Iraqi LGBT have recently obtained new video evidence highlighting the brutality of the Badr Corps and police treatment of LGBT people in Iraq. It shows LGBT people being arrested, held in custody and having their heads shaved and taunted with songs of hate and revenge.
The first video shows two gay men celebrating a wedding ceremony when they are stopped at a checking point between Al-Kut and Baghdad and violently pulled out of their car.
The second video is of Ali, a trans woman — a member of Iraqi LGBT, he was living in a Basra safe house supported and run by the group. Many LGBT people face threats and violence, and these shelters are the only refuges from attacks.
In November, Iraqi LGBT was forced to close the three safe houses it ran in the south of Iraq, including the one in Basra, due to lack of funds.
“We have, sadly, lost contact with many of those who were sheltered in our safe houses which we were obliged to close,” Ali Hili of Iraqi LGBT explained, adding, “Of those with whom we have still had some contact, we know that they have sold everything they had to survive and rent a room to live in, as they were all rejected by their families because of their homosexuality. Some have been forced to work as prostitutes because they are too obviously gay and can get no other work.”
Iraqi LGBT members obtained the above listed video by bribing a police officer with $200.
“The video, apparently made by police for their amusement, is disturbing[...] in addition to showing the police standing around and laughing and making crude remarks in Arabic about Ali’s sexuality, it is also dubbed with hate and revenge music in Arabic.”
Iraqi LGBT has documented over 400 separate cases of LGBT Iraqis who have been murdered by Shia militias.
Most of these killings have been the work of the Badr Corps, the armed militia of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), the largest Shiite political formation and the core of the current US-backed government. The Badr-Corps’ spiritual guide, the 77-year-old Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, issued a death-to-all-gays fatwa in 2005.
New reports we have received from underground gay contacts inside Iraq suggest intensified homophobic abuse, threats, intimidation and violence by fundamentalist supporters of Sistani and other Shia leaders.Sources inside Iraq report new arrests and disappearing of gays and trans people.
These killings are just the ones information is available about. They are the tip of an iceberg of religious-motivated summary executions. Gay Iraqis are living in fear of discovery and murder.
Hussein, Mawla, Najim, Haydar, Khalid, Basim, and Rasool — are all presumed dead, but their last names cannot be published on the slight chance that one or more of them might still be alive.
Three transgendered Iraqis also disappeared last month in different parts of Iraq after receiving multiple threats of death if they didn’t move out of the neighborhoods where they lived.
You can review these videos on this link.
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