Thursday, July 16, 2009

Support the 2009 UU-UNO Action of Immediate Witness (AIW)

Oppose Violence based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Iraq

Since the US invasion of Iraq, sexual orientation and gender identity-targeted human rights violations have been a wide-spread and unacknowledged reality for Iraqi lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. Before the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, Baghdad was one of the LGBT capitals of the Middle East. Amid the chaos and violence of the invasion and occupation, some Iraqis have tried to 'cleanse' their society of sexuality and gender identity diversity with impunity. Human Rights Watch will release a report documenting these violations this summer. [According to recent reports, a horrific new form of torture and murder is being used in which perpetrators 'glue' a man's anus shut before force-feeding him laxatives.]

In June, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton committed to “advancing a comprehensive human rights agenda that includes the elimination of violence and discrimination against people based on sexual orientation and gender identity.” The UU United Nations Office calls on the tens of thousands of American UUs to hold Secretary Clinton and the Obama Administration accountable to their promise. We must work together to pressure the US government and ensure that this issue is addressed at the UN Human Rights Council at Iraq’s Universal Periodic Review in February 2010.

With the recent change in administration, the U.S. government is now in a position to play a powerful leadership role in work at the United Nations. The Obama administration must acknowledge and condemn the role of the United States in creating the environment in which hundreds of Iraqis have been tortured and murdered with impunity because of their real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity or expression (SOGI). When they hear from thousands of UUs about this issue, they will no longer be able to avoid it.

Rallying together, UUs will have a profound impact on opposing sexual orientation and gender identity-based violence in Iraq.

Click here to see the final version of the AIW.
Click here to see a sample letter to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton posted on the UU-UNO website.
Click here to read a recent article about SOGI-based violence in Iraq.

Stay tuned for future news and actions related to this issue including:
  • the release of Human Rights Watch's report on SOGI-based human rights violations in Iraq
  • a national write-a-thon for UUs to send as many letters as possible to US leadership about this issue
  • resources for UUs to use for raising awareness about this issue at your UN Sunday events

No comments:

Post a Comment