As I mentioned in my previous post on London Pride 2007, Gay Pride events in countries like England are not only a celebration of achievements but also an occasion to raise the issues of human rights abuses, discrimination and homophobia in many parts of the world. Among the most disadvantaged are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Muslims who live under the constant fear of being prosecuted and tortured in their countries. Some of them are brave enough to get organised and provide support to their compatriots.
Today I specifically want to mention Iraqi LGBT whose conditions were worsened to the impossible extent after the start of the war and now under the process of 'democratisation' of Iraq. Iraqi LGBT had a special stall in Trafalgar square in London during the rally which was a part of London Pride events. I had a chat with some of Iraqi activists and was introduced to the head of Iraqi LGBT organisation in Britain. The stories of survival and struggle they told sounded a bit surreal, but the sad reality is that they were real... They desperately need our help in order to continue the provision of support to LGBT Iraqis. Not only they communicate the information on human rights abuses to the outer world, they also provide individual LGBT people in Iraq with very practical help: refuge in the safer parts of Iraq, in relatively safe houses under the protection of special 'LGBT security'; efforts to help them seek refuge in neighbouring countries or asylum abroad and so on...
For more information and to help Iraqi LGBT, please visit their site here
Here is a copy of leaflet distributed by Iraqi LGBT activists during the London Pride: