The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission is reporting that approximately 40 LGBT-identified or LGBT-perceived Iraqis have been kidnapped, brutally tortured, and murdered in a shocking surge of targeted anti-gay violence:

According to Iraqi human rights activists, in early February 2012, an unidentified group posted death threats against “the adulterous individuals” in the pre-dominantly [sic] Shiite neighborhoods of Baghdad and Basra. The threats gave the individuals, whose names and ages were listed, four days to stop their behavior or else face the wrath of God, and were to be carried out by the Mujahedin. According to sources inside Iraq, as the result of this new surge of anti-gay violence close to 40 people have been kidnapped, brutally tortured and murdered. The Iraqi authorities have neither responded to this targeted violence nor have they publically denounced it. It is widely believed that these atrocities are being committed by a group of the Shiite militia.

The Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq provides (WARNING: link contains graphic photo) further information about the crimes, including method of execution:

New barbaric attacks started against the Iraqi lgbt in many cities like Baghdad and Basra while using inhumane methods such as hitting the head and body parts of gay victims with building concrete blocks repeatedly till death or by pushing them over high building roof which took place in Basra city. . . News confirmed that 42 gay men were tortured and killed so far, mostly by concrete blocks, while some by dismembering.

The Iraqi government and other world governments, particularly that of the United States of America, must unequivocally condemn the violent campaign of intimidation and murder being waged against Iraqi LGBTs. Additionally, the Iraqi government has an obligation to immediately quash this reign of terror and bring the murderers swiftly to justice.