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US concerned over perceived targeting of LGTBI in Sulaimani

  2021-04-03  | 
 Zhyan News Network
US Consulate General logo in a graphic by Zhyan News Network
 Zhyan News Network


SULAIMANI – US Consul General in Erbil on Saturday (April 3) said that it was concerned about a recent arrests by the security forces in Sulaimani targeting individuals perceived to be belonging to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) community.

On Friday, the Sulaimani Asayish Directorate said that the arrests were after complaints by locals in Sarchinar neighborhood about “debauchery” and “sexual deviance”, but it refuted the operation had targeted any specific group.

It was not exposed to the public opinion if the arrested people have been released as of Saturday afternoon.

“We are watching with concern the events in [Sulaimani] that seem to be targeting members of the LGBTI community for arrest,” the consulate said in a tweet.

LGTBI advocacy groups have voiced outrage regarding the arrests.

In its annually human rights report, US State Department said that LGBTI community faced intimidation, threats, violence, and discrimination in the Kurdistan Region in 2020.

“LGBTI individuals struggled to be accepted by their family members and the IKR community and disguised their identity from their families due to fear of violence, verbal abuse, and killing,” said the State Department, referring to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq or the Kurdistan Region.

On February 22, lawmaker of the Kurdistan Parliament Omar Gulpi from the Kurdistan Justice Group (KJG) filed a lawsuit with a court in Sulaimani accusing an LGBTI advocacy of “defending homosexuality and encouraging youths and publishing information in this regard.”

(Zhyan News Network)