New evidences on the complicit of the Iraqi government as a new massacre is waiting to happen against emo and LGBTQ youth
A list (pictured here) has been posted, naming future targets of emo youths to be executed in their respective districts (numbered). The note was posted, two weeks ago, in three neighborhoods of Baghdad: Al-Sadr City, Palestine Street, and Gayarah.
Now a new list has been posted on Palestine Street. It was put up four days ago and warns men and women in universities and colleges to stop behaving and dressing ‘immorally’ within four days.
The note at the top reads ‘In the name of Allah. We strongly warn you, every licentious man or woman: if you didn’t stop this dirty behavior in four days then the punishment of Allah will be accomplished by the hands of Almojahdeen.’
It ends with saying that now the person has warned them, the person who wrote the note is exempt from responsibility.
It’s claimed the AAH (Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq) or League of the Righteous, a Shia militia group alleged to receive Iranian funding and have links to the Iranian Quds Force, who released the note.
Reports we had access to from Iraqi media in Baghdad and activists claim that the number of victims ranges from 56 to 100. Most of the murders are occurring in the districts of Sadr, Chaala, Albaladiat, Baghdad Al-Jadedah, Karadah and Kadhymia.
It’s believed that the crackdown on emo youth is heavier than that of LGBT people but according to Bissam, an Iraqi LGBT activist and blogger currently in exile who affirms that the words ‘emo’ and ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’ are used interchangeably. They are considered a deviation from ‘normativity’ and social norms.
‘It is commonly assumed that most emos are “fags”, feminine (in the case of boys) or masculine (in the case of girls), and Satan worshipers. Girls wearing short skirts, tight trousers (called ‘stretch’) are also singled out as morally corrupt and therefore legitimate targets.’ Explained Bissam to Gay Star News.
M. one of Bissam’s sources wrote in an email: ‘An officer from the interior ministry told me – in person – that they collected information about emo youth and that they have a list of names. They know everything and they are supporting what is happening.’
An officer in the interior ministry told an Iraqi source of Gay Star News and Gayday Magazine that a man was reported last week for making death threats using his mobile phone to 12 emo youths.
A threatened youth’s family entrapped him and found out he had a list of the 12 youths stored in his mobile phone.
The man was identified, later on, as a member of JAH (Jaish al-Mahdi or Al Mahdi Army, an Iraqi paramilitary force created by the Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr), working in the militia’s headquarters in Al-Sadr city.
According to Bissam’s source, the family reported this to the police who declined to take any action against the man and telling the family that ‘the matter should be resolved between tribal elders’.
Colonel Mushtaq Taleb Muhammadawi, Director of the Community Police of the Iraqi Interior Ministry, stated on the 6th of February that the phenomenon of “emo” or so called “Satanists” is being observed. He added that the police have an official approval to eliminate emo people because of their ‘notorious effects’ on the community.
The Colonel declared to Iraq News Network that ‘research and reports on the emo phenomenon has been conducted and shared with the Ministry of Interior which officially approves the measures to eliminate them’.
‘The Ministries of Education and Interior are taking this issue seriously and we have an action plan to “eradicate them”. I will be leading the project myself and we have the needed permits to access all schools in the capital,’ added the colonel, thus possibly indicating at the very least Iraqi state complicity with the massacres.
On the question why is this happening now, Bissam thinks the massacres may be related to the upcoming Arab League Summit, scheduled to take place in Baghdad on 29 March.
He told Gay Star News: ‘Muqtada al-Sadr (one of the most influential religious and political figures in the country) wants to embarrass Prime Minister Al-Maliki exposing him and his party’s Bard organization, as unable to protect their own people in front of the Arab League.
Al-Maliki, in turn, wants to keep the peace and not infuriate or inflame the rivalry between JAH, AAH and Badr organization ahead of the summit, his goal is to enhance his image as a keeper of peace.
‘This is why there is a complete lack of intervention on the government’s side.
‘It is speculation that they personally gave orders for this. But they have done nothing to intervene or prevent it. As leaders, if they had given the order that this should stop, the militias would have called a halt. And it fits in the pattern of their attempts to embarrass each other.’
Bissam added, as the sun rises, the world is waiting for a new massacre against the phenomena.