Deaths | Gay Rights | Iraq | News | Peter Tatchell

Coordinator of 'LGBT in Iraq' Group Assassinated in Baghdad

Yesterday, British gay activist Peter Tatchell of Outrage! wrote up an article about death squads who hunt down gay Iraqis and execute them, before releasing the following terribly sad statement:

Iraqgayprisoners"This morning, I received news from Iraq that the coordinator of Iraqi LGBT in Baghdad, Bashar, aged 27, a university student, has been assassinated in a barber shop. Militias burst in and sprayed his body with bullets at point blank range. He was the organiser of the safe houses for gays and lesbians in Baghdad. His efforts saved the lives of dozens of people. Bashar was a kind, generous and extremely brave young man – a true hero who put his life on the line to save the lives of others. My thoughts go out to his loved ones and to the other members of Iraqi LGBT. Their courage is an inspiration to all people everywhere fighting against injustice."

Sexual cleansing in Iraq [guardian]
Gays Without Borders created the sobering video about LGBT life in Iraq, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. My god. I really have no words for this.

    Posted by: banjiboi | Sep 26, 2008 5:58:05 PM

  2. I may be over reacting but I've really had enough of muslim countries and if it was within my power I'd pull out of Iraq and send them a bill. The Malaki government doesn't care about Iraqi gays, neither does the Bush administration. At least they don't advertise their objection. Iraq does not deserve democracy or freedom. Look what they'll do with it. After we leave and maybe beofre they'll become a theocracy like Iran.

    Posted by: James Poppinga | Sep 26, 2008 6:13:53 PM

  3. My eyes welled up just reading that short statement. What a disgusting disregard for human life.

    Posted by: Chris | Sep 26, 2008 6:16:41 PM

  4. agreed, Chris. i mean, i know this sort of thing happens all the time in today's iraq, but something about this just hits close to home. and hits hard.

    solidarity, everybody.

    Posted by: le_sacre | Sep 26, 2008 6:21:41 PM

  5. that was a terrific film, thanks for posting it, Andy. But writing a letter to the UN, as suggested as a tip to help, seems REALLY un-useful, imho. This is an issue that has to be dealt with internally, it's an Iraqi domestic issue. I think Muslims, not the UN, need to address this. But it's haunting to hear that a father could hang 1 son in front of the other as an example of what will happen for being gay. Tragic. But i'm not holding my breath for the UN to do a damn thing about it, letter writing campaign or not.

    Since many EU nations have stronger gay-rights laws than the USA, one can predict their will be more confrontations there as well as the middle east/gulf region about sexual cleansing of neighborhoods, eventually.

    And what's the deal with so much violence during Ramadan? That Marriot bombing in Pakistan as well...Muslim against Muslim attacks. They need to get their own house in order before they'll bother listening to Western-style gay rights activists. Or am i just a pessimist??

    Posted by: Daniel | Sep 26, 2008 6:36:51 PM

  6. I was texting my homo buds to check on the plans tonight, while listening to my itunes....nwo i came across this...and I'm crying, I can't find the right words to say how bad this shit is going on in Iraq....That country needs to rotten on its own hate....I HOPE OBAMA GETS US OUT....and brings a voice to the UN about the LGBT! My thoughts go to his family and the rest of the LGBT that don't have a voice of their own....WE ARE THINKING OF YOU, & SOME OF US ARE FIGHTING FOR YOU!~

    Posted by: bosie | Sep 26, 2008 7:14:59 PM

  7. Very sad, but true! Obama will not get us out. Neither will McCain. Until we deal with our own thirst for oil and open the US to drilling we will not be free of the Middle East!

    We are not wanted in the Middle East: we are both American and gay. This is how it is. We are stamping our feet and demanding marriage at all costs, and there are costs, and our LGBT brothers and sisters in the Middle East are dying for simply being gay. Travesty, yes it is. I have posted about this time and time again. We are not wanted in muslim countries. There is against us and then there is "against us" but we are not being hung, shot at point blank, etc for being gay in America.

    Posted by: RB | Sep 26, 2008 8:16:33 PM

  8. Really? We're not being killed here for being gay? Where have you been lately? Lawrence King much? Hello? Anybody home?

    Posted by: znsd | Sep 26, 2008 8:23:24 PM

  9. Brutal. This really puts matters into perspective, and shows how far advanced our secular post-Enlightenment society is in regard to homosexuality - we should be extraordinarily grateful to be living in a time and place (21st Century First World) where we can live relatively freely and openly - yes, homosexuals are still targeted for violence in the West even in this day and age, but at least we have legal protection, and society at large generally supports us - this proves just how hateful fundamentalist beliefs are, no matter what the religion...

    Peter Tatchell is without a doubt the bravest and most admirable advocate for human rights we homosexuals have (look him up, his life of service to our cause has been selfless and tireless) - he is the kind of figure the LGBT community should venerate, not vapid self-interested celebrities - Clay Aiken or Lance Bass may encourage young closeted gays to feel they're not alone, but Mr Tatchell has risked his life with no consideration for his safety or financial reward in order to draw attention to injustice and try and improve the rights of people all over the world.

    Mr Tatchell, you are truly a great man, and a hero.

    Posted by: johnnzboy | Sep 26, 2008 9:06:27 PM

  10. These death squads are also chasing out doctors patching up bomb & terror victims in the Baghdad hospitals.

    Posted by: Mike | Sep 26, 2008 9:54:39 PM

  11. This is sickening. I remember reading about this guy earlier this year. I cannot wrap my brain around it. I'm speechless. And that doesn't happen often.

    Posted by: Todd | Sep 27, 2008 12:14:20 AM

  12. But the surge is working! Victory is ours, and we are leaving behind a thriving democracy! Pay no attention to the atrocities. Besides, what does that LGBT crap stand for anyway?

    Posted by: JT | Sep 27, 2008 1:42:59 AM

  13. Peter Tatchell has balls of steel, and is unflinching with his activism . . . love him. For those who are further interested in the persecution and oppression of the LGBTQ community in Iran & Iraq check out the coverage of Doug Ireland who has been writing about the issue for years but to little fanfare. Kudos to Paul Schindler at Gay City News for publishing Doug Ireland's work, and himself taking a stand.

    Posted by: HOGB | Sep 27, 2008 10:46:19 AM

  14. Is there a way we can smuggle these people out of the county? Can an underground railroad be created to get them to safety? I would happily sponsor a gay or lesbian from Iraq or Iran. I'd even be glad to help pay for their escape. I feel so totally helpless (and useless) reading about these instances.

    Posted by: hamp | Sep 27, 2008 1:29:10 PM

  15. Doesn't this make you feel appreciative of the fact that we live here? Individual homophobia is one thing, but state sanctioned?

    One of my good friends just cancelled a last minute trip to see his family back in Africa for the exact same reason. He just learned that his paternal uncles are planning an honour killing to "restore" the family's image. This is someone who grew up teased and kicked and sent to boot camps just to "man him up" a little. And of course the only thing manly he got a hold of was everyone single guy's dick every single night. The irony!

    I feel the same way HAMP. The problem is that even if these people managed to flee the country, their family would the subjected to threats possibly face their own honour killings. Like Nyaz the lesbian in the clip said. There are no words to describe what these people must be going through.

    Posted by: Shabaka | Sep 27, 2008 2:05:40 PM

  16. Ugh...typos!!

    Posted by: Shabaka | Sep 27, 2008 2:16:34 PM

  17. This is a sign of the great "victory" for democracy that John McCain sees in Iraq? Getting out will not be quick or easy; there are 140,000 troops there and they cannot be yanked out in a safe manner overnight. But look at the goal of each candidate. McCain would be happy to be there for 100 years. Obama thinks our soliders can be home in 16 months. Don't fall for the line that there is no difference between the two candidates on this issue.

    Posted by: Brian | Sep 27, 2008 4:42:19 PM

  18. HAMP


    Andy, any ideas?

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Sep 27, 2008 4:44:12 PM

  19. i could only watch a part of the assault on the human spirit. to think that our tax dollars are propping up this insanity is enough to make me weep. if there is a god, bush-co, et al., will surely burn in their self-made hell.

    Posted by: nic | Sep 28, 2008 2:42:41 PM

  20. This is so f**king sick!

    Posted by: Dawnell_do | Sep 28, 2008 3:33:22 PM

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