The worldwide LGBT community was horrified this week after the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission released a report detailing the murder of 40 homosexuals in Iraq. Following the grim report, Vice Magazine caught up with Ali Hili, a gay Iraqi living in London, to paint a better picture of what the LGBT community faces in the country.
Hili provided Vice with a document alleged to be from Iraq's Ministry of Interior calling for the genocide of its country's LGBT people.
The translated letter (which Vice states has not been verified) states:
"It has been decided to form a yellow cell to ensure the elimination of the so-called homosexuals and will start its tasks in our known areas to stir chaos starting from Al-Karrada district. To accomplish the missions with absolute secrecy please use the transmission code 115/1/4"
Hali goes on to tell Vice that the situation for gays in Iraq has been going downhill ever since the U.S. and Allied Forces invaded the country early last decade.
From the interview:
What was it like being a gay male in Iraq?
To tell you the truth, prior to the invasion, it was really good. I wasn't in favour of the previous dictator, and I was so against him and his policies in general. Having said that, life in general for sexual minorities was quite relaxed. We used to have nightclubs and areas where people could come and go and do whatever they wanted. Nobody ever bothered them. There was a cruising area in central Baghdad that was protected by patrolling police cars. Which is something people can't believe when I tell them now.
When did the LGBT nightclubs close and the protection for the community disappear?
When the US and UK invaded Iraq. That ended the secular state of Iraq, and turned it into a very "dark ages", fanatical, religious period for Iraq. They brought us a Shi'ite government whose ideology is imported from Iran, they adopted their lifestyle strategy and cultural habits, and they tried to impose this on Iraq's society.
Hali reveals that he and his colleagues have verified at least 750 anti-gay murders on behalf of the Iraqi government in the past few years.
(Source and image: Vice; Via Towleroad)