Mar 31, 2007
Quickie Link: Danger At Every Turn --by Peter Tatchell
Hasan Sabeh was a happy, talented 34-year-old transgender fashion designer, affectionately known as Tamara. He lived in the al-Mansor district of Baghdad. Two months ago, he was tending his fashion accessories stall in a street market. Out of the blue, an Islamist death squad, wearing Iraqi police uniforms, seized Tamara. They stripped off his clothes in the street and, discovering that he was a man dressed as a woman, shot him dead.
Tamara's brother-in-law was nearby and rushed to cradle his body. He, too, was shot dead at point blank range. The killers then took Tamara's body, and hanged and mutilated it, as a warning to other gay and transgender Iraqis.
Gay people like Tamara are now being systematically targeted for execution by Shia death squads. The killers are hell-bent on turning the country into a fundamentalist Islamic state, cleansed of all "impure, unIslamic elements." Some operate within the police and others independently. All owe their allegiance to firebrand, militant clerics.