STOP THE TORTURE OF LGBTQI+ IN MENA REGION
joint statement to the Middle East, North African States, UN Experts
(Paris, March 01, 2021)
“Middle Eastern and North African countries must prohibit Conversion Therapy as a form of torture and a blatant violation of human rights,” ANKH and 27 civil society groups said today in a joint statement to the United Nation Independent Expert on Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and to MENA region countries and health professionals.
Recently, the calls for the practice of Conversion Therapy in the Middle East and North Africa region have spread on a large scale.
The statement mentions that any attempts to distort and erase an individual’s identity, incite self-hatred and deny the existence of lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, transgender, queer or intersex people, have serious consequences on their physical and psychological well-being.
“Conversion Therapy is widely spread due to the misconception that a person's sexual orientation or gender identity can and should be corrected,” said the founder of ANKH Association, Taha Metwally.
The statement was submitted to the UN Independent Expert on Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, mental health associations, medical unions, and the print and broadcast media in the MENA region.
The human right groups urged officials to demand Conversion Therapy to be prohibited, and requested the print and broadcast media to stop promoting unscientific myths regarding homosexuality, gender diversity, and Conversion Therapy.
They also demand the administrators of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube to stop permitting the promotion of such myths on their platforms, and prohibit any content that amplifies those lies, whether by recommendation systems for content in use or as a result of targeted advertising practices.
“Human right groups continue to sound the alarm on the Conversion Therapy practice in the MENA region, while the LGBTQI+ individuals are still subjected to abuse and torture under the name of ‘medical therapy’ in the Middle East and North Africa,” Metwally said.
“Social media platforms like Facebook must immediately stop allowing this heresy to spread on their platforms, as it is a form of abuse impacting the individuals’ social and psychological well-being.”
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