The Iraqi Interior Ministry knew about the plan to massacre ‘emo’ youths and LGBT people and are complicit in up to 100 killings, new evidence suggests.
Gay Star News can exclusively reveal that Iraqi officials had a list of people who were scheduled for slaughter but did nothing to protect them.
And a new list has been posted, naming future targets from Iraq’s student population with the killings due to start tomorrow (11 March) or Monday (12 March).
As Gay Star News reported yesterday, the kidnappings, torture and murders started on 6 February and have targeted those with alternative dress codes or have differing sexualities.
Emos have been targeted in particular. Emo is short for emotional or emocore is a US originated hardcore punk-rock music that appeared in the 80s attracting mostly teenagers.
However GSN sources and sources for other LGBT organizations in Iraq have made it clear that the words ‘emo’ and ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’ are used interchangeably.
Bissam, of Gay Middle East, told us: ‘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.’
In Baghdad local media reported massacres of emo youth and LGBT people occurring in the districts of Sadr, Chaala, Albaladiat, Baghdad Al-Jadedah, Karadah and Kadhymia. The number of victims claimed ranges from 56 to 100.
The note pictured here details the names of emo youths to be executed in their respective districts (numbered) and was posted in three neighborhoods of Baghdad: Al-Sadr City, Palestine Street, and Gayarah two weeks ago.
This list was released by the AAH (Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq), a Shia militia group.
The note at the top: ‘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 then goes on to say that now the person has warned them, the person who wrote the note is exempt from responsibility.
The Interior Ministry apparently knew about this note but failed to protect the people named.
An officer in the interior ministry told an Iraqi source of Gay Star News that a week ago a man was reported to the police having made death threats using his mobile phone to 12 emo youths. A 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 as a member of JAH (Jaish al-Mahdi, 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 the officer, 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’.
The officer in the interior ministry is also reported to have told our source that the ministry had independently compiled a list of emo youths as part of their on-going investigation into the ‘emo phenomenon’.
The Director of Community Police of the Ministry of the Interior had previously confirmed the government’s interest in this.
Speaking to the Iraqi News Network on 6 February, Colonel Mushtaq Talib Mohammadawi said: ‘The EMO phenomenon was discovered by members of the directorate in the capital, Baghdad. They have studied it, prepared reports and research, and gone to the Ministry of the Interior to obtain approval to follow up this case.’
Whether they planned to merely tackle the phenomenon, rather than to persecute individuals is not clear. But this does suggest they support moves against emos.
Now a new list has been posted on Palestine Street. It was put up three days ago and warns men and women in universities and colleges to stop behaving and dressing ‘immorally’ within four days.
If they do not comply they will be murdered. This means that we could see a new wave of murders on 11 or 12 March. The list was also mentioned in a TV transmission two days ago.
Bissam, who is blogging on the issue himself, believes 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 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.’