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Monday, 23 August 2010

Iraq: The war against sexual minorities continues

Iraqi Police patrolImage via WikipediaSource: Iraqi LGBT

You don’t even need to be gay or lesbian in Iraq to be in mortal danger from the Iraqi Police force. The latter have been mounting an aggressive campaign against anyone who is merely, by rumour, suspected to be gay or lesbian.

The Iraqi Lgbt network of activists inside Iraq have collected new and alarming reports of attacks on the LGBT communities during the month of July. Since June there have been consistent raids on Iraqi LGBT’s safe houses as well as harassment, abuse and assaults on gays, mostly by the Iraqi police. This trend seem to be intensifying now in frequency and brutality. It seems that Iraqi gays are systematically targeted and killed by the Iraqi police as well as suffering from increased homophobia, no doubt intensified by the authorities’ negative campaign.

On the 5th of July, in the city of Nasiriyah, south east of Baghdad, eye witnesses members of the Iraqi LGBT network, reported that three gay men were seized, beaten and taken handcuffed into a vehicle belonging to the Iraqi ministry of interior. The three gay men were deliberately targeted and forcibly removed from within a group of up to 9 other men. This is a clear and new proof that the Iraqi authorities continues it’s witch hunt campaign by identifying gay men on checking points when they have selected these three men who were not seen or heard from since their brutal arrest.

On the 8th of July in the city of Al Kut two men which were well known as gay in the community were surrounded and beaten up by a group of thugs for allegedly wearing trendy clothes. Eye-witnessed by a friend of the Iraqi LGBT network, the men were seriously wounded and their present condition is unknown.
On the 13th of July in Baghdad, police arrested two adolescent males during a stop and search procedure. The minors were seized when their mobile phones were found to contain nude pictures. During routine police operations mobile phones are regularly inspected for any potential material that endanger national security. The two youngsters, despite clearly being innocent, were taken by the police forces and never heard of since. Further evidence of the vicious campaign against Iraqi sexual minorities.

On the 22nd of July in the city of Al Najaf two men were beaten up and arrested in the city centre by the police. Police suspected they were gay due to their hairstyle, but after the authorities learned they were married and had children there were released.

On the 24th of July in the town of AL Zubair, near Basra, three bodies were found with their head severed and notes on their bodies saying there were murdered because they were gay.

Iraq remains the most dangerous place on the face of earth for sexual minorities where even a false accusation or rumours of being gay could lead to lethal and horrifying abuse.

Iraqi Lgbt and are calling for the world interfere to stop this genocide , the Iraqi government is responsible in the first place for not protecting its citizen, not investigating any of these incidents, not bringing criminals to justice and for not condemning these crimes.

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