Gays under increasing attack in Iraq
March 20th, 2007 was the 4th anniversary of the U.S./Coalition forces invasion of Iraq. For the three gay men photographed above by Bilal Hussein of Associated Press it was to be their final day on earth, gunned down in the city of Ramadi by anti-homosexual death squads.
One can hazard a guess at how fucked up Iraq is at the moment when you have the Bush Administration calling the significant Shiite religious leader, the Grand Ayatollah Al-Sistani, a moderate voice in Iraqi political affairs. This is the same man who issued a fatwa last October calling for the killing of gays in Iraq.
This Iraqi blog reports that "Ali Hili, founder and spokesperson for the exile group LGBT Iraqis U.K., said Islamic death squads came to life in response to Sistani's fatwa and brought about an atmosphere of terror among gays." Furthermore he claims that "some death squad members arranged meetings with gays through chat rooms by posing as gays themselves, then captured and sometimes assaulted or killed their targeted victims."
The U.S.-based International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission was amongst human rights groups who complained that the U.S./Coalition occupation forces aren't doing anything to put pressure on their Iraqi partners to stop the gay-hunt.
Regarding the estimated 400 innocent gay people murdered since the invasion in March 2003 merely as a result of their sexual preference, Ali Hili comments, “We thought that with the presence of Americans, life would become paradise, that Iraq would be Westernized, but unfortunately the way things were before was so much better than where we are now.”
Well, in all fairness, why the fuck would you be relying on an army whose actions have led to the deaths of up to a million Iraqis (According to the U.S. John Hopkins Institute and the British 'Lancet' medical journal) since the illegal invasion of 2003?
To learn more about the situation of sexual minorities in Iraq please refer to the blog linked to above.