Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Congressman on Iraq Brutality Against Gays

Rep. Jared Polis says "egregious human rights violations" carried out by "Ministry of Interior."

A few weeks ago I interviewed Ali Hili of Iraqi LGBT from London on the show. He was getting reports of impending executions of gay men by the government, arrested on trumped up charges, something that some people -- among them gay reporters and some human rights groups -- questioned, since homosexuality is technically not illegal, though that is in dispute. Brutal killings have for a while been underway by Shiite militias but there had not previously been any evidence of government order or sanction. But now openly gay Colorado Rep. Jared Polis, who will be on the show this afternoon, says differently after visiting Iraq. Journalist Rex Wockner interviewed Polis:

Of the five or six members of Iraqi LGBT who reportedly have been sentenced to
death in Baghdad for belonging to a supposedly banned organization, one has
escaped custody and one has been executed, says U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo.

According to Polis, the "egregious human rights violations" are "being carried
out by Iraqi government officials from the Ministry of the Interior."

"While I do not know if these executions are being sanctioned at the highest
levels of the Iraqi government, it is nonetheless disturbing that government
officials and state-funded security forces are involved in the torturing and
execution of LGBT Iraqis," Polis wrote to Patricia Butenis, the chargé
d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq....

...Reports of the pending executions were first brought to light by Iraqi LGBT founder Ali Hili, who launched the group in London after escaping Iraq.

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission also now reports on a new, horrific torture of gay men by militias involving gluing their anuses shut and inducing diarrhea. Abominable.

More on this on today's show, when I interview Polis, 3:30 ET.