Armed Forces Destroyed Lives of LGBTQ in Iraq: Report

A new survey shows that the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people have deteriorated radically across Iraq, even police forces are involved in violence against them.

Human Rights Watch in its latest report said that armed groups in Iraq “abduct, rape, torture, and kill (LGBT) people” and they also enjoy impunity.

In the 86-page report titled “Everyone Wants Me Dead’, Human Rigths Watch documented cases of abductions, extrajudicial killings, sexual violence, and online targeting of LGBT people by the police and armed groups.

“The Iraqi government is responsible for protecting LGBT people’s rights to life and security but has failed to hold those responsible for the violence accountable,” Human Rights Watch found.

Rasha Younes, LGBT rights researcher at Human Rights Watch said that LGBT Iraqis live in “constant fear” of being hunted down and killed by armed groups with impunity, as well as arrest and violence by Iraqi police.

“The Iraqi government has done nothing to stop the violence or hold the abusers accountable,” Younes added.

Human Rights Watch and IraQueer, an Iraqi LGBT rights group, interviewed 54 LGBT Iraqis who have experienced violence by armed groups and police. Those interviewed had experienced abuse in Baghdad and other cities in Iraq as well as in the Kurdistan region. Human Rights Watch also reviewed online documentation of attacks against LGBT people, including videos, images, and digital threats.

The people interviewed described arrests and routine violence from security officials, who verbally and physically assault them, and arbitrarily arrest and detain them, often without a legal basis.

The report also said that LGBT people were abused during detention, including being denied food and water, or the right to contact a lawyer or family members, or get medical care.

“They said the police sexually assaulted them and physically abused them and forced them to sign pledges stating that they had not been abused,” the report founds.

The Human Rights Watch said that countries providing military, security, and intelligence assistance to Iraq, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France should urge the Iraqi authorities to investigate allegations of abuses by armed groups against LGBT.

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