"Out Of Iraq" Stars Attend Historic Screening At The United Nations

"LGBTI rights are human rights. LGBTI rights are essential rights — end of story."

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power spoke at an unprecedented screening of the new Logo documentary Out In Iraq at the U.N. Headquarters in New York on Thursday.

Directed by Eva Orner and Chris McKim, Out In Iraq tells the story of an Iraqi soldier and a translator for the U.S. military who fell in love, and how they were torn apart for years when one becomes the target of an honor killing.

The film tracks the couple's struggle in seeking refugee status through the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and shows how the long process can be devastating or even deadly.

At the screening, hosted by Logo, World of Wonder the U.S. Mission to the United Nations and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Power put emphasis on the fact that LGBT refugees abroad aren't relocated with a sense of urgency even though they could be killed by members of their own communities.

"LGBTI rights and the rights of migrants are among the most pressing human rights issues of our time," she said. "LGBTI rights are human rights. LGBTI rights are essential rights — end of story."

Nayyef Hrebid and Btoo Allami, the subjects of Out In Iraq, spoke about the importance of the film on a panel moderated by Omar Sharif Jr. Others on the dais included Michael Failla, a refugee advocate who helped the couple, Sean Eldridge of OutRight Action International and Christine Matthews, Deputy Director of the UNHCR.

Stressing the difference between cultures, Hrebid told the audience "we cannot be ourselves back in Iraq because we are shunned by our families. They call us 'shameful' but for us, it's just who we are."

He added: "We need to help a new generation accept the LGBT community."

Out of Iraq premieres Monday, June 13, at 9pm on Logo.

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