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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

ALL-OUT Helping to Smuggle Iraqi Gay Youth Out of Danger

Iraq: Operation Relocation


A group of gay Iraqis in Baghdad, afraid to be identified because of an uptick in brutal violence. Adam Ferguson for The New York Times.

Yousif* is one of 30 Iraqis currently marked for death because he's perceived to be gay.  He just had his skull smashed with a pipe, but he's one of the lucky ones; he survived.  Yousif and the others must now leave their homes and families in order to escape certain death.

Our partners at the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) want to put an experienced team on the ground to quickly smuggle Yousif to safety.   They need $65,000 USD this week to do it, but governments and foundations are moving too slow.  That's where we come in.  If you and other All Out members chip in, we can charter transport vans and open up safe houses to protect Yousif and the others THIS WEEK.

IRAP is ready to move.  If we pull together right now, we will make sure Yousif and the 30 others get to a safe place and have a chance at a new life.  Will you chip in a small amount - whatever you can - to support this life saving mission?  We will get your contribution directly to those at risk, then report back in a few days to keep you updated:

All Out does not usually ask for money.  But this situation was so serious, we knew we had to find a way to help.  Here are the testimonials that convinced us to share this unique and heartbreaking story with you.  It was just impossible to look away:

Naseer* is being blackmailed for his sexual orientation in the wake of having been assaulted and raped by the Iraqi police in Baghdad. Naseer's blackmailer has threatened to send a picture of Naseer with another man to Naseer's family and friends - causing Naseer to fear that he wil be killed either by his family or milita groups. Naseer needs to leave Baghdad immediatelyWill you help IRAP support Naseer's relocation to a safe house on the road to permanent resettlement?

Rasul* lives in Dora, a Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad that is only slightly safer than other neighborhoods in the city. Rasul lives at his boyfriend’s house, which he is too scared to leave because of the violent threats against gay men in Iraq - and his brothers’ threats to kill him for being gay. Rasul says he can't live in Iraq because it isn’t safe for him. He is gay, his brothers know it, and they are threatening to kill him if they find himWill you help IRAP support Rasul's relocation to a safe house on the road to permanent resettlement?
We started All Out last year to ensure that everyone can live openly without sacrificing their safety or dignity.  We know we can't save every person at risk in Iraq, but right now we know how we can help and your support is critical.  If we deliver Yousif, Naseer, Rasul and others to a safe place, we can save their lives and move the international community to take broader action. They will finally have a chance to tell the story of what's happening to gays, lesbians and others who are labeled as "different" inside Iraq.   
Right now Yousif*, the man who narrowly escaped death in an anti-gay attack, tells us that staying in Iraq is a death sentence. If the All Out community can raise $65,000 USD in the next few hours, our partners at IRAP can swiftly relocate him and dozens of other gay and lesbian Iraqis.  But only if we act now:
All Out,
Alberto, Andre, Erika, Flavia, Guillaume, Jasmin, Jeremy, Joseph, Oli, Tile, Wesley
P.S. The names we've used in this email are fake, to protect people's lives, but the stories are real.
Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP)

Threats and Killings Striking Fear Among Young Iraqis, Including Gays
Ahmed, Gay Iraqi Man, Describes Escaping Death Sentence, Prison Rape In Emotional Video
"Kill lists" for "looking gay" in Iraq?

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