Seven gay men arrested by police in the cities of Karbala, Najaf, Basra, and Ammara in Iraq have disappeared without a trace, according to Ali Hili, the founder and coordinator of Iraqi LGBT.

Hili told Gay City News that no one had heard from the men or been able to obtain information from the authorities on their fate since December 2. The men are presumed dead.

The activist said that three transgendered Iraqis in different parts of the country had also vanished last month after receiving death threats.

“The situation is getting worse day by day, and most of our group’s members and contacts inside Iraq are so afraid that even talking about the situation of Iraqi LGBT people over the phone or through chat rooms on the Internet is something they’re too scared to do,” Hili told the New York newspaper.

LGBT Iraqis have reportedly been the victims of radical Muslim death squads. In 2005, the spiritual leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani issued a fatwa which declared that gays and lesbians should be “killed in the worst, most severe way possible.”

Iraqi LGBT issued a statement this week requesting financial help in order to continue to offer support to LGBT Iraqis.

Three of the organisation’s safe houses for persecuted gay Iraqis closed down late last year due to a lack of funds to pay rent and utility bills.

Get the Mamba Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend