From Web to Dead: Iraq’s Gays Murdered Via Chat Room


In Ghana, we thought all gays had to worry about when going online to meet dudes was getting ripped off by scammers, who use dating sites and chat rooms to lure foreigners into robbery setups. But in Iraq, that same web activity will get you killed.

Exploring just how anti-gay militias in Iraq are targeting queers there, the Guardian sits down with the men cruising same-sex sites — up to six hours a day — to pick their next victims. While the men on the other end of the computer screen think they’re finding a mate, they’re actually setting themselves up to be beaten, tortured, killed, and made an example of.

Sitting on the floor, wearing traditional Islamic clothes and holding an old notebook, Abu Hamizi, 22, spends at least six hours a day searching internet chatrooms linked to gay websites. He is not looking for new friends, but for victims.

“It is the easiest way to find those people who are destroying Islam and who want to dirty the reputation we took centuries to build up,” he said. When he finds them, Hamizi arranges for them to be attacked and sometimes killed.

Hamizi, a computer science graduate, is at the cutting edge of a new wave of violence against gay men in Iraq. Made up of hardline extremists, Hamizi’s group and others like it are believed to be responsible for the deaths of more than 130 gay Iraqi men since the beginning of the year alone.

Laughably, despite all the evidence otherwise, Iraqi police still claim systemic violence against gays does not exist. Gluing anuses shut? Castrating men? Leaving their bodies on display? Isolated examples.

Word must already be spreading throughout the gay communities in Baghdad and elsewhere that these attacks originate online, giving Iraq’s gays greater reason to play it safe online. But even American gays know: When you feel isolated, outcast, and shunned in your own society, the Internet is an easy escape. And an easy way to find those like you.

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  • terrwill

    When the hell are we ever going to learn??? The whole damm culture in that area of the world at its very core opposite of everything our culture is based on. Kill a woman who has been raped? They are fine with that…….Torture two teen age gay kids for two years then hang them in public? They are fine with that…………A woman is subject to a false accusation of infedility by her husband, then buried up to her chest and stoned to death by the men in her village INCLUDING HER FATHER AND BROTHERS!!……They are fine with that. Coercing little boys to become suicide bombers? Live among us for five years then turn airplanes into guided missles and kill 3000 innocent persons? Again they are fine with that……..There is no reasoning, attempting to meet common ground with these subhuman scum. They ultimate goal is to destroy our culture and populatioin. Is there anyone reading this who has any doubt that once they get a nuclear device they are not going to detonate it in one of our cities?? Notice I say “when” not “if”
    Our President is getting bogged down in this mess, although I must at least give him credit for trying to caputer Bin Laden, something W seemed to forget about. We should bomb Afghanstan into the stone age as payback for Bin Ladens casusing 9/11. Set the strongest possible example Get our troops the hell out of there and make it known any country that allows these subhuman scum to exist and carries out any harm to any interest of the United States will face the exact same conseqences……………

  • Eugene

    Now we all know that Islam isn’t a “religion of peace”. Just like any other religion, it’s the opposite of logic and reason. That’s why it still amazes me that some gays are Christians and Muslims.

  • tinkerbell

    @Eugene: Amen from an a-theist:)

  • Mark

    The gay chat room to murder story was not in the Guardian. If was in fact in yesterday’s Observer, a UK newspaper that publishes only on Sunday. Guardian Newspapers Trust, which owns both the Guardian and the Observer, keeps the two papers completely seperate – in fact there is fierce competition between the two titles, despite sharing the same website.

  • Lloyd Baltazar


    This is horrible. This SO BAD. Why are some people this evil? I fail to see the compassion and sympathy for these people who just want to murder Gays and Lesbians for wanting a little love in such a hate-mongered, discriminatory society. I hope their conscience punishes them for their misdeeds against humanity.

  • Lloyd Baltazar


    Well, Eugene—because gay or lesbian sexuality is NOT the only source of humanity in this world. No matter how much Gay pride you can troll up in your homo parades and queer fiestas, there is a much deeper sense of dignity and respect that is found in a religious experience—be it Roman Catholic or Islam.

    The reason why many Gays and Lesbians continue to have a spiritual and religious relationship with ANY religion, be it Roman Catholic or Muslim is BECAUSE general spirituality touches the human heart and emotions with deep convictions of morality and social justice. No religion is perfect but that does not prevent religion from achieving those spiritual goals that many humans wish to achieve.

  • Eugene

    @Lloyd Baltazar: “The reason why many Gays and Lesbians continue to have a spiritual and religious relationship with ANY religion, be it Roman Catholic or Muslim is BECAUSE general spirituality touches the human heart and emotions with deep convictions of morality and social justice.”

    Ironically, that’s exactly what this post is about – religious morality and social justice. I wonder how Iraq’s gays feel about “those spiritual goals that many humans wish to achieve”.

  • YellowRanger

    Hey now, religious believers are completely sane and rational individuals and we need to respect their belie-LOLOLOLOLLOOLLOLOLOLOLOL I thought I could say that with a straight face…

  • Jake

    This is disguisting. I feel so powerless reading this from my safe little corner of the world…….

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