A fundraising event at the Human Rights Campaign headquarters on July 24 to benefit an LGBT community centre in Lebanon last week took a surprise turn when stunned audience members were shown graphic photographs of beheaded corpses and images purportedly depicting US soldiers preparing to execute gay Iraqis.

The accusations were made by two gay Iraqi refugees, who declined to use their real names, in a presentation detailing alleged abuses of fellow gay Iraqis, reports the Washington Blade.

Images of a beheaded gay Iraqi man and what appeared to be an American soldier standing in front of a small group of four or five kneeling naked men who were chained together were shown to the audience by one of the men, who goes by the name “Hussam.”

While admitting that Iraqis often commit anti-gay violence in Iraq, Hussam said US service members were also involved in anti-gay hostility. He claimed that US service members had detained Iraqi civilians thought to be gay and executed them. He feared public disclosure of the photos would incite further violence in Iraq and refused to turn over copies of the images.

Several audience members voiced their scepticism of the events that Hussam detailed in his speech. Others called on the US government to investigate the claims.

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