Imagine having to flee your country or watching loved ones being tortured and killed simply because you are gay. This a horrifying fact of life for gay, lesbian and transgendered Iraqis. Since the US invasion in 2003, homophobic violence is on the increase with over 750 GLBT Iraqis being killed in this time period. A large number of GLBT Iraqis have fled to Syria where homosexuality is also illegal and conviction can result in a 3 year prison sentence. However, since the Syrian revolution, Iraqi GLBT refugees have again had to flee for their lives, this time to Turkey and other neighbouring countries. Still they are not safe.
I can’t imagine having to sleep with a gun under my pillow or being so afraid that a knock on my door means that the authorities have found me. I can’t imagine seeing family members tortured or killed because of my sexuality.
Please watch the short 6 minute documentary embedded above and then head over to Gay Middle East to learn more about the persecution of GLBT people across the region. If we remain silent about the treatment of GLBTs in the Middle East it will be taken as a sign of consent. We must blog, tweet, petition and protest if we are to make the world a safer place for everyone, regardless of sexuality.