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Gay Iraqi Leader Assassinated in Baghdad



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LONDON, September 25, 2008  –  The Baghdad coordinator of Iraqi LGBT has been assassinated, probably by one of the two religious militia .

Peter Tatchell of Outrage! issued the following statement at lunchtime:

This morning, I received news from Iraq that the coordinator of Iraqi LGBT in Baghdad, Bashar, aged 27, a university student, has been assassinated in a barber shop.

Militias burst in and sprayed his body with bullets at point blank range.

He was the organiser of the safe houses for gays and lesbians in Baghdad.  His efforts saved the lives of dozens of people.

Bashar was a kind, generous and extremely brave young man – a true hero who put his life on the line to save the lives of others.

My thoughts go out to his loved ones and to the other members of Iraqi LGBT.  

Their courage is an inspiration to all people everywhere fighting against injustice.

Mr. Tatchell said that the exact identity of the gunmen is unclear, but Bashar was probably murdered by the Islamist death squads who are targeting lesbian and gay Iraqis for sexual cleansing.




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Sexual Cleansing in Iraq.  By Peter Tatchell.  The "improved" security situation in Iraq is not benefiting all Iraqis, especially not those who are gay. Islamist death squads are engaged in a homophobic killing spree with the active encouragement of leading Muslim clerics, such as Moqtada al-Sadr.  [...] One of these clerics, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, issued a fatwa urging the killing of lesbians and gays in the "most severe way possible".  (The Guardian, September 25, 2008)

Two ‘Safe Houses’ for Gays in Iraq Set To Close for Lack of Donations. Up to 25 gay men will next month have to ‘take their chances’ in Iraq where religious militia regularly seek out gays and execute them.  Two ‘safe houses’ for gays will be forced to close at the end month – due to lack of cash, it was learned last night.  (UK Gay News, October 17, 2007)

Cash Crisis Puts Doubt on Future of ‘Safe Houses’ for Gays in Iraq.  Iraqi LGBT is facing a cash crisis in their efforts to assist lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people in Iraq.  For over a year, Friends of Iraqi LGBT has been trying to help by funding safe houses in Iraq for those who have come to the attention of the death squads and who have consequently had to flee their homes.   (UK Gay News, September 15, 2007)

For Gays in Iraq, a Life of Constant Fear.  By Molly Hennessy-Fiske.  BAGHDAD — Samir Shaba sits in a restaurant, nervously describing gay life in Iraq. He speaks in a low voice, occasionally glancing over his shoulder.  (Los Angeles Times, August 5, 2007)

More Gays Executed.  Iraqi lesbians and gays continue to be subjected a systematic reign of terror by Shia death squads, Ali Hili, the coordinator of the human rights group Iraqi LGBT, said in London this morning.  Warning - there is a graphic image on this page.  (UK Gay News, April 4, 2007)

Iraqi Police Execute “Gay” Child in Baghdad.  Gay human rights group Outrage! has today accused Iraqi police of executing a 14 year old boy in the al-Dura district of Baghdad in early April. (UK Gay News, May 4, 2006)

Ahmed’s Story – A Cruel, Barbaric Death.  By Ali Hili.  Ahmed Khalil was a likeable, playful 14 year old boy, born in the southern Iraqi town of al-Ammara.  The eldest child, he came from an uneducated family who lived in great poverty.  (UK Gay News, May 4, 2006)

Focus on Teens Trapped In Commercial Gay Sex Trade in Iraq Hassan Feiraz, a 16-year-old boy, has started a desperate new life since being forced into the sex trade in Baghdad, joining a growing number of adolescents soliciting in Iraq under the threat of street gangs or the force of poverty.  “Every day I cry at night,” Feiraz said.  “I’m a homosexual and was forced to work as a prostitute because one of the people I had sex with took pictures of me in bed and said that, if I didn't work for him, he was going to send the pictures to my family.”  (UK Gay News, August 8, 2005)

Iraqi Gays Face Abuse and Murder.  As Iraq wrestles with its planned constitution, the country’s gays and lesbians face blackmail, rape and murder, a LGBT human rights group charged today.  (UK Gay News, August 16, 2005)

This short 9-minute film from Village Film in London was made in October 2007.  It was produced by David Grey and has the support of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.



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Posted: 25 September 2008 at 15:30 (UK time)


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