Image via WikipediaIan Kelly
Daily Press Briefing
June 10, 2009
US condemns acts of violence and human rights violations against people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity
Training for Iraqis security forces includes instruction on proper observance of human rights
The US Embassy will continue to raise the issue with senior Iraqi officials / Urged them to respond appropriately to all credible reports of violence against gay and lesbian Iraqis
QUESTION: Iraq if I can. The other week, Muqtada al-Sadr said that the depravity of homosexuality must be eradicated. And while he went on to say that he was not advocating violence, there obviously has been a lot of rather gruesome violence directed at gays and lesbians in Iraq. So I was wondering if State has any reaction to that.
And then off the back of that, is there any extra responsibility that the U.S. feels towards these groups who were, by their accounts, safer and more free to live their lives under Saddam?
MR. KELLY: Well, let me say that, in general, we absolutely condemn acts of violence and human rights violations committed against individuals in Iraq because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This is an issue that we’ve been following very closely since we have been made aware of these allegations, and we are aware of the allegations.
Our training for Iraqi security forces includes instruction on the proper observance of human rights. Human rights training is also a very important part of our and other international donors’ civilian capacity-building efforts in Iraq. And the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has raised and will continue to raise the issue with senior officials from the Government of Iraq, and has urged them to respond appropriately to all credible reports of violence against gay and lesbian Iraqis.