Blog archive: Iraq

  • 3rd August 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Gay Middle East website has a compilation of attacks in Iraq last month directed against men who are gay or not looking sufficiently "masculine". Some were beaten up, some disappeared and others were murdered, according to the website's sources. As a report by Human...
  • 14th July 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Following last month's police raid on a "safe house" in Karbala used used as a refuge for gay, lesbian and transgender Iraqis, there's news of another raid – this time at a male beauty parlour in Baghdad. Interior Ministry forces took away the manager and four workers. The London-based...
  • 20th June 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
       Police in Karbala last week raided a "safe house" used by gay, lesbian and transgender Iraqis, and took away the occupants. The house (pictured above, after the raid) was one of several established by the UK-based Iraqi LGBT organisation to protect them against ...
  • 11th May 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
        There were angry scenes in Erbil, the capital of Iraq's Kurdish region, on Monday when students protested against the abduction and murder of Sardasht Osman, a 23-year-old freelance journalist. More demonstrations are expected today in Sulaimaniya. Many are blaming his...
  • 2nd February 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Eager to promote traditional family life, the Conservative party in Britain is promising tax incentives for married couples if it wins the next election.  But already Iraq has gone one better (and possibly two or three better) with financial incentives to promote polygamy, according...
  • 10th November 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Some important new research raises doubts about the effects of the famous "surge" in Iraq and whether it could become a model for Afghanistan.  In an article for ISN Security Watch, Claudio Guler argues that the US surge – and the troop increase in particular – was not...
  • 27th September 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The plight of Iraqis who worked as interpreters for the British army in Iraq is highlighted in The National. One of them, identified as "Hussein", resigned after a few months when insurgents began targeting interpreters as traitors and two of his colleagues were killed. He then fled to...
  • 26th September 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Two articles from the Institute for War & Peace Reporting highlight a growing language gap between Arabs and Kurds in Iraq. “Arabic is officially the second language of Kurdistan and the primary language of Iraq,” Najeeba Mohammed writes. “Though studying Arabic is currently compulsory...
  • 13th September 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A shocking report in the Observer by Afif Sarhan and Jason Burke: Sitting on the floor, wearing traditional Islamic clothes and holding an old notebook, Abu Hamizi, 22, spends at least six hours a day searching internet chatrooms linked to gay websites. He is not looking for new...
  • 29th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Sometime soon the Iraqi parliament will be asked to approve a new protection law for journalists (the draft was approved by the cabinet at the end of July). I have pointed out before that "liberated" Iraq, far from becoming a model for the region, is rapidly acquiring the negative...
  • 18th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Major news organisations (CNN, Washington Post, BBC) missed a key point yesterday in their coverage of the Human Rights Watchreport on sexual orientation and gender in Iraq, reducing the issue to one of attacks on “gay” men.  As I explained here yesterday, and as HRW...
  • 17th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Iraq is a dangerous place for many if not most of its citizens but a report issued today by Human Rights Watch looks at a spreading campaign of violence against one group in particular: men who are suspected of homosexual conduct or considered not “manly” enough. Murders are...

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