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Militias Killing Baghdad Gays With Impunity

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Militias Killing Baghdad Gays With Impunity

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

May 17, 2006 - 9:00 pm ET

(Baghdad) Armed militia are routinely rounding up gay men in the Iraqi capital and shooting them, despite assurances from the US military that it has control of the streets, reports from the capital indicate.

The Times of London reports that in one instance a masked man in a police uniform demanded a father turn over his gay son for execution. The Times says that that man was given an ultimatum that if the son were not handed over other members of his family would be killed.

The 23 year old managed to escape, The Times reports, and is in hiding. His family also has fled.

"A number of my gay friends have been murdered, so I took this warning seriously," the paper quotes him as saying.

Ali Hili, who ran a gay nightclub in Baghdad but who managed to get out of the country and flee to the UK said that he knows of more than 40 men murdered in recent months. “Badr militants used chatrooms to lure them to a rendezvous and then kill them,” he told The Times.

He described a grenade attack on the home of a gay couple by militia members. One partner survived, the other was shot dead as he tried to flee.

The Iraqi government says that it is investigating the reported killing of a 14 year old forced into hustling to support his family. But even if the report is verified it is unlikely anyone will be punished.

Last month it was reported that armed militias were regularly kidnapping and holding for ransom Iraqis - many of them gay. (story)

Many of the militias are linked to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. In April, on his Web site, he issued a fatwa, calling for the killing of gays in the "worst, most severe way". (story)

Following an international outcry he reportedly removed the fatwa against gay men but maintained it for lesbians.

©365Gay.com 2006

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