Main | Wednesday, August 12, 2009

No Evidence Our Soldiers Killed Gay Iraqis

Last month, two gay Iraqis spoke to a group of Washington LGBT activists, claiming they had evidence that American soldiers had taken part in the murders of gay men in Iraq. Yesterday the Washington Blade reported that U.S. Army officials have investigated the claim and found no evidence to support the charges. Additionally, one of the gay Iraqis making the accusation has recanted, saying language barriers caused him to be misunderstood.
Chris Grey, a U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command spokesperson, said in an e-mail Tuesday that special agents determined there was no “credible evidence” to support such claims after receiving a sworn statement from the gay Iraqi refugee who made the accusations. Grey noted that the refugee, who went by the alias “Hussam” during the public presentation in which he made the allegations, said in the statement that “his words were taken out of context, he was misunderstood due to language barriers and he was misquoted.” The Blade first reported Hussam’s allegations, and in subsequent correspondence with the Blade he never identified inaccuracies in previous articles. The charges surfaced July 24 when Hussam spoke during a benefit held at the Human Rights Campaign headquarters intended to raise money for Helem, a Lebanon-based center that works to address the plight of LGBT people in the Middle East.
The Human Rights Campaign praised the Army for promptly launching an investigation.

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