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Iraq police
abduct gay men at gunpoint

Iraq police
abduct gay men at gunpoint

Ten gay men who have been abducted by Iraqi police are feared to be dead, including five from the activist group Iraqi LGBT, the group reported December 1. The activists were taken at gunpoint while holding a secret meeting in the al-Shaab district of Baghdad on November 9, the group's Web site said.

Ali Hili, a gay Iraqi Muslim living in the United Kingdom, said gays in Iraq have been the target of threats and executions. He was on the phone with the men during the abduction. "Suddenly there was a lot of noise and then the connection ended," he said, according to the group's Web site.

The site also reports that another man, Haydar Kamel, 35, was abducted near his home in Sadr City. The alleged kidnappers are members of the Mahdi army, a militia loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr.

None of the men who have been abducted have been heard from since. It is assumed, the site said, that they are all dead.

Peter Tatchell of the U.K. gay group Outrage, of which Hili is also a member, said Iraqi LGBT has established a network of activists working in Baghdad, Najaf, Karbala, Hilla, and Basra.

"These courageous activists are helping gay people on the run escape to Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon," Tatchell said. "The world ignores the fate of gay Iraqis at its peril. Their fate today is the fate of all Iraqis tomorrow." (The Advocate)

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