Iraq: Impunity for Violence Against LGBT People.

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03/22/2022

Armed groups in Iraq abduct, rape, torture, and kill lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, with impunity, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today with IraQueer. The police arrest and also carry out violence against them. The 86-page report, “‘Everyone Wants Me Dead’: Killings, Abductions, Torture, and Sexual Violence Against LGBT People by Armed Groups in Iraq,” documents cases of attempted murder of LGBT people by armed groups primarily within the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), which are nominally under the prime minister’s authority. Human Rights Watch also 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. “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, making their lives unlivable,” said Rasha Younes, LGBT rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The Iraqi government has done nothing to stop the violence or hold the abusers accountable.”

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