Three gay Iraqis joined a march in Gloucester recently. The men fled to the UK to escape persecution and possible death.
Haider Jaber fled Baghdad in March 2005 after his partner was tortured for a week and then murdered – purely on account of his sexual orientation. His murderers sent a letter to his family saying that because he was gay he didn’t deserve a proper burial or grave.
Such killings and attacks are now common in Iraq. The situation has worsened in the last three years.
Ibaa Alawi came to the UK to apply for asylum. He fled Iraq after his house was bombed with the apparent support of the Iraqi authorities. He said:
Under Saddam Hussein’s secular regime there was actually less pressure on minorities, especially homosexuals. But now they are targeted by the authorities and persecuted and killed every day.