BAGHDAD - A recent wave of assassinations and intimidation directed against Iraqi homosexuals and adolescents who dress according to the daring western fashions is leading fear to Iraq's secular circles and raising doubts about the willingness of government to protect some of its most vulnerable citizens.
Many details of what the Iraqi newspapers have called the "murder of emos" are obscure, but the noise comes at an awkward moment for Iraq. The country is preparing to present to the world as host of an important meeting of Arab leaders in late March, the first major diplomatic event since the U.S. withdrew its troops in December.
But the news that young tight shirts and tight pants being thrown on the streets after being beaten to death with concrete blocks threatened to cast a shadow over the new palm trees and fresh paint. Violence is a reminder that the government was unable to prevent threats and attacks against small religious sects, ethnic groups and social outcasts such as gay men.
Saurce: The New York Times News Service/Syndicate