From the UK newspaper The Observer:
Hardline Islamic insurgent groups in Iraq are targeting a new type of victim with the full protection of Iraqi law, The Observer can reveal. The country is seeing a sudden escalation of brutal attacks on what are being called the ‘immorals’ – homosexual men and children as young as 11 who have been forced into same-sex prostitution.
There is growing evidence that Shia militias have been killing men suspected of being gay and children who have been sold to criminal gangs to be sexually abused. The threat has led to a rapid increase in the numbers of Iraqi homosexuals now seeking asylum in the UK because it has become impossible for them to live safely in their own country.[…]
Graphic photos obtained from Baghdad sources too frightened to identify themselves as having known a gay man, and seen by the Observer, show other gay Iraqis who have been executed. One shows two men, suspected of having a relationship, blindfolded with their hands tied behind their backs – guns at the ready behind their heads – awaiting execution. Another picture captured on a mobile phone shows a gay man being beaten to death. Yet another shows a corpse being dragged through the streets after his execution.
But it’s not just the insurgent groups killing off gays. It’s also our good friends and allies, the Iraqi government.
One photograph is of the mutilated, burnt body of 38-year-old Karar Oda from Sadr City. He was kidnapped by the Badr Brigade in mid-June. They work with the Ministry of Interior and are the informal armed wing of the Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution in Iraq, who make up the largest Shia bloc in the Iraq parliament. Oda’s family were given an arrest warrant signed by the Ministry of Interior which said their son deserved to be arrested and killed for immorality as a homosexual. His body was found ten days later.
Don’t get me wrong — queers were horribly abused under Saddam. That we are able to take a situation that bad and (if this Observer report is correct) make it worse is astonishing. At the very least, the U.S. (and the U.K.) should be offering asylum and citizenship to gay Iraqis who want (or, rather, need) to flee here.