Iraq is one of only nine countries in the world where homosexual people are executed simply for being gay. While the New York Times reports that Iraqis are now able to “enjoy freedoms unthinkable two years ago,” – women are able to walk the streets unveiled and families can now gather in parks – the atrocities committed against gay men demonstrate that the country is far from achieving acceptable human rights standards.
As the Times notes, “The relative freedom of a newly democratic Iraq and the recent improvement in security have allowed a gay subculture to flourish here. The response has been swift and deadly.”
The months of February and March saw the bodies of 25 gay boys and men turn up in Sadr City. Most were shot, some many times, and several had notes attached to their bodies that read “pervert” in Arabic.
Towleroad recently provided a translation of a story from one UAE-based media network, which details a new horrific form of torture used against gay men. “Iraqi militias have deployed an unprecedented form of torture against homosexuals by using a very strong glue that will close their anus.” The substance “is known as the American hum, which is an Iranian-manufactured glue that if applied to the skin, sticks to it and can only be removed by surgery. After they glue the anuses of homosexuals, they give them a drink that causes diarrhea. Since the anus is closed, the diarrhea causes death. Videos of this form of torture are being distributed on mobile cell phones in Iraq.”