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Gays targeted by
Iraqi death squads, charges human rights advocate

Gays targeted by
Iraqi death squads, charges human rights advocate

Gays are being targeted--and killed--by roving Iraqi militias, charges Peter Tatchell, president of the British gay rights group OutRage! Tatchell contends that Taliban-style fundamentalist militias are in control throughout Iraq, including parts of Baghdad, and that these groups are executing Iraqis for listening to Western pop music, wearing jeans, drinking alcohol, or participating in homosexual activities.

Tatchell describes Iraq as sliding into a theocracy similar to Iran's, where militant fundamentalists enforce morals on the entire populace.

"Under Saddam Hussein, discreet homosexuality was usually tolerated," writes Tatchell. "Since his overthrow, the violent persecution of gay people is commonplace. It is actively encouraged by Iraq's leading cleric, the British- and U.S.-backed Grant Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani."

According to Tatchell, al-Sistani at one time ordered a death fatwa that called for the execution of gay Iraqis. (The Advocate)

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