Saturday, June 06, 2009

HRW: Open Meeting on LGBT Iraqi
on June 10 in NYC

This email hit my in-box recently and hope its contents are of interest to American gays concerned about the plight of LGBT persons in Iraq, and those who've managed to escape and are now refugees seeking asylum and assistance.

It's unfortunate that the Human Rights Watch will not be streaming the meeting online, nor are they planning to make the audio or a transcript of the open meeting and conference call available.

If HRW indeed intends to do those things, and I think they should because many people concerned about LGBT Iraqis do not live in Manhattan or may not be able to call in at the appointed time, I hope they will inform the public of those intentions.

We would have more interest and engagement by USA and foreign gays if HRW would put just a little bit of effort into involving more parties, through simple and proven communication methods.

HRW, an organization with $48 million in revenue and more than $100 million in reserves, according to their latest IRS tax filing, should be able to afford not only the call and meeting, but also to web stream, podcast and transcribe this important meeting.

That said, I look forward to listening in on the meeting and reading the report HRW eventually publishes.

Here is the announcement from HRW:

From: Dahlia El Zein []
Sent: Friday, June 05, 2009 12:40 PM
To: Dahlia El Zein
Subject: Human Rights Watch Open Meeting: Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Iraq

Please join us on Wednesday, March 25th [sic] from 12:00pm-1:00pm for the Human Rights Watch Open Meeting. The meeting will be held in our NY office on the 34th floor of the Empire State Building and will feature the following presentation:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

12:00pm -1:00pm

Open Meeting

34th Floor Conference Room

Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Iraq

After widespread reports of murderous violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity in Iraq, Scott Long (director of the LGBT Rights Program) and Rasha Moumneh (researcher in the MENA division) went to Iraq in April to investigate. They documented a campaign of killings, with evidence pointing to the involvement of Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army. They also found evidence of state involvement in extrajudicial killings, as well as impunity for honor killings of suspected gay men. Their research points to the need for quick action to quell militia violence—as well as the need to investigate other forms of gender-based violence, including the treatment of women who violate norms for gender and sexuality. Long and Moumneh also worked with a few supportive organizations to set up an informal network to help men escape the violence in Baghdad and the Iraqi south, and move to safety. They will describe their research, their forthcoming report, and their ongoing work in Iraq.

To dial into this meeting please call (212) 216-1274, and enter code 335566 when prompted.

To mute (or un-mute) your line press *6.

If you would like to add someone to our Open Meeting invitation list, please e-mail

1 comment:

arimoore said...

Thanks for posting about this. Were you able to find any follow-up coverage or transcription of the meeting?