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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