November 20, 2014 – Reported by the Guardian – Shia militias acting under Iraqi government cover are leading the persecution of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Iraqis, sharply increasing their risk of death or exile, a report has found.
The role of the militias has added a new layer of danger to the country’s vulnerable LGBT community, which was among the least protected groups in Iraqi society, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission and the women’s human rights group, Madre said on Wednesday.
LGBT Iraqis lack family or community support and the government refuses to offer any meaningful protection, according to the report When Coming Out Is A Death Sentence published by the group. It said the central government was likely to be complicit in a recent increase in attacks against gay people in Baghdad, which have been carried out by the feared Shia militia, Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq.
“Past and present killing sprees against LGBT Iraqis have taken place with total impunity,” it said. “No one has been held accountable for the murders, and the previous government rejected calls to even investigate violence based on actual or perceived sexual and gender non-conformity.”…