Almost 60 Iraqis Perceived To Be Gay Or Emo Have Been Murdered In Last 6 Weeks

More reports of murders of people perceived to be gay or emo are emerging in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq. A week, ago the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission released a report saying 40 gay people were “kidnapped, brutally tortured and murdered” in a “new surge of anti-gay violence.”

Now, the AP reports the number has risen even higher, and that the targets include “emos”:

Young people who identify themselves as so-called Emos are being brutally killed at an alarming rate in Iraq, where militias have distributed hit lists of victims and security forces say they are unable to stop crimes against the subculture that is widely perceived in Iraq as being gay.

Officials and human rights groups estimated as many as 58 Iraqis who are either gay or believed to be gay have been killed in the last six weeks alone—forecasting what experts fear is a return to the rampant hate crimes against homosexuals in 2009. This year, eyewitnesses and human rights groups say some of the victims have been bludgeoned to death by militiamen smashing in their skulls with heavy concrete blocks.

It’s somewhat unclear whether conservative Iraqis are targeting both gays and emos because they’re both seen as unnatural Western cultural phenomena, or whether they’re mistaking gays for emos, or the other way around, but, in any case, this is all pretty freaking awful.

The murderous militia is also not about to stop anytime soon. They recently distributed a hit list of 32 men and one woman with the following language: “We warn in the strongest terms to every male and female debauchee. If you do not stop this dirty act within four days, then the punishment of God will fall on you at the hands of Mujahideen.”

Vice magazine conducted an interview with Ali Hili, a gay Iraqi living in London who runs the charity Iraqi LGBT. Said Hili:

Our government is doing so much to help and support the killers. Honestly, I think the main reason the killing is happening at the moment is because these people have basically been given a green light by the Ministry of Interiors to carry on with their genocide. They are doing nothing at all to bring criminals to justice or to stop this wave of unjustified violence. Yet the Ministry of Interiors says that it has nothing to do with these crimes…

To tell you the truth, prior to the invasion, [life for LGBT people in Iraq] was really good. I wasn’t in favour of the previous dictator, and I was so against him and his policies in general. Having said that, life in general for sexual minorities was quite relaxed. We used to have nightclubs and areas where people could come and go and do whatever they wanted. Nobody ever bothered them. There was a cruising area in central Baghdad that was protected by patrolling police cars. Which is something people can’t believe when I tell them now…

[That ended] when the US and UK invaded Iraq. That ended the secular state of Iraq, and turned it into a very “dark ages”, fanatical, religious period for Iraq. They brought us a Shi’ite government whose ideology is imported from Iran, they adopted their lifestyle strategy and cultural habits, and they tried to impose this on Iraq’s society.

So it looks like the list of George W. Bush’s contributions to LGBT rights is truly international.

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  • Christopher Banks

    So sad, and yet more proof that religion truly poisons everything. Quite an achievement – that you could be safer under a dictator than in a ‘free’ state.

  • CBRad

    @Christopher Banks: Sort of. But gays in the atheist Soviet Union, Romania, and Cuba didn’t do too well either.

  • Bill Perdue

    Another legacy of the genocidal US invasion and long occupation of Iraq.

    The degradation of Iraqi society began when Bush1 attacked Iraq because of their occupation of their province of Kuwait. Bush1 led the invasion of Iraqi territory in Kuwait and set the stage for two decades of mass murder by the US and their junior partners the UK in the region.

    Bill Clinton callously and deliberately murdered half a million Iraqi children citing lies about Iraqi WMDs. Clinton is a war criminal and a monster.

    Bush2 invaded Afghanistan and then Iraq, actions which led to the murder of a further 1,000,000 plus Iraqis. He too is a warmongering monster.

    Now Obama’s christian troops are repeating the depredations of Iraq in Afghanistan.

    These people are war criminals. We should continue to press for convening an International War Crimes Tribunal to investigate US and UK actions in Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Bahrain, Yemen, Palestine and Afghanistan and in their preparations for a war against Iran.

  • shannon


  • Bill Perdue

    @shannon: The only ‘savages’ here are the ever so chirstian Bushes, Clintons and Obama who created this mess.

    We need an International War Crimes Tribunal to investigate US their actions in Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Bahrain, Yemen, Palestine and Afghanistan and their preparations for a war against Iran.

  • Little-Kiwi

    it’s inspiring, however, that despite the overwhelming culture of outright violent hatred and government-sanctioned persecution of LGBT people overseas there are still OUT, Openly-LGBT, people over there working hard to live freely, represent themselves, and work hard to open the doors for Equality.

    truly. it’s staggering. despite the still-prevalent bigotries here in North America the cultural-climate here is far less savage. and people choose not to take advantage of it, and continue to give excuses for not helping others. that we have grown adult men in high-ranking positions of power…who not only refuse to Come Out, but choose to side with the anti-gay forces as part of their disguise.

    i’m awed by the strength and resilience of the LGBT Communities in Iraq who are selflessly defying persecution and prejudice to do the right thing.

  • Mark Moscow

    @CBRad: Abraham’s religions are coz of homophobia.They are made patriarchat homophobic. Yes, now even ateists can be homophobes, but firstly were homophobic ideologies with their anti-gay social etiquete. Gay peoples who support Abraham’s ideologies are extremely idiots!

  • Frasco

    @Bill Perdue: The war in Afghanistan was a UN sponsored invasion under the Bush administration; The invasion of Iraq was not. You also seem to ignore the fact that the Soviets invaded Afghanistan several years before NATO. It’s hardly fair to lay blame on Obama when he was left to deal with the mess the Bush administration left behind.

    Maybe you should take a look at what’s going on in Syria today. Over 50 years of malevolent dictators killing tens of thousands of people. Now, as the world watches Syria, Russia and China are vetoing any intervention against the regime. Russia is willing to let thousands of people die in order to protect billions of dollars in arms deals. China is resolute in not supporting any measure to take action against anyone violating UN human rights.

    It’s also sad to see Libya not recognizing the same human rights for LGBT people. Personally I find UN defined human rights are a joke. Under previous dictatorships, people HAD these rights. I believe George Carlin said it best: “You have no rights. Only privileges.”

  • Bill Perdue

    @Frasco: The war in Afghanistan was and is a US war, whether or not it has a meaningless UN ‘sanction’ or not. The USSR lost in Afghanistan but that has nothing at all to do with Obama’s vast escalation there or the fact that he’s a major war criminal.

    Obama created the vastly increased scale of this racist war for resources and bases, to surround Iran and to appease the US war and oil industries. It’s not Bushes war, it’s Obama’s war and it’s racist and shameful as yesterday shooting spree by a crazed christer racist shows.

    Instead of making excuses for war criminals like Bush and Obama maybe you should concentrate on ending the criminality of US and UK leaders, including the Clintons and Tony Blair. I’m happy to rely on the workers, students and youth who’ve led demonstrations in Iran, Syria, Bahrain, Egypt, Palestine and elsewhere to defeat their rightwing or colonialist governments and hope that the US and NATO will not intervene as they did in Libya to kill even more civilians.

    In order to advance those countries need thoroughgoing socialist and anti-colonialist revolutions.

    We should demand the total and immediate withdrawal and demobilization of all US armed forces, propose a treaty compensating nations attacked by the US and another treaty promising not to invade other countries and finally, laws criminalizing the promotion of war to create profits for businesses.

    Remember in November! Obama and the Democrats are constantly moving to the right. Vote left, write in Brad Manning or just sit it out. Before and after the elections build unions, the union left and the occupy movements.

  • Curtis

    So fucked up to see this happening.
    It breaks my heart.. I almost couldn’t even post.
    And I feel so much more the powerless knowing that my country’s only interest in the Mideast is monetary. Our Rulers, (which is the only term that feels appropriate to refer to them as at times like these), are nothing more than ego-maniacal, self serving modern-day kings.

  • lohen

    when they stop killing women
    when they stop killing gay’s
    when they stop killing emo kids
    Also it’s in their religion that they can lie to anyone outside of their religion so I wont be trusting them anytime soon
    When all that bull crap stops I might start to care about what happens to them. Until then our troops can piss where ever they damn well please.

  • Kayak

    @Christopher Banks: Religion doesn’t do that, people do. People just use religious beliefs as excuses to perpetrate their evil acts.

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