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Iraq: Hell on earth for gays, other sexual minorities

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In the years after the invasion, the security situation deteriorated for everyone in th country. But for sexual minorities, Iraq became hell on earth.

By 2007, political and religious groups backed by militiamen launched what we believe was an organised, co-ordinated campaign to hunt, arrest, torture and kill everyone they perceived as gay.

These radical groups deny sexual minorities the right to life. They target everyone who does not conform to their religious description of family.

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We believe the Ministry of the Interior tracks sexual minorities with the aim of eliminating them”

That is why killings of gays are similar to so-called honour killings of women said to bring shame on to the family by having extra-marital sex, even in cases when women are raped.

In the same way, gay men and women who do not adhere to traditional sexual practices within an accepted marriage framework are seen as dangerous to society.

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.

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