There's no such thing as a non-queer-related issue, and to disabuse anyone of that idea, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq's Human Rights Report (links to pdf) has a section on queer people being hunted down in Iraq:
Attacks on homosexuals and intolerance of homosexual practices have long existed yet they have escalated in the past year. The current environment of impunity and lawlessness invites a heightened level of insecurity for homosexuals in Iraq. Armed Islamic groups and militias have been known to be particularly hostile towards homosexuals, frequently and openly engaging in violent campaigns against them. There have been a number of assassinations of homosexuals in Iraq.
The report goes on to give examples of queer people hunted down and killed in Iraq, like five men who were kidnapped by a militia this past December and two children who had been forced into prostitution (apparently they didn't prostitute to the correct gender).
More on the murders, the Iraqi government's response, and the US/UK response, after the jump.
The report doesn't have any specific numbers, but it does say this:
According to the Iraqi LGBT society, twenty-six of their members have been killed since 2003.
I'm going to guess that the Iraqi LGBT group mentioned isn't as easy to join as volunteering at the local GLCC would be here in the US. So the number that the LGBT group knows about is probably a very tiny fraction of those queer people who have been killed. Especially considering:
Allegedly, three Fatwas would have been issued by Islamic clerics authorising "good Muslims" to hunt and kill homosexuals.
Indeed, their ultimate goal is the elimination of every queer person in Iraq:
One of the self-appointed judges in Sadr City, believes that homosexuality is on the wane in Iraq. "Most [gays] have been killed and others have fled," he said. Indeed, the number who've sought asylum in the UK has risen noticeably over the last few months. (...) He insists the religious courts have a lot to be proud of, "We now represent a society that asked us to protect it not only from thieves and terrorists but also from these [bad] deeds."
The Iraqi's government response, from the AP
via The Seattle P-I
Iraq's government on Thursday strongly criticized a U.N. report on human rights that put its civilian death toll in 2006 at 34,452, saying it is "superficial" and discussed subjects that are taboo in Iraqi society such as homosexuality.
That's right. They don't disagree with the contention that LGBT folk are being rounded up - they just criticize the messenger. They have
learned a thing or two from our government!
This is all related to the speech Outrage!'s Ali Hili gave today in London. From UK Gay News:
He told the conference that some ministers in the US and UK-backed Iraqi government were colluding with death squads responsible for the "sexual cleansing" of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) Iraqis.
"Iraqi LGBTs are at daily risk of execution by the Shia death squads of the Badr and Sadr militias," Mr. Hili told delegates at the conference.
"Members of these militias have infiltrated the Iraqi police and are abusing their police authority to pursue a plan to eliminate all homosexuals in Iraq.
"This is happening with the collusion of key ministers in the Iraqi government," he pointed out.
The US government created this "government" in Iraq, and it has a responsibility to protect those least able to defend themselves under it. Hili points out that the US and UK's current policies are to turn down LGBT folk applying for asylum based on their sexuality. One wonders how much our current Decider-in-Chief agrees with what Hili refers to as "sexual cleansing". (Remember how Nixon cracked jokes and ranted about a Jewish conspiracy
(Crossposted from Q-Bomb)