International digital LGBT activists All Out have started a petition to halt the emo, gay and trans killings in Iraq.
Since Gay Star News reported on Friday (9 March) that up to 100 non-conforming people had been killed in Iraq by militia, the story has been picked up by media around the world.
The new wave kidnappings, torture and murders started on 6 February in Iraq and have targeted those with alternative dress codes or differing sexualities.
In the first wave of the campaign, All Out has sent an email appeal to members.
It says: ‘Right now, underground militias are torturing and killing young men and women in Iraq “perceived as gay”. Iraqis who dress different or listen to different music are also being murdered.
‘Independent news outlets and human rights groups are reporting that 40 to 90 Iraqis – including teenagers as young as 15 – have been brutally murdered in the last two months.
‘Right now the Iraqi government is doing nothing. So our best chance to stop these killings is to draw major international attention that will force them to act. Please take one minute to call on world leaders to speak up. We'll use your voice to force this onto front pages around the world, pressuring the United Nations and other world leaders to act.
‘The Iraqi government and other leaders in the region have completely ignored, and possibly condoned, this violence. Last week, after a landmark speech by the Secretary General of the UN affirming LGBT rights, the Iraqi government and other homophobic states staged a protest and actually walked out of the meeting.
‘When leaders abandon a conversation about basic human rights in such a high profile and public venue, they give a green light to extremists in their countries to go out and kill. In this environment, it is crucial that each of us act to break the silence. If enough of us take a stand now, we can raise this issue to the highest levels, and create popular and diplomatic pressure that pushes the Iraqi government to investigate these appalling crimes.’
Yesterday Gay Star News, with the help of GME and Bissam, whose identity has to be protected for reasons of his personal security, reported further evidence which suggests that Iraqi officials knew of the wave of murders and were complicit in them.
We also reported the risk of a further massacre, this time aimed at university students, male and female, who the militia murderers claim are ‘immoral’. This is likely to include more emo, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
You can sign the All Out petition here and join the global campaign to pressure the UN, world leaders and the Iraqi government to act.
Scott Nunn, Gay Star News director, said: ‘The time to act is now. Please sign this petition and help us and our friends at All Out, GME and elsewhere to save lives.’