Sunday, March 11, 2012

US Embassy in Iraq, State Department:
'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:

-----Original Message-----
From: McClellan, Michael W (Baghdad) (Baghdad)
To: mpetrelis
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
Michael Petrelis
Bill Wilson
Gary Virginia
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 مكليلان
Spokesman/Deputy Public Affairs Officer | المتحدث الرسمي بإسم السفارة
Embassy of the United States of America | سفارة الولايات المتحدة الامريكية
Baghdad, Iraq | بغداد، العراق
E-mail: mcclellanmw[at]state[dot]gov
SBU
This email is UNCLASSIFIED.

2 comments:

Gary Virginia said...

Thank you Michael McClellan. Americans and concerned people from around the world are at a loss as to what we can do NOW to stop this senseless witchhunt and torturous murder campaign. Is there any organization or government body set up in Iraq to assist the targeted victims? This barbaric ideology and behavior is unconscionable for people living in the 21st century. Please advise us on where to direct our support. Thank you again.

Gary Virginia
Gays Without Borders/San Francisco, CA, USA

Lonnie Lopez said...

I have to call bullshit on anything "thanking" of the US embassy. This embassy, the largest in the world, is a remnant of the US's illegal invasion of Iraq. The rise of sectarian violence, including the rise of homo and emo killings, is a DIRECT consequence of the US policy of stoking sectarian hatred and politics in an effort to divide the Iraqi people to stop them from uniting against the US occupation. The US embassy is, therefore, NOT an innocent third party, but indirectly responsible for these murders. Queers have GOT to be critical and suspicious ANY time the government feigns concern about LGBT people.