Take Action was an online campaign started by Yeksani with contribution from local activists in response to an “operation” by the Kurdish Security Forces which aimed to detain LGBT+ individuals on April 1, 2021. The campaign urged the security forces to halt the campaign immediately, and raised international concern over the violations and unlawful arrests made.
As part of effort to raise awareness, Yeksani held a meeting with the United States Consulate General in Erbil, discussing the violations, LGBT+ community needs and wants, as well as requesting the consulate to be more involved in the issue. Later, parties such as Human Rights Watch, ILGA Asia, and others released statements on the incident.
Consul General Rob Waller spoke today with #Sulaymaniya-based LGBTI activists with @Yeksanii about the challenges their community faces in the IKR as well as U.S. support for #LGBTI rights as human rights. pic.twitter.com/ZmB1UiC3oW
— U.S. Consulate General Erbil (@USConGenErbil) April 14, 2021
As a result of hard work by local activists and assistance from international and national NGOs, as well as international media pressure, the operation was cancelled, and everyone detained was released the same night. In a rare occurrence, Asaiysh released an English statement on the matter, saying they received disturbance reports due to sex work in the region, and that was the reason for the operation. This statement was criticised by local activists and brushed off as an excuse.
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