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UN report: Iraqi gays target of kidnappings, murders

“I don’t want to be gay anymore. When I go out to buy bread, I’m afraid. When the doorbell rings, I think that they have come for me.”
— Hussein, 32, gay Baghdad resident who fears being kidnapped or murdered as a result of a fatwa on gays issued by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani

Doug Ireland has been covering this horror story for some time (you can read his work here).

Now that the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has released a report on the atrocities and fear instilled in the community by death squads, maybe someone will take note. (DIRELAND):

This U.N. report, released April 10 by the UNOCHA‘s IRIN news and information service, described the widespread increase in kidnappings for ransom and the subsequent killings of university professors and teachers—350 in the past five months alone—and quoted Iraqi Interior Ministry official Ra’ad Hassan as saying that “roughly 50 kidnappings take place countrywide every day.”

Hassan also told the U.N. office, “Since January, the number of kidnappings has increased unabated, along with attacks and threats against certain communities.”

The U.N. report said that Iraq’s gay community is one of those targeted “for reasons other than ransom money,” and said that one local non-governmental organization reported that “members of Iraq’s small gay community had received more than 70 threats from kidnappers in the past two months, while 12 have been killed.”

The BBC has finally weighed in on events that have been undercovered (or not covered at all) in the MSM about the treatment of gays in Iraq. This blood is on the hands of the U.S., which has unleashed religious extremism in Iraq as a result of Bush’s folly.

They say that since the US-led invasion, gays are being killed because of their sexual orientation. They blame the increase in violence on the growing influence of religious figures and militia groups in Iraq since Saddam Hussein was ousted.

Islam considers homosexuality sinful. A website published in the name of Ayatollah Sistani, Iraq’s most revered Shia cleric, says gays should be put to death. “Those who commit sodomy must be killed in the harshest way,” says a section of the website dealing with questions of morality.

…Hussein is 32 and lives in Baghdad with his brother, sister-in-law and nieces. He says his effeminate appearance and demeanour make him stand out and attract hostility.

“My brother’s friends told him: ‘In the current chaos you could get away with killing your brother without retribution and get rid of this shame,'” Hussein said, after agreeing to speak to the BBC only if his real name was not used.

A transsexual friend of his, who had changed names from Haydar to Dina, was killed on her way to a party in Baghdad about six months ago, Hussein said.

Hat tips to Ms. Julien, Holly, and Katie.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding