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Fight for Human Rights

Post by LauraJ on Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:36 am

Fight for Human Rights Crying or Very sad

More Anti-LGBT Violence In Iraq -- Six Men Found Dead

Earlier this week we brought you unconfirmed but very worrying reports that
over 100 hundred Iraqis had been sentenced to death following charges
of homosexuality, with the group IRAQI-LGBT claiming this was just the
tip of a horrific and bloody iceberg
, and that hundreds more cases
of gay killings and anti-gay violence were the norm in Iraq since the
regime change in 2003. Now, reports have emerged that six gay men have
been murdered in Iraqi slums, and that clerics in the region are
inciting this hatred at religious services.

The UK based Reuters news agency reported Saturday that, according to an
unnamed police official in Iraq, two gay men were killed in the Sadr
City slums in Baghdad (pictured) on Thursday 2nd of April, and that a
further four were found on March 25th, the latter all bearing the
Arabic for "pervert" on their naked and bloody chests.

The report also suggests that sermons damning homosexuality were read on
the past two consecutive Friday prayer meetings in the region, with the
Shiite cleric Sattar al-Battat and cleric Moqtada al-Sadr at the centre
of these anti-gay pronouncements. "Such people have brought shame on
Sadr city people... the blame falls on the security forces who do
little to combat this phenomenon" said a spokesperson of Sattar
al-Battat's when discussing homosexuality with the press.

Closely affiliated with Moqtada al-Sadr are the Mehdi Army who were, at one
stage, a force of "discipline" in the region, but now have largely had
their hand in Sadr City made impotent as government forces took control
of the area. It could be that this hunt for homosexuality is a direct
response to the freezing of the Mehdi Army, and their attempting to
expose homosexuality as evidence that, after their loss of control,
"moral corruption" is becoming more widespread. The Army has denied it
was involved in the killings, but firmly supports the clerics'

Being gay is illegal in Iraq, but since the regime change in 2003, it seems that LGBT Iraqis have suffered even more as many in the Middle East perceive homosexuality as a mainly Western
trait that came along with the invasion of Iraq, and one that religious leaders in the area are zealous in warning against and pursuing the eradication of.

This is perhaps demonstrated most clearly by
the words of one Sadr City official as they confirmed reports of the
death of the two local men to the Reuters news agency, "Two young men
were killed on Thursday. They were sexual deviants. Their tribes killed
them to restore their family honor". The two men's bodies have not been
claimed, perhaps because their family would feel ashamed to do so.

This is not an issue solely confined to Iraqi LGBTs anymore. Increasingly,
men who adopt a Western style of dress and appearance, with shaved
faces and short hair, are being labeled as homosexuals and in more
affluent areas where coffee shops and other more Western style
businesses have opened, many are branding those particular districts as
gay hotspots.

It seems that, what were unconfirmed reports of killings in Iraq are slowly coming into view as a terrible reality. Take action now and sign this petition to urge the British and American
administrations to do all they can to help lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender Iraqi's be free from oppression and the threat of these
brutal murders.



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