Archive for the ‘Iraqi LGBT’ Category

Terror Campaign Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Iraqis Continues Unchecked by Iraqi Government

IRAQI LGBT – November 2009 – The rise of fundamentalist groups in Iraq since the 2003 U.S. led invasion has proven deadly to LGBT Iraqis, who are now being forced to either hide or face the consequences.

Using the internet as a means to track down new victims, militia members are now employing computer analysts to monitor traffic on gay dating and networking websites in the region. They work with internet café owners to single out people who frequent these sites and set up fake profiles in the attempt to lure them out.

On the 28th of August, police raided the houses of Asad Galib and Faeq Ismail, both 24 years old, and took them into custody. They were held and questioned for about four hours, accused of viewing gay websites in an internet café on the 21st of July. Both men denied the accusations and explained that the websites had already been open when they had begun using the computers. They were later released and are now in contact with Iraqi LGBT, a London based organization working to support and protect LGBT individuals in Iraq.

Others who have been accused or are suspected of such activities have not been as lucky.

On the 2nd of September, the body of 21-year-old student Mizher Hussien was discovered in Al Najaf, a city south of Baghdad. His head and genitals had been severed, and he had the word “pervert” written in black across his chest. The details of his murder are unknown, and Iraqi police have refused to launch an investigation into the cause or motivation of the crime.

On the 18th of September in Al Shatra Amara, two bodies were found exhibiting signs of torture. They had both been decapitated and left with a paper stating, “This is the end of all pervert homosexuals”.

Iraqi LGBT has been working since 2003 to raise awareness of the abuses being committed against LGBT people in Iraq, as well as provide protection to those who have been targeted. The organization currently funds a number of safe houses in the region, with nearly 100 individuals in Iraq directly benefitting from their work. In addition, Iraqi LGBT has been involved in securing asylum for Iraqi refugees who have been forced to flee the country.

Unfortunately, Iraqi LGBT has not been able to help everyone. The organization estimates that over 720 LGBT men and women have been murdered by these extremist militias in the last six years. The Iraqi government has largely been absent in pursuing the roaming death squads who carry out these acts, likely due to the influence of extremist Shia religious parties that are calling for a moral cleansing of Iraq.

With extremist militias threatening all those known to support LGBT rights, including the 2006 raid of an Iraqi LGBT planning meeting in which five activists were arrested, there is little hope for Iraqis suffering under the new socio-political climate. Once the most liberal and secular of the Arab nations, nowadays a religious extremism has taken hold of the country to the detriment of its people.

Iraqi LGBT calls for immediate international action to prevent the further torture and execution of LGBT people in Iraq. More information and details on making donations to the safe houses effort can be found at the Iraqi LGBT blog:

http://www.facebook.com/l/97cbb;iraqilgbtuk.blogspot.com/2009/11/terror-campaign-against-lesbian-gay.html

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Sami, one of the perhaps thousands of gay men recently attacked in Iraq, in an undisclosed location abroad. (Photo: Lynsey Addario/VII Network)

Thanks and appreciation to every individual and organisation that has supported and raised awareness of the plight of Iraqi LGBTs, and who has lobbied politicians and news editors to get stories on this issue published, like this excellent piece in the New York Times:

http://nymag.com/news/features/59695/

But I would also like to remind everyone that despite all the criticisms thrown at him, it was Ali Hili of Iraqi LGBT who first alerted the world to the organised killing of LGBT people in Iraq – way back in 2005. For a long time, he was a lone voice.

Although people have criticised Ali for various failings, he nevertheless deserves a great deal of praise for his pioneering, ground-breaking and life-saving work.

It is wonderful that Time Magazine, CNN and the New York Times have now reported the terrorisation of our LGBT sisters and brothers in Iraq, and that Human Rights Watch and other human rights organisations have produced some very powerful and valuable reports on the subject. Our thanks to them.

While I would not wish to detract one iota from the contributions of others, I think it is also important that we should show due generosity and humility by acknowledging that it was Ali Hili and Iraqi LGBT who first bought this issue to public consciousness. They deserve our gratitude.

Solidarity!

Peter Tatchell

New York Times: The Hunted By Matt McAllester

From Baghdad—frightening reports of gay pogroms, where homosexual men are targeted, tortured, slayed. From New York—a scurry to find those same men before they are killed, and shepherd them to safety.

Published Oct 4, 2009.

On a bright afternoon in late March, an 18-year-old named Fadi stood in a friend’s clothing store in Baghdad checking out the new merchandise. A worker in a neighboring store walked into the boutique with a newspaper in his hand and shared a story he had just read. It was about “sexual deviants,” he said. Gay men’s rectums had been glued shut, and they had been force-fed laxatives and water until their insides exploded. They had been found dead on the street.

That evening Fadi met up with his three closest friends —Ahmed, Mazen, and Namir— in a coffee shop called the Shisha café in the Karada district of Baghdad. Karada is a mixed Shia-Christian neighborhood that has a more relaxed, cosmopolitan feel than many parts of the Iraqi capital. Fadi and his friends had been meeting there nearly every evening for a year, Fadi coming from his job cleaning toilets for Americans in the Green Zone and the three others from college. The coffee shop was relatively new and attracted a young crowd. The walls were colored in solid blocks of orange, green, and blue, the glass-topped tables painted red and black. It was the closest thing to hip that Baghdad had to offer. For Fadi and his three friends, who secretly referred to themselves as the 4 Cats, after a Pussycat Dolls–like Lebanese group, the Shisha was a refuge from the hostile, often violent anti-gay climate that they had grown up with in Iraq.

Fadi has a warm, irrepressible laugh; his eyes narrow under thick black eyebrows whenever someone tells a joke. He told his friends about the newspaper story, but insisted it couldn’t be true.

“They’re doing this to frighten us,” he said.

In recent weeks, with rumors of gay death squads and torture on the rise, the four friends had lowered their profile. They no longer went to the Shisha every night. “We’ll see what tomorrow brings,” Fadi said, on the last night they met there.

On April 4, at about 8 p.m., Fadi’s cell phone rang. It was Mazen’s brother.

“Mazen and Namir have been killed,” he said.

The maimed bodies of the two friends had been discovered together in the vast Shia district of Baghdad named Sadr City, which is a stronghold of the Mahdi Army, a powerful Shia militia. Mazen had had his pectoral muscles cut off. There were two drill holes in Namir’s left leg, below the knee. Both had been shot in the head, apparently from close range.

“Two young men were killed on Thursday,” an unnamed Sadr City official told the Reuters news agency in a story published that same day. “They were sexual deviants. Their tribes killed them to restore their family honor.” In the same story, Reuters cited a police source as saying that the bodies of four other gay men had been found in Sadr City on March 25 with signs on their chests reading PERVERT.

Fadi called Ahmed. They spoke for an hour. They were devastated by their friends’ deaths, of course. They were also terrified. Under torture, Mazen and Namir may have given up their names…

Read Full Article

Video: San Francisco Leaders Want End to Torture and Murder of GLBT Iraqis by Clinton Fein

Original Article: SF Gays to Pelosi: Condemn Torture of LGBT Iraqis by Michael Petrelis

My good friend and political artist Clinton Fein has made a terrific video of the May 17 solidarity rally and fundraiser for gay Iraqis at Harvey Milk Plaza, in Nancy Pelosi’s congressional district.

For me, the most relevant and emotionally moving speaker was community organizer Gary Virginia, who demanded our member of Congress, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, speak out against the torture of LGBT Iraqis.

It’s unacceptable that Pelosi, who represents the most energized gay political district in the nation, is getting a free ride about the abuse and gruesome murder of gay Iraqis from Democratic gay leaders at HRC, NGLTF and GLAAD, at a time when she is mired in controversy over torture.

I’m proud to associate with Virginia and other San Francisco voters who want our Congressmember to use her voice to bring attention to the plight of the gay community in Iraq.

After you watch Fein’s video, give Pelosi’s speaker office in DC a call and leave a message, demanding that she forcefully condemn the torture and killing of LGBT Iraqis. Let Pelosi hear your voice on behalf of justice for our brothers and sisters in Iraq. Her number is 1-202-225-0100.

Full Article

See Also:

Gays Without Borders

San Francisco: 100 Protest LGBT Iraqi Murders – $5K Raised by Michael Petrelis

SF IRAQI PROTEST © Wilson Credit© Credit: Bill Wilson Photos

SF: 100 Protest LGBT Iraqi Murders, $5K Raised, Pelosi Criticized for Silence

By Michael Petrelis

Never doubt that a handful of pissed off queens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that has ever moved the queer movement meaningfully forward.

At least one-hundred people came out in today’s heatwave over the course of a one-hour rally and participated in San Francisco’s first action for IDAHO, International Day Against Homophobia, Sunday afternoon at Harvey Milk Plaza. We rallied against the killings and torture of LGBT Iraqis, and expressed unwavering solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the U.S.-occupied country.

Thanks to the efforts of my organizing colleagues, Gary Virginia of Gays Without Borders and Jeff Cotter of Rainbow World Fund, and several members of the ever-fabulous Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, over the past week and today’s bucket brigade, slightly more than $5,000 was raised. The funds will go to direct-relief aid for the LGBT Iraqi community. Tax-deductible donations can be made at http://rainbowfund.org.

My favorite moment came at the end of the rally. Gary Virginia criticized our very own Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who, he pointed out, is also Speaker of the House, and whose district includes the possibly gayest neighborhood in all of America, was recently in Baghdad and she was silent during her visit about the LGTB murders.

“She’s said nothing about the atrocities and that has to change,” explained Virginia, to boisterous applause and cheers.

How the hell is it possible our Congressional rep is 100% mute about the murders of homosexuals in Baghdad, is the great unanswered question of the day.

Artist and activist Clinton Fein is editing and preparing a video of today’s demonstration, which will be made public tomorrow. Look for it here and on his site Annoy.com.

Let’s look at photos from today and see a few of the fine people who showed up. On behalf of the organizers, we thank you. Most photos, except where noted otherwise, were snapped by me.

Full Article Here

See Also:

Gays Without Borders

Iraqi Suspected Homosexual

SF Gays Organize Rally for LGBT Iraqis

Leaders Want End to Torture and Murder
By Michael Petrelis

(San Francisco, CA) – A broad united coalition of human rights advocates and politicians will hold a spirited rally this Sunday, May 17, in solidarity with the LGBT citizens of Iraq, who face surging violence and killings. Recent reports out of Baghdad document the gruesome gluing of anuses of gay men, who are forced to swallow laxatives, leading to death by diarrhea, and come amid continuing genital mutilation of gays.

Responding to the atrocities, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community organizers will hold a demonstration to support LGBT Iraqis:

WHO: Human rights activists and elected officials

WHAT: Rally and fundraiser

WHERE: Harvey Milk Plaza, Castro and Market Streets

DATE: Sunday, May 17

TIME: 12:30 – 1:30 PM

A diverse array of leaders will speak at the rally, including Sen. Mark Leno, Supervisor Bevan Dufty, SF Police Commission President Theresa Sparks, Karen Kai of the Rainbow World Fund, Rev. Lea Brown of the Metropolitan Community Church, Debra Walker of the Harvey Milk Democratic Club, political artist Clinton Fein, and community organizers Michael Petrelis and Gary Virginia of Gays Without Borders.

There will be al so a “bucket brigade” at the rally and circulating through cafes and restaurants of the Castro soliciting donations for groups working with LGBT Iraqis. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a social advocacy organization, have donated $1,000, and will supply volunteers for the brigade.

Rainbow World Fund, a LGBT international humanitarian relief charity, is serving as the fiscal sponsor, and donations made through it are tax-deductible. The fund’s colorful and eye-catching school bus will be parked at Milk Plaza, to serve as a welcome-wagon full of banners, posters and donation buckets. Donations will be used to provide direct aid to the Iraqi LGBT community. More at http://rainbowfund.org.

Speaking for Gays Without Borders/SF, a group focused on global issues, Gary Virginia explained the motivations for the May 17 actions.

“We San Franciscans have a solemn duty to denounce anti-LGBT hatred in Iraq. Our demands to President Obama, the State Department and Congress are simple and doable – condemn the torture and slayings, investigate the human rights abuses, and create a sizeable number of asylum slots for LGBT Iraqis to enter and reside in America,” said Virginia.

Contacts:

Michael Petrelis
Email: MPetrelis@aol.com

Gary Virginia
Email: MRSFL96@aol.com

See Also:

gln

For Immediate Release: May 10, 2009

For Information: Roger Fraser, Gay Liberation Network, 847.946.8035, rfraser@comcast.net

Bob Schwartz, Gay Liberation Network, 773.878.3697, rufnel@aol.com

Protest Focuses on Obama’s Failure to Denounce Rampant Anti-Gay Violence in Iraq

May 17th is commemorated around the world as International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO), a day on which LGBT people and our allies focus attention on the problems of anti-gay hate, discrimination and violence.

This year in Chicago, the Gay Liberation Network (GLN) is organizing the city’s IDAHO event as a protest against the Obama administration’s continuing silence about rampant anti-gay violence in U.S.-occupied Iraq. The protest will take place at 2 PM, Sunday, May 17th outside of the Obamas’ Chicago residence at the corner of Hyde Park Boulevard (5100 S.) and Greenwood (1100 E.).

Over the past month, several news outlets have reported an escalating, officially sanctioned campaign to torture and execute gays in Iraq, promoted both by Shi’ite clerics and by the Shi’ite-dominated government which is closely allied with the United States.

As the New York Times reported April 7, “In the past two months, the bodies of as many as 25 boys and men suspected of being gay have turned up in the huge [Baghdad] Shiite enclave of Sadr City, the police and friends of the dead say. Most have been shot, some multiple times. Several have been found with the word ‘pervert’ in Arabic on notes attached to their bodies, the police said.” And as the Huffington Post reported May 3rd, “According to Iraqis and human rights workers interviewed for this post, some sort of understanding was reached between the Iraqi government and the Mahdi Army to ‘cleanse’ Iraq of homosexuals.”

Tortures committed reportedly include gluing the anuses of gay men shut, and then force-feeding them diarrhea-inducing medications which cause agonizing pain followed by death.

Back in 2005, the country’s leading Shi’ite cleric said that gays and lesbians should be “punished, in fact, killed” and that “the people should be killed in the worst, most severe way of killing.” After some protests this language was removed from the cleric’s website, and the anti-gay campaign appeared to subside.

However, over the past month, the campaign in Iraq to murder gays has ramped up again as “Sadr City’s Muslim clerics have reportedly urged the faithful to destroy homosexuality Iraqi society and police have undertaken an effort to arrest and jail gay men,” said United Press International.

Iraqi LGBT, the main support group for gays in Iraq, as well as for those trying to flee, reports that some of the few hundred prisoners awaiting execution by the Iraqi government are facing execution because of the “crime” of homosexuality. Despite these human rights violations by a close U.S. ally, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made no public protest about this situation during a visit to Baghdad two weeks ago.

“Over the past two weeks there have been protests in New York and San Francisco which got quite a bit of press about this situation, despite the small size of the protests,” said GLN’s Bob Schwartz. “We in Chicago are uniquely positioned to add even more pressure. When we hold our IDAHO event outside Obama’s residence in Hyde Park, we can help force his administration to take a stand it should have taken weeks ago and finally speak out about these human rights violations by a close U.S. ally.”

Gay Liberation Network

See also:

Improving security prompts UN to revise guidelines for Iraqi asylum claims
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=30702&Cr=iraq&Cr1=

05-05-2009iraqA view of UNHCR tents being used by displaced people in north-east Iraq

5 May 2009 – A drop off in levels of violence in some parts of Iraq has allowed the United Nations refugee agency to revise its guidelines on eligibility for those seeking asylum.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) previously advised that all Iraqis from the central and southern governorates be considered refugees.

In its latest recommendations, the agency believes that the international protection needs for those originating from Al-Anbar, encompassing much of the country’s western territory, and the south should be assessed on individual merit.

However, UNHCR advises favourable consideration for people belonging to specific groups from these areas which have been identified as at risk, including members of religious and ethnic minorities; Iraqis perceived as opposing armed groups or political factions; Iraqis affiliated with the multinational forces or foreign companies; media workers; UN and non-governmental organization (NGO) workers; human rights activists; and homosexuals.

The agency also stressed that ongoing violence, conflict and human rights violations in most of the central governorates of Baghdad, Diyala, Kirkuk, Ninewa and Salah Al-Din places asylum-seekers from these areas in continued need for international protection.

UNHCR estimates that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have sought refuge in neighbouring countries, mainly in Syria and Jordan but also in Lebanon, Egypt and others, with over 40,000 asylum applications made in industrialized countries last year alone.

The agency stressed that improvement in the situation in Iraq is not yet sufficient enough to promote or encourage massive returns and it recommended that refugees already benefiting from international protection should retain their status.

In a related development, an Iraqi ministry has pledged $30 million for projects aimed at improving the lives of children in rural marshland areas.

With a 34 per cent illiteracy rate among women living in marshlands, compared to 24 per cent nationally, and school enrolment at least 30 per cent lower than in urban areas, and around 80 per cent of households not connected to the general water network, the marshlands has some of the worst development indicators in Iraq.

See Also Tetu Article :
http://www.tetu.com/actualites/international/lonu-reclame-lasile-pour-les-gays-dirak-14596

https://gayswithoutborders.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/improving-security-prompts-un-to-revise-guidelines-for-gay-iraqi-asylum-claims/

See also, by Michael Petrelis, on the same subject:

See also:

3416444769_b93ceb52cb

They kill people like us, says gay Iraqi

Posted: Monday, May 04, 2009 1:04 PM

By Cheryll Simpson, NBC News Producer

BAGHDAD – Widespread violence is down across Baghdad, but not for one minority group.

Iraq’s gay population is being targeted by militia groups in a wave of killings that has claimed the lives of up to 25 young men and boys in the past month.

“They know I am gay. I don’t know if I am going to be killed, this is up to God,” said Moyad, a 38-year-old Baghdad resident who would not give his last name out of fear for his safety.

Visibly frightened, he said that he has many friends who have been sadistically tortured, some even murdered. “They are sticking glue up their anuses; some hospitals refuse to treat them. Is it a war waged against homosexuals?” he asked.

International outrage

Most of the attacks have happened in Baghdad’s Shia neighborhoods, and many believe that religious leaders have used Friday sermons in Sadr City as a platform to incite hatred and violence toward homosexuals. The bodies of three gay men were reported to have been found in Sadr City in April with pieces of paper bearing the word for “pervert” attached to them.

Posters and leaflets have been distributed in the Baghdad neighborhoods of al-Shola, al-Hurya and Sadr City with orders to, “Cleanse Iraq from the crime of homosexuality.”

Baghdad police didn’t respond to inquiries from NBC News about the attacks, but the surge in violence has gained attention by the international media.

In a letter to Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki in April, Amnesty International called for “urgent and concerted action” to stop the killings of men because of their sexual orientation.

Amnesty International expressed concern at the government’s failure to “publicly condemn the killings.” It urged the government to make sure that the killings are “promptly and effectively investigated, and to see that the perpetrators are brought to justice.” The letter also condemned statements from one senior police officer that,”appear to condone or even encourage the targeting of members of the gay community in Baghdad.” An Amnesty spokeswoman said there had not yet been a reply from Iraqi authorities.

Campaign of fear

Moyad described a recent crusade by vigilantes in which young men were tortured with hoses and shot.”For some time I never went out of my house,” he said. “I also had the feeling that they would break in and get me.”

Noor, a 24-year-old lesbian who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, said it is easier for her to conceal her sexuality, but she is still frightened about the possibility of being exposed – especially knowing that some of her friends were killed by the militias. “They were burned in Kadhimiya, Hurriya Al-Olaa, Hurriya Al-Thaniya, Dolaai and Dabaash.”

Moyad believes that many have been killed by their own families in an effort to preserve their honor. “My friend Ahmed, from the neighborhood of Zafaraniya, was killed by his family for looking like a female. Those commandos tell the families to kill them or else they will kill them. I expect that my own brother might lead those guys to kill me.”

‘Sense of panic’

Ali Hili is a gay Iraqi who fled to London and founded the fledgling U.K.-based organization,”Iraqi LGBT,” a human rights organization that supports Iraqi lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.

“There is a sense of panic among the youth for fear of retaliation against anyone who is suspected of having a history of being effeminate, anyone with a homosexual past, if you act or dress like one or even have a western hairstyle,” said Hili. He said that attacks by the Mahdi Army, a Shiite militia, and its supporters have increased and that death warrants have been sent to individuals.

Hili’s organization tries to help gays in Iraq who have come under attack by providing food, electricity, protection, medication and clothing at a safe house in Baghdad. The group also provides phone cards for people to report incidents of harassment, in order to document the situation, often at great risk to their safety in Iraq.

“Many people have nothing but the clothes on their backs, and sometimes not even that, no exaggeration at all here,” Hili said of people seeking refuge at the safe house. His organization also tries to help people seeking asylum in other countries.

Moyad said that unfortunately things have actually gotten worse than it was during Saddam’s reign things. “I was imprisoned because I was gay, but there was a court, a trial, and the judge let me loose at the time; now they kill people like us.”

http://worldblog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/05/04/1921277.aspx

Ali Hili – Iraqi Lgbt

Website : http://iraqilgbtuk.blogspot.com/

See also:

Iraqi Gays Face Gruesome Torture/Murder Technique
By: Doug Ireland
Gay City News, 04/30/2009

yanat-mohammed

Yanar Mohammed, a leading Iraqi feminist leader, played the critical role in keeping the gruesome new torture/murder technique to light.

As the murder campaign targeting Iraqi gays intensifies, a leading Arabic television network last week revealed the use of a horrifying new form of lethal torture against Iraqi gay men – anti-gay Shiite death squads are sealing their anuses with a powerful glue, then inducing diarrhea, which leads to a painful and agonizing death. The use of this stomach-turning new torture was first reported by the Al Arabiya network, which is headquartered in the United Arab Emirates and was alerted to the story by a leading Iraqi feminist and human rights activist.

Yanar Mohammed, president of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), told Al Arabiya that the torture substance “is an Iranian-manufactured glue that, if applied to the skin, sticks to it and can only be removed by surgery. After they glue the anuses of homosexuals, they give them a drink that causes diarrhea. Since the anus is closed, the diarrhea causes death. Videos of this form of torture are being distributed on mobile telephones in Iraq.”

Al Arabiya said its reporter confirmed the use of this anal torture by “visiting the Baghdad morgue in Bab-al-Moazaam in central Baghdad, where Neman Mohsen, the medical examiner, confirmed they have the bodies of seven homosexuals in the morgue. He said, ‘We were not able to identify the culprits, who dumped the bodies in front of the morgue and fled without being seen.'” A two-person team from Human Rights Watch (HRW) currently in Iraq to investigate persecution of LGBT people has also confirmed the use of this form of torture. In a widely-circulated email from Iraq, the head of HRW’s LGBT desk, Scott Long, said he and his colleague had gathered evidence which confirms the Al Arabiya report and that HRW would make its own detailed report after the organization’s two staffers return to the United States next week.

OWFI’s Mohammed, the woman responsible for gathering information about the use of this sadistic anal torture and passing it on to Al Arabiya, told Gay City News that “the story was so horrific that when I first heard it from gay friends I didn’t believe it. But then I investigated and found it was really true that the anuses of gay men were being glued shut.” Speaking by telephone from Toronto, where she was on a brief visit to relatives before a scheduled return to Iraq next week, Mohammed told this reporter that, “Fortunately, Al Arabiya has a very good human rights reporter, to whom I told what I had found, and he was able to confirm it by visiting the morgue.”

She said that “many older women in my organization were quite opposed to taking up the question of the persecution of homosexuals and didn’t understand why it was important. But I firmly believe that misogyny and homophobia are two sides of the same coin, and that we had a duty to speak out against the persecution of gays in Iraq, which is so little known that I was surprised by the extent of it when I began to look into it.”

Mohammed, 49, is well known for her courageous human rights work. She co-founded OWFI in Baghdad in June 2003 in the wake of the U.S. invasion and occupation, and the organization has led campaigns against so-called honor killings, the abduction of women, and trafficking in women and children. She also co-founded Iraq’s first feminist newspaper, Al Mousawat (Equality), which has been published quarterly for the last three years. Trained as an architect, Mohammed told Gay City News she has abandoned that profession to work full time for OWFI. She has received numerous awards for her work for women’s rights and human rights, including the Eleanor Roosevelt Global Rights Award given by the US Feminist Majority Foundation.

Ali Hili, the 33-year-old gay Iraqi exile who coordinates the association Iraqi LGBT, which is headquartered in London but has members and informants throughout Iraq, told Gay City News that he has also been able to confirm the use of lethal anal torture. “We have had reports, increasingly over the last four or five days, about the use of this technique not just in Baghdad but in smaller town and cities all over Iraq,” Hili said by telephone. “We have reports on seven young men who have been through this horrible experience in which they were arrested in the south of Iraq and had their anuses sealed, or ‘locked’ as the torturers say. Our sources told us that hospitals all over Iraq’s southern region have received so many cases of similar incidents where men have had their anuses glued, but that what makes the situation even worse and more lethal is that they have been refused treatment in hospitals when they sought it because of homophobia.”

As of this week, Hili and Iraqi LGBT have documented 617 cases of assassinations of LGBT people since a death-to-all-gays fatwa was issued by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the spiritual leader of all Shiite muslims in Iraq, in 2005. The murder campaign of “sexual cleansing” of homosexuals has intensified in recent months, with 70 new killings since December alone (see this reporter’s April 16-29 article, “Iraqi Gay Murders Surge; World Finally Takes Note”).

Now, Hili says, “I have just received word of seven new murders of gays in one week, last week.” He provided Gay City News with the names and towns of origin of the most recent victims of the anti-gay-death squads. They are Abbas Mosa, 33, from Al Hay; Saeed Majeed, 27, from Al Samawa; Jabar Khothayer, 19, from Al Dewaniya; Majed Alawi, 41, from Al Hindiya; Hazim Hussein, age unknown, from Al Najaf; Mohammed Qasim, 25, from Al Dewaniya; and Rama Sabri, 19, from Al Mohanawiya.

At the same time, the Iraqi news website niqash.org reported last week that “Al-Baghdadiya, a satellite television channel based in Cairo… broadcast a report on April 7 saying that 20 young men accused of homosexuality were taken to Ibn al-Nafis hospital in Baghdad with mutilated genitals.”

Hili told Gay City News that much of the most recent wave of assassinations appears to be the work of the Mahdi Army, the militia led by fundamentalist Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. He said that one of Iraqi LGBT’s informants “is connected to high-ranking religious within the Mahdi Army, and he has been told of a campaign to target anyone who is suspected of being gay.” Increasingly, Hili said, leaflets and “Wanted” posters are appearing with lists of men targeted to be killed for what are called “crimes against morality,” meaning homosexuality. A list of Iraqi LGBT members to be eliminated is also circulating, Hili said, and he’s been told his own name is at the top of this list.

Hili also said that pharmacists have been reporting to the police about male customers who were regularly buying female hormones and cosmetic creams. In one such recent instance, two of these supposed transgendered men were arrested and taken to an unknown location, and have not been heard from since.

See also:

Iraq: Torture, Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment of LGBT People

The following is a translation of a story from Alarabiya, a UAE-based media network, which was published on its Arabic website a few hours ago. While IGLHRC has not verified all of the allegations, many are consistent with patterns of human rights violations being reported from within the country. As a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Iraqi government has an obligation to protect the right to life (Article 6) and the right of all its citizens “to be free from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” (Article 7).

On Friday April 17, IGLHRC sent a letter to the Iraqi Minister of Human Rights, asking her to take specific measures to protect LGBT Iraqis. On April 8, IGLHRC and Human Rights Watch submitted an urgent appeal to the Special Procedures of the United Nations to ask for an investigation. In 2006, after a wave of violence targeted LGBT Iraqis, IGLHRC sent a letter to then Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, requesting that the U.S. government conduct a thorough investigation of the violations.

IGLHRC will continue to monitor the situation and gather more evidence about the recent wave of violence against Iraqi LGBT people. You can follow and discuss this story on IGLHRC’s blog.

Bodies of 7 Gays in Baghdad Morgue

http://www.alarabiya.net/save_print.php?print=1&cont_id=71071

by Hayyan Neyuf -Dubai/ Ali Al-Iraqi – Baghdad

A prominent Iraqi human rights activist says that Iraqi militia have deployed a painful form of torture against homosexuals by closing their anuses using “Iranian gum.” … Yina Mohammad told Alarabiya.net that, “Iraqi militias have deployed an unprecedented form of torture against homosexuals by using a very strong glue that will close their anus.”

According to her, the new substance “is known as the American gum, which is an Iranian-manufactured glue that if applied to the skin, sticks to it and can only be removed by surgery. After they glue the anuses of homosexuals, they give them a drink that causes diarrhea. Since the anus is closed, the diarrhea causes death. Videos of this form of torture are being distributed on mobile cellphones in Iraq.”

According to this human rights activist, for the past 3 weeks a crackdown on homosexuals has been going on based on a religious decree that demands their death; dozens have been targeted. She says that the persecution of homosexuals is not confined to the Shiite clerics. Some Sunni leaders have also declared the death penalty for sodomy on satellite channels.”

63 People Tortured

According to Hassan from the Iraqi LGBT group in London, attacks against homosexuals have been abundant in Shiite neighborhoods, especially poor regions and remote areas such as the southern provinces and the Hurriya, Sho’la and Sadr neighborhoods in Baghdad. So far, 63 members of the group have been tortured.

Hassan also confirmed the use of “Iranian Gum” in the torture process, adding that, “I talked to many young men who have been tortured by this method. They went to the hospital for treatment and in some cases they were refused treatment.” According to Hassan, “all religious leaders, whether Sunni or Shiite, call for the eradication of homosexuals, but the Shiites are the ones who are most involved in these attacks.”

Vigilante Groups

According to newspaper reports from local news sources in Sadr City in East Baghdad, a previously unknown group “Ahl al-Haq (the followers of Truth) have stepped up the persecution of Iraqi homosexuals after the murder of a number of them in the past few days. The news sources say that, “3 lists, each with the name of 10 gay men were circulated in Sadr City for a few hours.” The lists included a quote saying, “You, prostitutes, we will punish you!”

7 Bodies in Bagdad’s Morgue

The Alarabiya reporter, visited the Baghdad Morgue in Bab-al-Moazaam in central Baghdad, where the Neman Mohsen, the medical examiner, confirmed that they have the bodies of 7 homosexuals in the morgue. He said, “We were not able to identify the culprits who dumped the bodies in front of the morgue and fled, without being seen.”

He explained, “There were bodies with gunshots in the head and chest and the rest of the body without any obvious causes of death.”

Khalaf Abdul Hussein, from the Legal Affairs Office at the Police Station in Sadr City, told Alarabiya: “the extra-judicial killing of any citizen is a crime punishable by law. No one has the right to become a substitute for judicial authorities or executive authorities, and if there are complaints against individuals, there is law and there are police and there are government agencies. No group or class has the authority to punish people instead of the state.”

He said: “We, like everyone else, have heard rumors about these cases, but we can’t comment on something that is not evidence, and there is no evidence for these crimes either in terms of motivation or in terms of the nature of the criminal acts. We do not know the motives of the killers and we do not know the intentions of those killed.”

“Son of a Bitch”

Officials and tribal leaders in Sadr City are reluctant to provide details about the murder of homosexuals. However, Sheikh Hashem Mokhani, one of the tribal elders in the city, said: “The people refer to these sexual perverts as ‘son of a bitch,’ but most of the victims were not residents of Sadr City. They used to hang out in a [gay] cafe, on Palestine Street in Baghdad.”

Sheik Salal Al-kaabi, one of the elders of Sadr City says: “we have heard that the tribes, to whom these perverts belonged, declared their lives worthless and allowed their death, but we have also heard that an organization calling itself the followers of Truth (ahl-al Haq) are reponsible for the murders and have written on the chest of victim a sentence that reads: This is the fate of a son of a bitch.”

Original Article

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