ABC News reports:
Two gay men were killed in Baghdad's Sadr City slum, and police confirmed they found the bodies of four more men, all killed during a 10-day period after an unknown Shiite militia group urged a crackdown on homosexuals in the country.ABC continues to report that a previously unknown Shiite group called Asaieb al-Haq (the righteous leagues) is suspected of playing a role in these killings. The bodies of four gay men were found in Sadr City March 25, with "pervert" marked on their tortured bodies strung up on poles. Two of the bodies were wearing diapers and women's lingerie.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs believes as many as 30 people have been killed during the last three months because they were -- or were perceived to be -- gay.
In a letter to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the human rights group Amnesty International called for "urgent and concerted action" to end the violence against the gay community, the group reported on its Web site.
Homosexuality is prohibited almost everywhere in the Middle East, but conditions have become especially dangerous in recent years for gays and lesbians, as religious militias have become more powerful since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
But an Iraqi military source claimed the recent killings were linked to tribal violence, not militias, and his characterization of the killings hints at how deep homophobia runs in Iraqi society.
"Two young men were killed Thursday. They were sexual deviants. Their tribes killed them to restore their family honor," an Iraqi army member who did not want to give his name told ABC News.
Two other men who were found alive had been burned with cigarettes and sodomized by iron bars, while others had their nipples cut off.
Popular gay hang outs, such as coffee shops, have been set on fire in the last ten days.
Unite the Fight has been reporting on these developments for some time and will continue to keep you updated. (Click on the Iraq tag at the bottom of the post to see more.)
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We, the United States of America, occupy this country and have a moral obligation to do everything we can to convince the Iraqi government to put and end to this vile human rights violation.
IMAGE: Two Iraqi young men kiss in a rural village near the southern city of Basra.
(AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)