Sunday, 18 March 2012
More on massacres
Those Bodies in Baghdad Are of Gay Men
IPS reports (March 16th): Dozens of bodies bludgeoned to death pop up in Baghdad’s dusty streets like the remains of a wreckage on a beach. They are the corpses of homosexuals and followers of the ‘emo’ fashion who dare to break with the strict canons of the Shia orthodoxy in power.
"They crushed his head with a concrete block. His name was Saif Asmar and he was a close friend of mine; tomorrow it could be me".
Ruby (fake name) can hardly cope with his anger and fear as he holds a photo of his friend, barely recognisable after the brutal murder. Since the beginning of the year, death squads have been targeting gay men as well as those who dress in a distinctive Western-influenced style called ‘emo’.
Investigate ‘Emo’ Attacks
Amnesty International reports (March 16th): The government of Iraq should immediately investigate and bring to justice those responsible for a targeted campaign of intimidation and violence against Iraqi youth seen as belonging to the non-conformist “emo” subculture, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission said today. The attacks have created an atmosphere of terror among those who see themselves as potential victims.
On March 8, 2012, the Interior Ministry, in an official statement, dismissed reports by local activists and media of a campaign against those seen as emo. The ministry said the reports were “fabricated” and “groundless,” and that it would take action against people who were trying “to highlight this issue and build it out of proportion.” An official ministry statement, on February 13, that characterized emo culture as “Satanist” cast doubt on the government’s willingness to protect vulnerable youth, the international rights groups said.