We've moved! To our new website www.iraqilgbt.org.uk

Ali must travel!

Iraqi LGBT is being blocked from advocating for the group by the UK government — find out how you can help.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Iraqi LGBT launch new website

Press Statement
For immediate use

Iraqi LGBT launch new website

London, June 10 - The human rights group Iraqi LGBT is launching a new website iraqilgbt.org.uk this Saturday June 12 from 9pm at Habibi Club in London.

Habibi Club is known as the 'best Middle Eastern LGBT club night' in London.

There will be snacks and lots of freebies.

The resident DJ Nikki Lucas will be playing the finest Rai’n’B, Arabic, Turkish, Greek, Urban Desi and Balkan flavas, with special guests Sheerien (Uber Lingua Austraila) & Georgia (Hade,Notes,Yalla, Wotever World)

Snakeboy Sunny will be 'live and direct' on the dancefloor

Admission is £4 before 10pm, £6 till midnight, £7 After and there is free entry to Drag Artists

Start Time:
  Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 9:00pm
End Time:
  Sunday, June 13, 2010 at 3:00am
Location:
  The Oak Bar
Street:
  79 Green Lanes, Stoke Newington


The website has been developed Pro Bono by Second Variety, "a web company with a difference", with particular thanks to Jamie Archer and Erez Odier, as well as Paul Canning and Matthew Heckart who have helped develop the website.

The website development has been made possible by funding received by the Netherlands-based group Hivos, the Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation. Their support for Iraqi LGBT is now in its second year.

Hivos also help to support Iraqi LGBT's 'safe house' project, which shelters many lesbians, gay men and transgender people in Iraq from attack and potential murder.

ENDS


Information for editors

  1. Iraqi LGBT is a human rights organisation with members inside Iraq and in exile. It provides safe houses for gays, lesbians and transgender people and has helped people escape into exile.
  2. Iraqi LGBT has documented over 700 murders in Iraq.
  3. More on Hivos

Friday, June 04, 2010

Iraqi LGBT extremely concerned by new plans for UK removals of refugees to Iraq

Asylum seekers from Iraq facing deportation from Britain. Left to right: Ali Namiq, Rahman Rasoul, anonymous refugee, Sirajadin Hosmadin Bahadin. Photograph: Sean Smith for the Guardian



Press statement

London, 4 June 2010 - The Iraqi LGBT group has today expressed its 'deep concern' about reports that the British Home Office is planning to return 100 Iraqi refugees to Baghdad Wednesday 9 June - despite a recent UK report saying this was not safe.

"This group will certainly contain deeply closeted gay people and they will be at extreme risk of torture and murder in Baghdad," said Group leader Ali Hili.

Iraqi LGBT say that the Iraqi government provide no security for gays - infact the opposite as its members have reported the involvement of both police and Interior Ministry forces in handing over gay people to militias with either their tortured bodies being subsequently discovered or them disappearing.

The group has just released new testimony about Iraqi government complicity on YouTube, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ts3PedvPrs

Said Hili, "the Western media is not reporting the level of violence continuing in Baghdad. Bombings and assassinations continue to happen almost daily - this is why the United Nations said it is unsafe to remove refugees to that city. The lack of reporting means that the Home Office think they can get away with this inhuman action."

Amnesty International said in April that there was evidence that members of the security forces and other authorities were encouraging the targeting of people suspected to be gay.

The report added that killers of gay men could find protection under the law, as it offers lenient sentences for those committing crimes with an “honourable motive”.

"We condemn the proposed removals by the British government and the Iraqi government's complicity. Many of these people are opponents of the regime and if returned will end up being killed."

It has been reported by the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees (IFIR) that the 100 refugees have been screened by UK Border Agency 'ambassadors' pretending to be Iraqi embassy representatives at a detention centre. Refugees have reported being threatened by those 'interviewing' them.

"We are very familiar with such threats," said Ali. "I and other members of our group in exile have faced this, as have our family members. Many of our members have been murdered in Iraq and we have had safe houses invaded and people massacred. If these people are removed many of them will also be murdered."

Iraqi LGBT has cataloged 738 murders in the past five years.

The group has backed the call by the IFIR for the British government to end what IFIR calls "this inhuman policy" of refugee removals to Iraq.

Notes for editors

1. Iraqi LGBT is a human rights organisation with members inside Iraq and in exile. It provides safe houses for gays, lesbians and transgender people and has helped people escape into exile.

2. The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees campaigns for the rights of Iraqi refugees and against forcible deportations and detention.  The Coalition to Stop Deportations to Iraq campaigns against the forcible deportation and detention of Iraqi refugees.

3. The flight will be the first to Iraq since the 14th October, when ten people were deported to Baghdad and the thirty-three others on the plane were sent back by the Iraqi authorities.
See www.csdiraq.com for more information

4. At least four million Iraqis have been forced to flee either to another part of Iraq or abroad since the war began in 2003

5. According to Home Office figures, 632 people were forcibly deported to the KRG region in the north between 2005 and 2008. The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees estimates that the figure, with the monthly charter flights deporting 50 people at a time since the beginning of 2009, currently stands at approximately 900.

6. Iraqi LGBT has worked with and supported the work of IFIR for several years.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Video: Iraqi government complicity in anti-gay pogrom

Iraqi LGBT presents evidence of government forces actions against gays and transgender people in Iraq.

Testimony smuggled out of Iraq shows how police and Interior Ministry forces are terrorising LGBT people.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Event: Celebrate launch of new Iraqi LGBT website

A picture I took of the disco ball in the main...Image via Wikipedia
HABIBI CLUB LONDON

BEST MIDDLE EASTERN LGBT CLUB NIGHT IN LONDON

COME and CELEBRATE the Launch of LGBT IRAQI SOLIDARITY GROUP web site
10% of door takings going to the LGBT Iraqi Solidarity Group.
There will be snacks and lots of freebies.

RESIDENT DJ NIKKI LUCAS will be playing the finest Rai’n’B, Arabic, Turkish, Greek, Urban Desi and Balkan flavas, with special guests SHEERIEN (Uber Lingua Austraila) & GEORGIA (Hade,Notes,Yalla, Wotever World)

SNAKEBOY SUNNY will be live and direct on the dancefloor

SPREAD THE WORD AND SEE YOU THERE!!!

ADMISSION
£4 before 10pm, £6 till midnight, £7 After
Free entry to Drag Artists

Start Time:
  Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 9:00pm
End Time:
  Sunday, June 13, 2010 at 3:00am
Location:
  The Oak Bar
Street:
  79 Green Lanes, Stoke Newington
City/Town:
  London, United Kingdom


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Saturday, May 22, 2010

From Baghdad to Blantyre: Gays in Iraq express solidarity with gays in Malawi

Press statement

In a message from Baghdad, lesbians and gays living in hiding from death squads in that city have expressed their solidarity with the Malawian gay couple Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza sentenced to 14 years imprisonment in Blantyre this week.

Their message reads:

"The Lgbt community inside Iraq would like to shows its solidarity and support for Tiwonge and Steven in Malawi."

بغداد ٢٠-٥-٢٠١٠

تستنكر منظمة مثيليي العراق بكافة اعضايها داخل وخارج العراق قرار الحبس الجائر بخصوص
"As the Lgbt community inside Iraq is suffering the most in the modern history of Iraq, we feel that our pain is similar, our enemy is one."

"Homophobia is the enemy all the Lgbt are facing. We call for action and solidarity and we call upon the Malawi government to immediately release the couple and issue an apology to the Lgbt community in Malawai."

Lesbians and gays in Iraq are supported by two safe houses run by Iraqi LGBT, a human rights organisation based in London.

The five year old organisation has previously run more safe houses but is unable to offer more support through safe houses or in most parts of the country due to lack of funding. Nevertheless, Iraqi LGBT has members throughout Iraq who try to support each other.

Iraqi LGBT also supports some refugees who it has helped flee to escape direct threats on their life. Threats have followed some of them outside Iraq. Leader Ali Hili moved house in London due to them and continues to receive regular threats.

The group has documented the violent deaths of over 700 lesbians, gays and transgender people in Iraq at the hands of militias and some government forces over the past five years.

No one has been prosecuted for these crimes and no action has been taken by the Iraqi government to offer any sort of protection for lesbians, gays and transgender people.

Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga were handed a 14 year jail sentence for homosexuality on Thursday in Blantyre, Malawi.

The sentence has been condemned by many governments. Human rights activist Peter Tatchell said: “Fourteen years with hard labour could kill Steven and Tiwonge. Malawi's prison conditions are appallingly unhealthy.”

“Detainees die in custody. Infectious diseases like TB are rife. Medical treatment is sub-standard. Food rations are very poor nutritional value; mostly maize porridge, beans and water, causing malnutrition. After only five months behind bars, Steven has been seriously ill and has not received proper medical treatment.”

Monday, May 10, 2010

Iraqi LGBT takes part in International Day against Homophobia

Camden LGBT Forum 
Saturday 15 May, 2.30PM
The 52 Club, Gower Street

Talks by Ali Hili, Reverend Roland Jide Macaulay, Exhibition of Paul Harfleet's amazing Pansy Project, Songs by Pilar Awa, Exclusive Video Footage of Iraq
Free Refreshments-no need to book-just turn up.

Just Friends
IDAHO special: gays in Iraq
Wednesday 19 May, 7:00PM.

This event  is open to members of “Just Friends” only, but if you are interested in attending, please email deco24@tiscali.co.uk

Friday, May 07, 2010

Iraqi LGBT receives Monette-Horwitz award

Iraqi LGBT is honoured to have received a 2010 Monette-Horwitz Trust Award.

The awards were established in the will of the late novelist Paul Monette to recognize his relationship with the late Roger Horwitz and to honor individuals and organizations for their significant contributions toward eradicating homophobia. They come with a $2500 cheque.

They are awarded to individuals of diverse cultural backgrounds, genders, and sexual orientations. The Trust acknowledges the accomplishments of organizations and persons working in arenas ranging from academic research and creative expression to activism and community organizing.

The Trust told Iraqi LGBT "what you are doing to monitor abuse of LGBT in Iraq is very important, and we want to support and encourage your continuing work."

"We greatly admire what you are doing and we hope the encouragement offered by the award will help you continue your work and activism. We appreciate what you are doing for the global community."

"You are in distinguished company."

Iraqi LGBT spokesperson Ali Hili said: "This has come as a complete surprise and we are very honoured, particularly to be amongst such esteemed other awardees both this year and previously."

"Unfortunately we are unable to travel to accept the award in person [at the 2010 Lambda Literary Awards Ceremony in New York] as my travel is restricted by the British government, so the Trust has posted it to us."

Following Monette's instructions, there are no applications for the awards. Recommendations are given by an Advisory Committee to Monette's appointed Trustee, his brother Robert L. Monette.

Paul Monette and Roger Horwitz were committed to bringing about an end to homophobia both through their individual activities and through their union.

Roger Horwitz wrote poetry in his student years and received his undergraduate degree from Brandeis University, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. His first jobs were in France teaching English and then working for the publishers Larousse and Gallimard. He received his Ph.D in comparative literature from Harvard University in 1972, writing his dissertation on French novelist Henri Thomas as he also began Harvard Law School. He received his law degree in 1973.

Paul Monette was an honors student at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA and received his undergraduate degree in English from Yale in 1967, where he was Class Poet. Monette and Horwitz met September 4, 1974 in Boston, during the middle years of gay liberation. As he described their introduction in Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story (1992), Paul Monette said to Roger Horwitz, "Say hello to the rest of your life."

Paul and Roger moved to Los Angeles in November 1977, and both men were associated strongly with the LGBT activities of that city until their deaths. Horwitz worked as a corporate attorney, then founded his own practice with clients such as the Downtown Women's Center. He succumbed to AIDS in 1986. After Roger's death, Monette did the writing and activism for which he will remain known, capturing in his verse, fiction, non-fiction, fable, and public speaking appearances, the hopes, dreams, and rage of an entire generation.

Before his own death from AIDS in 1995, Monette established the Monette-Horwitz Trust to ensure the continued fruits of their activism as well as the memory of their loving partnership.

The other awardees are: the transsexual 'warrior' Leslie Feinberg; Impact Stories, which is a Californian oral history project; the Rev. Eric P. Lee, president of the Los Angeles chapter of Southern Christian Leadership Conference; Naz Foundation, the largest AIDS healthcare NGO in India, and; RFD and White Crane Journal, America's two oldest reader-written-and-produced quarterlies celebrating queer diversity.
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