LGBT and women’s rights groups in Ecuador have discovered young women are being held captive in more than 200 illegal clinics, where they are often raped, tortured, starved and beaten in attempts to ‘cure’ their sexual identity.

“While the government of Ecuador made a show of shutting down nearly 30 clinics this summer, our friends there are saying that over 200 still exist across the country — holding young women against their will,” global LGBTI rights group All Out reported on its website.

“Every person has dignity … one must respect a person independently of their sexual preference,” Ecuador’s consitution states.

Tens of thousands of people have signed All Out’s petition calling on President Rafael Correa to close down the remaining clinics.

“Sign this urgent letter to the Ecuadorian president, and we’ll deliver it to him with our partners in Ecuador — demanding these illegal clinics are shut down once and for all,” All Out said.

The petition is at www.allout.org/ecuadorclinics

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