michael W (Baghdad) (Baghdad)
Cc: Wilcock, John D (Baghdad) (Baghdad)
Sent: Sun, Mar 11, 2012 11:14 pm
Subject: US EMBASSY BAGHDAD - RE: Info needed: Gay, goth, emo killings reported from Iraq
Executive Committee Members
Gays Without Borders
San Francisco, CA,Dear Executive Committee Members:Thank you for your letter. This embassy shares your concern about the recent attacks in Iraq against individuals identified as gay or part of the “emo” culture. When NGOs here in Iraq first brought this issue to our attention, we immediately expressed our concern to the Government of Iraq, urged immediate measures to combat this violence, and undertook to try to ascertain the details of these attacks.Along with the Embassy, the U.S. Department of State strongly condemns the recent violence and killings in Iraq by groups who appear to be targeting individuals based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, or personal expression. These acts of intolerance should have no place in any society.We have been encouraged by the degree of prominent public condemnation of these attacks. A representative for Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani condemned the violence and called the killings “terrorist attacks.” The Chairperson of the Human Rights Committee within Iraq’s Parliament condemned these actions as well. These statements indicate that an increasing number of Iraqi officials are ready to take these crimes seriously. Through our advocacy and diplomatic efforts, we will continue to urge the Iraqi government to condemn attacks on the LGBT community and to devote all possible attention to preventing such crimes.The State Department will continue to advance a comprehensive human rights agenda that includes the elimination of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.I appreciate your concern for the Iraqis who have suffered and who are at risk of suffering from this violence. I assure you and the members of your organization that the Embassy is fully engaged at the highest levels to end these attacks, bring the perpetrators to justice, and ensure a secure and free future for all Iraqis.Sincerely,Michael McClellan | مايكل مكليلانSpokesman/Deputy Public Affairs Officer | المتحدث الرسمي بإسم السفارةEmbassy of the United States of America | سفارة الولايات المتحدة الامريكيةBaghdad, Iraq | بغداد، العراقE-mail: mcclellanmw[at]state[dot]govEmbassy website: http://iraq.usembassy.gov/SBU
This email is UNCLASSIFIED.