One of the victims: before and after being stoned. More images.
There are reports that around 100 youths targeted for being gay or following the ’emo’ subculture have now been brutally slaughtered in Iraq since 6 February.
According to the Gay Middle East site, the “Iraqi Interior Ministry has backed [the] massacre of up to 100 emos and LGBT people in the last month.”
The site claims that Iraqi officials had a list of young people who were scheduled to be killed but did nothing to protect them.
It also warned that a new wave of massacres could be imminent.
Activists have reported that young people perceived as gay because of how they dress, or what music they listen to, are being identified, tortured and killed by extremist militias and religious fanatics.
Youth sporting a modern emo style – in Iraq often directly associated with being gay or lesbian – are being especially singled out.
Notices with individuals’ names were posted around a number of neighbourhoods in Baghdad. They were warned to change their ways in four days or face “the punishment of Allah.”
Many were reportedly stoned or bludgeoned to death with concrete blocks.
South African activists have slammed local media for failing to report on the killings.
“I’m absolutely appalled that the South African mainstream media continues to ignore this while it has been in virtually every news outlet and rag in America,” commented SAGLAAD’s Cobus Fourie on Mambaonline.
Lance Weyer, Mr. Gay South Africa 2011, expressed his horror at the executions.
“I can only imagine the grief experienced by parents who send their children to school with good intentions, but now will never see them alive again. What is worse is that it seems that the government authorised the senseless and purposeless killing of defenceless children in a despicable and cruel manner for no justifiable reason. It’s beyond comprehension, it’s simply monstrous.
“This type of government-sanctioned homophobia cannot be tolerated. I am writing to the International Relations and Cooperation Ministry to ask them to issue a statement condemning this violence and to take it up with the UN for investigation, as it appears that these atrocities fall into the category of genocide and crimes against humanity,” said Weyer
International LGBT rights website All Out has started an online petition campaigning against the massacre of emo, gay and transgender people in Iraq.