Sunday, August 02, 2009

UK Govt Files on Iraqi Gay Violence Posted

Thanks to my terrific partner Mike, who went down to his office this afternoon to PDF the 50-plus pages on Iraqi gay violence released by the British foreign office, I can share with everyone what the UK government shared with me, responsive to my Freedom of Information request.

A few observations on what the UK officials released:

- The foreign office is quite concerned and engaged on the gay Iraqi problems; and very concerned with both gay and mainstream press attention.

- On April 13, 2009, British officials in Baghdad met with Iraqi Minister of Human Rights, Wijdan Michael, to discuss the death penalty and gay issues.

- A May 6, 2009, email that is four pages long, details an undated meeting the foreign office had with NGOs in London to discuss ways of helping Iraqi gays.

- In May 2009, the UK was pushing the European Union to issue a statement against capital punishment and the torture of gays. Did the EU issue the statement?

- Authorities want to use the BBC's Persian and Arabic services to spread messages of tolerance, perhaps under the guise of promoting free speech, not gays per se.

- Ali Hili of Iraqi LGBT makes many serious claims, yet no proof is cited, and I believe many of his allegations need independent authentication and should not be accepted at face value.

- The foreign office has more files, that I hope are soon to be released to me.

Click here to read the first section of the UK government file, and click here for the second part.

No comments: