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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/17/2012 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Those who sport tattoos, piercings also actively persecuted

Homosexual men are being routinely bludgeoned in Baghdad's dirty streets as a sign of the brutality of the Shia orthodoxy in power. In some cases, the sexuality of the person is not in question as long as they make some deadly fashion mistakes. Sporting tattoos, piercings and nose rings, associated with the "emo" movement in the west, has led to a brutal death. Some leaders say that such attire is the work of Satan, and punishable by death.

Iranian death squads have been targeting gay men as well as those who dress 'emo.' Since February 6, it's estimated that 80 homosexuals have been brutally murdered.

Iranian death squads have been targeting gay men as well as those who dress "emo." Since February 6, it's estimated that 80 homosexuals have been brutally murdered.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/17/2012 (4 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Iran, homosexuals, murder, lesbian, Shia law


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "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," one young man says, commenting on the senseless murder of his friend.

Allegedly, death squads have been targeting gay men as well as those who dress "emo." Since February 6, it's estimated that 80 homosexuals have been brutally murdered.

"That day they killed Ahmad Arusa in Sadr City and four other people in Geyara, two Shia neighborhoods in eastern Baghdad. Earrings, nose rings, tattoos . all those are synonymous with either being homosexual, worshipping the devil or both things at a time," the young man says.

The Iraqi Interior Ministry labeled the 'emo' movement "Satanism," saying that "a special police force would tackle the issue."

The Mehdi militia, a former insurgent group led by cleric Moqtada al-Sadr are largely responsible for the attacks

"Ours is a militia-run government," the young man on the run says. "The only possible solution is that Western governments put pressure on Iraq to end this nightmare."

Dalal Jumma from the Organization of Women's Freedom In Iraq concurs, and complains about the lack of a "mandatory separation between state and religion.

"The militias' letters hanging on the walls even accuse homosexuals or 'emo' followers of 'Satanism for participating in the martyrdom of Imam Hussein' - the Shia community leader killed in the Seventh century. How can we deal with such monstrosity?" Jumma says.

Journalists were shown a list of 33 individuals classified under their residence block numbers.

"If you don't quit such licentious attitudes in four days, God's punishment will fall on you at the hands of the holy Mujahideen - Islamic fighters," reads a threat written between pictures of two guns.

One young woman talks about her persecution. "They threatened to tell my family that I am a lesbian if I didn't leave the country immediately," the 26-year-old woman told reporters in Baghdad.

"Many lesbians die in Iraq at the hands of older brothers. It is yet another 'honor killing', a 'domestic matter' over which the government will never conduct any investigation."

It's estimated that more than 720 homosexuals have been killed in Iraq by extremist militias in the past six years.

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