URGENT: Stop Executions of Gay Iraqis – Members of Iraqi LGBT Group on Death Row – Action Needed to Halt Judicial Executions
STOP EXECUTIONS OF GAY IRAQIS
MEMBERS OF IRAQI LGBT GROUP ON DEATH ROW
ACTION NEEDED TO HALT JUDICIAL EXECUTIONS
London, 27 March 2009
Urgent action is needed to halt the execution of 128 prisoners on death row in Iraq. Many of those awaiting execution were convicted for the ‘crime’ of homosexuality, according to IRAQI-LGBT, a UK based organisation of Iraqis supporting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in Iraq.
According to Ali Hili of IRAQI-LGBT, the Iraqi authorities plan to start executing them in batches of 20 from this week.
IRAQI-LGBT urgently requests that the UK Government, Human Rights Groups and the United Nations Human Rights Commission intervene with due speed to prevent this tragic miscarriage of justice from going ahead.
“We have information and reports on members of our community whom been arrested and waiting for execution for the crimes of homosexuality,’’ said Mr Hili. “Iraqi lgbt has been a banned from running our activities on Iraqi soil.”
“Raids by the Iraqi police and ministry of interior forces cost our group the diapering and killing of 17 members working for Iraqi lgbt since 2005,” added Mr Hili.
“Death penalty has been increasing at an alarming rate in Iraq since the new Iraqi regime reintroduced it in August 2004.
In 2008 at least 285 people were sentenced to death, and at least 34 executed. In 2007 at least 199 people were sentenced to death and 33 were executed, while in 2006 at least 65 people were put to death. The actual figures could be much higher as there are no official statistics for the number of prisoners facing execution,” he said.
IRAQI LGBT is concerned that the Iraqi authorities have not disclosed the identities of those facing imminent execution, stoking fears that many of them may have been sentenced to death after trials that failed to satisfy international standards for fair trial.
Most are likely to have been sentenced to death by the Central Criminal Court of Iraq (CCCI), whose proceedings consistently fall short of international standards for fair trial. Some are likely to have. Allegations of torture are not being investigated adequately or at all by the CCCI. Torture of detainees held by Iraqi security forces remains rife.
Iraq’s creaking judicial system is simply unable to guarantee fair trials in ordinary criminal cases, and even less so in capital cases, with the result, we fear, that numerous people have gone to their death after unfair trials.
The Iraqi government must order an immediate halt to these executions and establish a moratorium on all further executions in Iraq, particularly since due process cannot be guaranteed. The state executing people for ‘morals’ crimes is also obviously unacceptable and deplorable.
Amnesty International has called on the Iraqi authorities to make public all information pertaining to the 128 people, including their full names, details of the charges against them, the dates of their arrest, trial and appeal and their current places of detention.
The immediate urgent priority is to Support and Donate Money to LGBT activists in Iraq in order to assist their efforts to help other Lesbians, Gay, Bisexuals and Trans gender Iraqi’s facing death, persecution and systematic Targeting by the Iraqi Police and Badr and Sadr Militia and to raise awareness about the wave of homophobic murders in Iraq to the outside world.
Funds raised will also help provide LGBTs under threat of killing with refuge in the safer parts of Iraq (including safe houses, food, electricity, medical help) and assist efforts help them seek refuge in neighboring countries.
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Website : http://iraqilgbtuk.blogspot.com/
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