Gay Iraqi Arrested, Tortured, Ransomed

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More gay casualties of war over in Iraq. Last month, police picked up a 27-year old carpenter and suspected homo named Maan. Four days later, on April 25th, the Taji resident’s corpse was found on the side of the road – he had been killed execution style.

Meanwhile, a known gay activist named Hani remains in hiding after being arrested and tortured by Iraqi police. Doug Ireland reports that a police squad targeted and tortured an Iraqi gay activist named Hani. Worse yet, American officials may have been present, but did nothing.

After corresponding with Hani, LGBT Iraq’s London-based leader, Ali Hili tells Ireland:

Hani was in charge of communications for our Baghdad group, and he’s been a very important part of our work in reporting and documenting the campaign of persecution and murder targeting Iraqi LGBT people.

When Hani — who is obviously gay and a bit effeminate — was stopped by the police, who demanded his identification papers, on seeing his name one of the police said, ’Yes, it’s him, he’s one of them,’ which is yet another piece of evidence that the police have a hit-list of some of our activists.

The crooked coppers then took Hani to an undisclosed location, where interrogated him about his involvement with LGBT Iraq. When Hani refused to fork over the goods, his captors resorted to torture, which included hammering a screw driver into his leg. Hani only earned his freedom after his brother agreed to pay a ransom.

The most distressing component to this story – like so many of Iraq’s horror stories – comes in the form of American involvement. Ireland reports:

While Hani was in police custody, he heard several different voices speaking English with American accents coming from somewhere outside the room in the detention center where he was being held. “Hani asked if he could speak to one of the American soldiers and explain why he was being detained, in the hope that he might be rescued, but the police refused to allow him access to these Americans,” Hili related.

The reported presence of Americans in a police interrogation center while a gay activist was being tortured underscores the indifference of Iraq’s U.S. occupier to the dire plight of Iraqi gays and to the religiously-inspired murder campaign which has been targeting them for the past two years.

Hili also says that the police stole $500 Hani meant to use to maintain gay safe houses. Without that money, he says, they now how to close two of them, thus forcing frightened fagalas to fend for themselves.

Well, that should make it easy for Iraqi police to track them down. And, of course, for the Americans to continue doing nothing.