Iraq - Actor Reportedly Murdered For “Looking Gay”

Homophobia

Karar Noshi, who was a student at the College of Fine Arts in the Iraqi capital, was killed for bizarre reasons, although no reason justifies murder. One of the witnesses told Kurdistan24 that the budding artist’s body was found dumped on the busy Palestine Street in a central area in Baghdad. His family received the body of their son Karar a short while ago after he was found dead on Palestine Street. He had previously received death threats because of his fashion taste and hairstyles.

According to the page “Iraqis in the United States”, Noshi became popular after some of his modeling photos went viral, with some Facebook pages falsely reporting he was nominated to be the “Beauty King of Iraq.” Noshi had responded in a Facebook post saying the claims were false and writing that Iraq’s true “beauty king” was “every young man fighting with all his honor to defend the nation”. “As for the pictures, they are from theatrical and cinematic works of art, which I pride myself on. I cherish my personal freedom to build a unique external appearance,” he wrote. “I remain silent about the abusive responses that undoubtedly reflect the level of their writers.”

Homosexuality was legal in Iraq under Saddam Hussein until late 2001, when under pressure from religious conservatives he criminalized the act of sodomy. A law passed in 2001 made sodomy punishable by imprisonment, and repeated convictions punishable by death.  Some militias have been known to seek out and kill homosexuals and transgender Iraqis and a number of young men have been similarly attacked in previous years for "cross-dressing".

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No particular group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but it is not expected to be the work of ISIS. “It is not ISIS that only kills gays in Iraq, it is ISIS mentality that has has more subscribers than members of the terrorist group,” Global Secular Humanist founder Faisal Saeed Al Mutar wrote on Facebook. Al Mutar claims that "Shia extremists" were behind the killing, referring to Iraq's powerful socially conservative Shia militias. The armed groups have also been accused of kidnapping secular activists in recent months.

Photo Credits: StaticFlickr

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