BY ANDREA HOUSTON – Gay youth and "emo kids" are being brutally killed in Iraq at an alarming rate, according to recent media reports.
Extremist Islamic militia are targeting youths with "floppy hair" who wear black and dress fashionably, The Telegraph reports.
Activists say the death toll could be as high as 100. Most of the victims are men and many are either gay or perceived to be gay.
"There is growing fear of a return to the rampant hate crimes against gay people in 2009. This year, eyewitnesses and human rights groups say some of the victims have been bludgeoned to death by militiamen smashing in their skulls with heavy cement blocks," CBS News reports.
LGBTQ Nation says the first wave of killings took place on Feb 6. In some cases victims are being pushed off the roofs of high buildings. "To Iraqis, 'emo' is widely synonymous with 'gay.'"
"The Quran specifically forbids homosexuality, and Islamic militias in Iraq long have targeted gays in what they term 'honour killings' to preserve the religious idea that families should be led by a husband and a wife. Those who do not abide by this belief are issued death sentences by the militias, according to the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq, a human rights watchdog group. The same militias target women who have extramarital affairs."
"There is a strong wave of campaigns by clerics against homosexuals now," said Ali al-Hilli, chairman of Iraqi LGBT, a human rights group based in London that provides two safe houses in Iraq for gays. "The police do not provide protection for them."
"He said an estimated 750 gay Iraqis have been killed because of their sexual orientation since 2006."
Here's Newsy's report: