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Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Listen to Gay Life After Saddam

Here is the BBC radio report on the situation for Iraqi LGBT. It is nothing but horror (and heroism) and here's the thing: life was better under Saddam.

Iraqi gays report a (discrete) gay life before 2003 which reminds me of the life which currently exists in Beirut. There were clubs, people could meet by the river. An exile says "no one was killed for being gay under Saddam regime".

This brilliant report goes to Baghdad and visits the Iraqi LGBT safe house. It is very hard listening.

"They had thrown [my boyfriend's] corpse in the garbage. His genitals were cut off and a piece of his throat had been cut out."

Some LGBT find their way to the UK. Very, very few. The UK Border Agency in every instance says they can go back and just 'be discrete'. I kid you not.

Not surprisingly (sic) both David Miliband and Phil Woolas refused to give an interview for this programme.

It includes a lot of background from my friend Ali Hilli. I can't begin to express my admiration for him. He is a true hero.

Listen to the show (60').

Gay Life After Saddam

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  1. Apparently there is (or actually was) a big difference between Beirut's gay-life and Baghdad's under Saddam.

    Iraqi gays in Beirut (as refugees) find beirut much more open and more "free" than the life they were used to in Baghdad (again before the overthrow of saddam)
    There are more opportunities to express themselves ( be it by getting drunk in the clubs, bars, cafes or just walking around without getting verbally harrassed by mr. imam or mr. priest)

    But anyhow, thank you for the tip. Got something to listen to tonight.

  2. Thank you for posting this. People need to know of these atrocities.

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