One Equal World

Makes me sick

Posted on: April 1, 2012

Occasionally a news entry will make me sick.  This article over at Pink News is one of those.  According to them, there have been reports of militia targeting youths recently.  These reports focus on attacks, kidnapping, torture and murder of ‘emo’ youth and individuals perceived as gay, lesbian or trans and have been happening since February 6th.

The militias have been stirring up a moral panic in the public spherre since last year, calling them adulterers, satanists, vampires or sexually depraved.  At least one source has testified that the militia started warning people that they would kill them if they didn’t conform, putting up posters in cafés and street corners.

Different numbers of victims have been reported, anywhere between 56 and 90.  But Jaish Al-Mahdi (Mahdi Army) and Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (League of the Righteous) are at least partially responsible for the murders, and Colonel Mushtaq Taleb Muhammadawi, director of the community police of the Iraqi Interior Ministry, has said the police have an official approval to eliminate emo people because of their ‘notorious effects’ on the community.

“Safia Sohail, an independent deputy in the Iraqi Council of Representatives called ‘the Ministry of Interior and the two parliamentary committees for security and defense of human rights to move quickly to uncover the circumstances of the killing of the emo young people.’”

The deputy asserted that ‘nobody has the right to hold others accountable or set himself a substitute for the law’.

Alakhbar.org, an Iraqi news website referred to the state of panic going viral among students and young people and the fear of being kidnapped, tortured and killed in cold blood because of the way they dress or comb their hair.”

This is truly terrifying news.  And according to NPR it’s not even unusual to see violence against people perceived as emo or homosexual:

“Like many places in the Muslim world, homosexuality is extremely taboo in Iraq. Anyone perceived to be gay is considered a fair target, and the perpetrators of the violence often go free. The militants likely behind the violence intimidate the local police and residents so there is even less incentive to investigate the crimes.”

This kind of thing makes me feel powerless.  Besides spreading the word, what can we do to help?

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