At least 14 youths have been stoned to death in Baghdad in the past three weeks in what appears to be a campaign by Shi’ite militants against youths wearing Western-style “emo” clothes and haircuts, security and hospital sources say:
Militants in Shi’ite neighbourhoods where the stonings have taken place circulated lists on Saturday naming more youths targeted to be killed if they do not change the way they dress.
A leaflet distributed in the Shi’ite Bayaa district of east Baghdad seen by Reuters on Saturday had 24 names of youths targeted for killing.
“We strongly warn you, to all the obscene males and females, if you will not leave this filthy work within four days the punishment of God will descend upon you at the hand of the Mujahideen,” the leaflet said.
In a statement last month the interior ministry said it was monitoring “the ‘emo’ phenomenon, or Satanism” which it said was spreading through schools, particularly among teenage girls.
“They wear tight clothes that bear paintings of skulls, they use school implements with skulls and wear rings in their noses and tongues as well as other weird appearances,” it said.
Another leaflet in Sadr City bore 20 names. “We are the Brigades of Anger. We warn you, if you do not get back to sanity and the right path, you will be killed,” it said.
Nine bodies were brought to hospitals in Sadr City, a vast, poor Shi’ite neighbourhood, three were brought to East Baghdad’s main al-Kindi hospital and two were brought to the central morgue, medical sources said.
Children being persecuted for just expressing themselves, this is just sad.