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Ear to the Ground

Iraq Is ‘Hell on Earth’ for Gays

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Posted on Sep 12, 2012
U.S. Army/Pfc. Ryan Hallgarth

An Iraqi police officer conducts an inspection at a checkpoint. The BBC reports that Iraq’s gay population has cause to fear these routine stops.

With hostile families, militias and even police on the hunt for gay people, conditions in Iraq are worse than in Saudi Arabia and Iran, the BBC reports.

Especially worrisome is the government’s involvement in what the Beeb describes as a national “witch hunt.”

It’s “hell on earth,” according to Ali Hilli, founder of Iraqi LGBT. “Instead of protecting sexual minorities, the Iraqi government facilitates their murder by arresting the victims and handing them over to militias who kill them. Iraqi LGBT sources working inside Iraq have found the militias are also getting intelligence about the identities of sexual minorities from the Ministry of the Interior.”

It’s easy to dismiss anti-gay fervor as symptomatic of a conservative Muslim culture, but, as the BBC points out, gays enjoyed some degree of protection under Saddam Hussein and even Hezbollah “shows a degree of tolerance towards homosexuals.”

Watch and read the BBC’s special report here.

—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer. Follow him on Twitter: @peesch.

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