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85,000 demand Ecuador close “ex-gay” clinics accused of torture

WASHINGTON – More than 85,000 people from over 124 countries have signed a Change.org petition calling on Ecuador’s Minister of Health to investigate and close more than 200 “ex-gay clinics” that allegedly use torture techniques turn homosexuals straight.

Fundacion Causana, Taller de Comunicacion Mujer and Artikulacion Esporadika, a coalition of leading Ecuadorian women’s rights activists, are leading the petition campaign after working with females who have escaped what they call “torture clinics.” Many of these women cite widespread physical and psychological abuse including verbal threats, shackling, days without food or water, sexual abuse and physical torture.

“The Ecuadorian government must stop turning a blind eye and wake up to the horrific reality of these lesbian torture clinics,” said Karen Barba, director of Fundacion Causana. “There are estimates of 200 clinics or more still in business, many of which pose as drug rehabilitation centers. That means that there are likely hundreds or thousands of women and men being tortured and sexually abused on a daily basis.”

“The perpetrators of these clinics are not only getting away with obscene human rights abuses, they are actually profiting off them,” Barba said. “We are inspired to see over 80,000 people support the campaign on Change.org and we will not stop until each and every clinic has been closed.”

Fundacion Causana is calling on Dr. David Chirboga Allnut, Ecuador’s minister of health, to investigate and close the clinics. More than 80,000 people from around the world have joined the organization’s campaign on Change.org, the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change.

“The fact that Fundacion Causana has managed to bring international attention to this local issue is incredible,” said Emilia Gutierrez, Change.org organizing manager. “With very little resources and only an internet connection, Fundacion Causana has managed to recruit more than 80,000 supporters from 124 countries. Change.org is about empowering anyone, anywhere to demand action on the issues that matter to them, and it has been incredible to watch Fundacion Causana’s campaign gain such widespread support.”

How to contact Ecuador’s Ministry of Health

Ecuador Ministry of Public Health, Communications Department +593 2-3814-400, comunicacion.social@msp.gob

Ecuador Minister of Public Health, Foreign Press Contact +593 2-3827-000, ext. 7087

About Fundacion Causana group

Fundacion Causana is a coalition group of LGBT activists in Ecuador. The group has been working directly with women and men who have escaped “ex-gay torture clinics” in Ecuador. The group is using Change.org and online campaigning to pressure the Ecuadorian goverment into investigating and closing the 200+ “ex- gay clinics” that continue to stay in business. More than 65,000 people in over 124 countries have joined Fundacion Causana’s campaign on Change.org.

About Change.org

Change.org is one of the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change — growing by more than 400,000 new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country.