Surge in brutal killings of gay and 'Emo' youth

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The Independent Online

Young people who identify themselves as so-called Emos are being killed at an alarming rate in Iraq, where security forces say they are unable to stop crimes against the subculture that is widely perceived in the country as being homosexual.

Human rights groups estimate as many as 58 Iraqis who were either gay or believed to be gay have been killed in the past six weeks alone, and experts fear a return to the rampant hate crimes against homosexuals seen in 2009.

This year, eyewitnesses and human rights groups say some of the victims were bludgeoned to death by militiamen using concrete blocks.

Emo is short for "emotional" and in the West generally identifies teens or young adults who listen to alternative music, dress in black, and have radical hairstyles. Emos are not necessarily gay, but are sometimes stereotyped as such.