Monday, 6 April 2009

Is this what British troops were fighting for?

I've just appealed to Sussex MPs to use whatever influence they've got (some, surely) to get the Government urgently step in and prevent the execution of 128 LGBT people in Iraq.

I could hardly believe it at first: the only pro-war gong-banging that even remotely made any sense was the notion that we should be intervening to protect the human rights of Iraqis.

But last week Amnesty International reported that some 128 people faced imminent execution in the new Iraq.

The death penalty is not prohibited in International Law. Though the universal human right to life is protected in several treaties applying to Iraq, exceptions are made for so-called 'judicial killing'.

But today it has emerged that these condemned prisoners are guilty of no more than expressing their sexuality - and will lose their lives in a bloody show of anti-LGBT discrimination.

If these executions go ahead they won't just be terribly wrong - it'll be a grave crime against humanity. Is this what are troops were fighting for?

Living in Kemp Town it’s easy to forget how something as natural as falling in love is still a capital offence in countries around the world.

At last count there were 77 countries – more than a third of all nations – in which ‘homosexual behaviour’ is punishable by imprisonment, torture or even execution.

We all must champion tolerance and human rights by insisting the British Government steps in to prevent these - and all future, state-sanctioned murders - and call on our MPs to do so on our behalf.

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