Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

HRW: Anti-gay murders in Iraq
Extended for the Online Edition of Windy City Times
by Rex Wockner
2009-08-26

This article shared 3234 times since Wed Aug 26, 2009
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Iraqi militias are torturing and murdering men suspected of engaging in gay sex or of not being manly enough, and the authorities have done nothing to stop the killings, Human Rights Watch confirmed Aug. 17.

The organization documented a campaign of extrajudicial executions, kidnappings and torture that began early this year in the Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City, a stronghold of Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia, then spread to other locations.

Mahdi Army spokesmen have denounced what they call the "third sex" and the alleged feminization of some Iraqi men, and have proposed militia action as a remedy. HRW said some of its sources reported that state security forces have joined in the killings.

The killers invade homes and grab people on the street, HRW reported. Victims are interrogated for names of others before being murdered. Torture practices include supergluing victim's anuses shut, then feeding them laxatives.

Iraqi gays also told HRW they face "honor killings" by homophobic parents and brothers who believe "unmanly" behavior shames the family or tribe.

"Hundreds of men may have died," HRW said, though the precise figure is "almost impossible" to determine.

One man told HRW that militiamen kidnapped and killed his partner in April: "Four armed men barged into ( my partner's parents' ) house, masked and wearing black. They asked for him by name; they insulted him and took him in front of his parents. ... He was found in the neighborhood the day after. They had thrown his corpse in the garbage. His genitals were cut off and a piece of his throat was ripped out. Since then, I've been unable to speak properly. I feel as if my life is pointless now. ... ( F ) or years it has just been my boyfriend and myself in that little bubble, by ourselves. I have no family now -- I cannot go back to them. I have a death warrant on me. I feel the best thing to do is just to kill myself."

Consensual adult gay sex is not illegal under Iraqi law but the militias have claimed to be enforcing Islamic Sharia law. HRW's report said, however, that the killings also violate Sharia law standards for legality, proof and privacy.

Some Iraqi gays have escaped to nearby countries that are only marginally safer for gay people and where, in most cases, gay sex is illegal. HRW urged the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, as well as governments that accept Iraqi refugees, to offer rapid resettlement to Iraqi GLBT people.

Here are some additional personal stories from HRW's report:

Hamid: " [ The killers' ] measuring rod to judge people is who they have sex with. It is not by their conscience, it is not by their conduct or their values, it is who they have sex with. The cheapest thing in Iraq is a human being, a human life. It is cheaper than an animal, than a pair of used-up batteries you buy on the street. Especially people like us. ... I can't believe I'm here talking to you because it's all just been repressed, repressed, repressed. For years it's been like that -- if I walk down the street, I would feel everyone pointing at me. I feel as if I'm dying all the time. And now this, in the last month -- I don't understand what we did to deserve this. They want us exterminated. All the violence and all this hatred: the people who are suffering from it don't deserve it."

Idris: "We've been hearing about this, about gay men being killed, for more than a month. It's like background noise now, every day. The stories started spreading in February about this campaign against gay people by the Mahdi Army: everyone was talking about it, I was hearing about it from my straight friends. In a coffee shop in Karada, on the streets in Harithiya ( Baghdad neighborhoods ) , they were talking about it. I didn't worry at first. My friends and I, we look extremely masculine, there is nothing visibly 'feminine' about us. None of us ever, ever believed this would happen to us. But then at the end of March we heard on the street that 30 men had been killed already."

Mohammad: "They did many things to us, the Mahdi Army. ... They kidnapped ( my partner ) for six days. He will not talk about what they did to him. There were bruises on his side as if he was dragged on the street. They did things to him he can't describe, even to me. They wrote in the dust on the windshield of his car: 'Death to the people of Lot and to collaborators.' They sent us veiled threats in text messages: 'You are on the list.' They sent him a piece of paper in an envelope, to his home: there were three bullets wrapped in plastic, of different size. The note said, 'Which one do you want in your heart?' ... I want to be a regular person, lead a normal life, walk around the city, drink coffee on the street. But because of who I am, I can't. There is no way out."

Nuri: "At 10 a.m., ( Ministry of Interior officers ) cuffed my hands behind my back. Then they tied a rope around my legs, and they hung me upside down from a hook in the ceiling, from morning till sunset. I passed out. I was stripped down to my underwear while I hung upside down. They cut me down that night, but they gave me no water or food. Next day, they told me to put my clothes back on and they took me to the investigating officer. He said: 'You like that? We're going to do that to you more and more, until you confess.' Confess to what? I asked. 'To the work you do, to the organization you belong to, and that you are a queen.' For days, there were severe beatings. ... They beat me all over my body; when they had me hanging upside down, they used me like a punching bag. ... They used electric prods all over my body. Then they raped me. Over three days. The first day, 15 of them raped me; the second day, six; the third day, four. There was a bag on my head every time."

Following the release of the HRW report, Sweden's national gay group, RFSL, "demand ( ed ) that the Swedish government explore the possibility of evacuating gays from Iraq," said Executive Director Maria Sjödin.

"It is not enough to condemn the ongoing cleansing," added RFSL President Sören Juvas. "We encourage Sweden to explore the possibilities of evacuating homosexuals, bisexuals and transgenders who face the risk of sexual cleansing."

For a PDF of HRW's full 67-page report, visit bit.ly/1cWi7D. ( From HRW and RFSL press material )

—Assistance: Bill Kelley

Read more world news, including new arrests for same-sex relations in Senegal, at www.WindyCityMediaGroup.com .


This article shared 3234 times since Wed Aug 26, 2009
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Billy Masters: Everyone counts their eggs before they're hatched, and other dish to start the week 2022-11-14
- "I'm Not Defending us.Haters are Gonna Hate...Doesn' Matter That we're Happy & Not Bothering Anyone" —Cher tweets her response to criticism of her relationship with music producer Alexander Edwards—who is less than half her age. ...


Gay News

Attorney general's office receives $390K grant for hate-crime training 2022-10-07
- Attorney General Kwame Raoul's office was awarded a $394,772 Department of Justice (DoJ) grant for a 48-month project to provide specialized hate-crime training to law enforcement officers and prosecuting attorneys ...


Gay News

SPORTS Packers beat Bears (again); White Sox win while Cubs lose 2022-09-19
- On Sept. 18, the Chicago Bears (1-1) lost to their hated archrival, the Green Bay Packers (1-1), 27-10 in Wisconsin in front of a national audience. Aaron Jones rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown and ...


Gay News

Raoul convenes roundtable on fighting hate speech, violence 2022-09-15
- On Sept. 13, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul convened a roundtable meeting with representatives of leading civil rights organizations, places of worship and community-based groups to facilitate a conversation on ...


Gay News

UpRising Bakery cancels more events; Indiana passes severe abortion ban 2022-07-31
- There have more setbacks for the LGBTQ+-owned UpRising Bakery and Cafe, where damage still remains after the Lake in the Hills establishment was vandalized last weekend with hate messages, ABC 7 Chicago reported. Owner Corinna Sac ...


Gay News

LETTERS The Church should practice love and constructive dialogue, not hate 2022-07-25
- Another U.S. diocese has issued new restrictive policies regarding LGBTQ issues in Catholic schools, and its new directives compare being openly transgender with sexual abuse. The Roman Catholic Church is having an internal dialogue on how ...


Gay News

SAVOR Spanish spot Jaleo by Jose Andres 2022-07-18
- One of the best compliments I feel a restaurant can receive is if it can make items you previously felt indifferent about or even hated seem almost addictive. That was the case with ...


Gay News

Man indicted for attacking men in D.C. for their sexual orientation 2022-07-15
- A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Michael Thomas Pruden, 48, with five counts of assault on federal land, one count of impersonating a federal officer and a hate-crimes sentencing enhancement alleging that Pruden assaulted ...


Gay News

Jussie Smollett back to work; BET+ plans to show his directorial debut 2022-05-27
- Embattled former Empire actor Jussie Smollett is back to work after being convicted of faking a hate crime in Chicago earlier this year, ABC 7 Chicago reported. Smollett, 39, makes his directorial debut in the movie ...


Gay News

State Farm drops GenderCool Project; Illinois General Assembly LGBTQ Caucus, Equality Illinois respond 2022-05-26
- This week in response to an outcry from a hateful few, Illinois-based insurer State Farm dropped their support for The GenderCool Project, which provides LGBTQ-affirming books to schools across the country on a voluntary basis. We ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+ and allied organizations rally against bigotry and hate 2022-04-28
- A statewide coalition of LGBTQ+ and allied organizations held a press conference and rally April 27 in Chicago's Federal Plaza in response to the wave of nationwide bigotry and hate against the queer and trans community, ...


Gay News

Preckwinkle, Britton launch 'Cook County Unites Against Hate' 2022-04-25
-- From a press release - (Cook County, IL) —Today, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle joined 14th District Cook County Commissioner Scott Britton to launch a new campaign to show Cook County is a welcoming place for all: "Cook County United ...


Gay News

Inaugural Trans Visibility Pageant takes place in Chicago 2022-04-03
- To acknowledge the International Transgender Day of Visibility (March 31), the inaugural "Trans Visibility Pageant: Standing Up to Hate" was held at the Kehrein Center for the Arts. The trans-led social-services organization Life Is Work hosted ...


Gay News

Lynching now a federal hate crime 2022-03-30
- After multiple failed attempts that spanned more than a century, there is now a federal law that designates lynching as a hate crime, NPR reported. In a March 29 ceremony at the White House, President Joe Biden signed ...


Gay News

Jussie Smollett receives sentence for reporting fake hate crime; Kim Foxx responds [UPDATE] 2022-03-10
- More than three years after reporting a homophobic and racist hate crime against himself that a jury ruled he faked, Cook County Court Judge James Linn sentenced embattled actor Jussie Smollett to ...


 




Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS






Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.