Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Thanks Rep. Jared Polis

Congressman Polis, the first openly gay man elected to the U.S. Congress as a freshman, recently returned from a trip to Iraq. This was Polis' second trip to the region and he went to investigate claims of violence toward Iraqi gays.

During his tour in Iraq, the Examiner reports that Polis is also liaising with human rights groups about human rights violations that have recently been reported, such as the unconfirmed discovery of a shallow mass-grave of 25 gay Iraqis, and further cases including the death of two more men on April 4th who, again, unconfirmed but startling reports suggest were killed by a faction of the Iraqi military who, in turn, are blaming the killings on the families of the men, because, they say, they were so ashamed at a member of their family being gay.

The Denverpost also reports that Polis was given a letter that was allegedly written by a man who had been incarcerated and severely beaten until he confessed to being a member of the UK based LGBT rights group Iraqi-LGBT. The man, the letter went on to allege, had been sentenced to death by the Karkh court.
Polis wants action from both the American & Iraqi Governments:

"We will now wait and see whether the Iraqi government is serious about protecting the human rights of all Iraqis and what role our own State Department has to play in helping to protect this minority in Iraq," Polis said in the release. "I am most disturbed by allegations that the Iraqi government itself may be involved in the persecutions. This warrants an immediate investigation from both American and Iraqi governments."
Kudos to the courageous Congressman.

I've blogged about the Iraqi LGBT crisis recently.

1 comment:

  1. It is important to remember that freedom isn't just for some, but for everyone.