Human rights groups estimate that as
many as 58 Iraqis who are either gay or perceived to be gay have been
killed in the last six weeks alone, the AP reported.
The young men appear to be targeted by
Shi'ite militants who oppose Western-style “emo” clothes and
haircuts. The “emo” look often includes tight-fitting jeans,
t-shirts with logos and longer or spiky hairstyles. However, Emos
are not necessarily gay.
Last month, Iraq's interior ministry
labeled the subculture “Satanism.”
The bodies of at least 14 people
bearing the signs of having been stoned to death have been brought to
3 hospital in Baghdad, Reuters reported.
“Last week I signed the death
certificates of three of those young people, and the reason for death
I wrote in my own hand was severe skull fractures,” an unnamed
doctor is reported as saying. “A very powerful blow to the head
caused these fractures which totally smashed the skull of the
A list of potential targets distributed
by militants in Baghdad's conservative Shi'ite Sadr City neighborhood
includes the following warning: “We warn in the strongest terms to
every male and female debauchee. If you do not stop this dirty act
within four days, then the punishment of God will fall on you at the
hands of Mujahideen.”
Similar warnings have been left in
The U.S. State Department has expressed
concerned over the spate of killings.
“We strongly condemn the recent
violence and killings in Iraq by groups who appear to be targeting
individuals based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or
personal expression,” the department said.