Dozens, maybe as many as 100, of emo and LGBT youth have been targeted and murdered in Iraq
UPDATED — 2:13 3/11/12] Washington Post and others report that as many as 58 teens have been murdered.
UPDATED – [3:28 pm 3/10/12] @jackhealyNYT tweets that Iraqi police are now confirming that six teens were killed in the last two weeks. Their heads were smashed. Reuters has the number at 14.
UPDATED [10:00am 3/10/12] NYT reporter, @jackhealyNYT, tweets “An
#Iraq MP publicly decries recent murders of 35 gay Iraqis. We called to ask his sources: “I just know what is reported in the news.”
UPDATED [3/9/12] — NYT reporter tweets that he has unable to confirm any victims — “[P]eople, please contradict me, but I can find no proof behind rumors/news of killings of dozens of gay teenagers or emo kids.”
The last few days I have gotten a number of hits to my blog from people searching for information on emos in Iraq. I couldn’t figure out why that topic would suddenly be trending.
Today I learned the horrific reason why.
Gay Star News reports:
Activists and Iraqi media are reporting that up to 100 people have been killed in massacres targeting Iraqis who use alternative dress codes or have differing sexualities. Since 6 February there have been continuous reports of militia targeting youths which focus on attacks, kidnapping, torture and murder of ‘emo’ youth and individuals perceived as gay, lesbian or trans.
The blog, A Paper-Bird, has this to say,
There’s a new wave of reports about “gay killings” in Iraq. The stories published so far in the Western gay press are fragmentary, sometimes inaccurate, and naturally only capture a bit of what is going on. I’ve been in touch with Iraqi colleagues, mostly gay-identified, in the last few days, and here’s what I know so far.
There’s a huge panic happening in Iraq at the moment — again, around Western influence and gender roles. The announced target seems to be “emos.” That’s a US-originated term for a goth-like punk subculture associated with raw emotion.
A Paper-Bird believes that the Ministry of the Interior is waging a campaign to “eliminate” emos. The blog cites a press release from Iraq’s Ministry of the Interior and translates it. According to the translation the press release is titled, “Ministry of Interior waging a campaign to eliminate the “‘EMO.’” If the translation is accurate, it is beyond disturbing. According to A Paper-Bird the Ministry of the Interior describes emo signs as the following: “they wear strange, tight clothes with skull-like decorations, and use school implements in the form of skulls, and put earrings in their noses and their tongues, along with other manifestations of the exotic.”