Gay men tortured and killed in Iraq

Thu. May 28, 2009 12:00 AM by News Staff

Baghdad, Iraq - Baghdad's militias are conducting a violent and often deadly crackdown on homosexuals in Iraq according to a report from ABC News.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs confirmed that gay Iraqis have been targeted for kidnapping and murder because of their sexual orientation. It's believed as many as 30 people have been killed over the last three months in Iraq because they were gay or were perceived to be gay.

ABC says police confirmed two gay men were killed in a Baghdad slum and that they found the bodies of four more men all killed during a 10-day crackdown on homosexuals. The bodies reportedly had pieces of paper bearing the word "pervert" attached to them and all showed signs of torture.

In a letter to Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, Amnesty International called for "urgent and concerted action". The human rights organization also criticized the government's failure to condemn the killings.

The letter also raised concerns that religious leaders may be inciting violence against members of Iraq's gay community.

Gay activists have claimed that more than sixty gay men have been murdered in Iraq so far this year. They also assert the U.S. has ignored the murders because the government doesn't want to upset the religious authorities in Iraq.

Violence against gays in Iraq has increased dramatically as religious militias have gained power since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Amnesty has called on the Iraqi government to afford effective protection to the gay community.

Video: Fears over Iraq gay killing spate, from the BBC