||12-13-2006 07:30 AM
Iraqi Gay Activists Abducted
Five underground gay activists were abducted in a police raid on a secret gay planning meeting in Baghdad's Al Shaab district on November 9, in a body blow to Iraqi LGBT, the London-based group with supporters throughout Iraq of which the five victims were all members.
Within days, five other gay men in Baghdad were also kidnapped-and with family, friends, and colleagues unable to secure any news of their whereabouts, it is feared that all 10 Iraqi gays have been murdered, victims of the ongoing "sexual cleansing" campaign by anti-gay religious death squads operating throughout the country. (See this reporter's "Shia Death Squads Target Iraqi Gays," in Gay City News, March 23-29, 2006.)
At the time of the raid on the activists' meeting, they were speaking via an Internet voice connection with Ali Hili, the gay Iraqi Muslim who coordinates the Iraqi LGBT group from London.
"We were talking, and all of a sudden I heard the sounds of the door being kicked in and a lot of noise, and the connection went dead," Hili told Gay City News by telephone from London.
"It took me 24 hours to find out what happened, but I finally reached my friend Samir, another member of our Baghdad network, who told me, 'The guys have all been arrested,'" Hili added. "People saw the raid being carried out-it was the work of Badr Corps members all dressed in Ministry of Interior uniforms."
The pic is of the founder of the Badr Corps. Bush met with him recently.
Coming after a month in which 10 gay men in Baghdad were arrested by Shia death squads, President George W. Bush's meeting this week with Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, president of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq and founder of the Badr Corps, came as a shock to LGBT activists.
God help every GLBTQ persons in Iraq.....
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