Mar 12, 2012 3:40 AM GMT
Iraqi teenagers widely perceived to be gay are being brutally killed in Baghdad with Shi'ite militias distributing lists of targets warning of further assaults, officials and human rights groups say. At least 15 teenagers, described as "emos" for their tight-fitting black clothes and alternative hairstyles, have been stoned, beaten to death or shot dead in the past month, medics say. Reports have also said some of them had their heads smashed with concrete blocks. Human rights groups say the death toll is far higher amid accusations of a cover-up by security forces. Witnesses in the conservative Shi'ite Muslim bastion of Sadr City in north Baghdad say a militia group calling itself the Brigades of Anger has posted leaflets naming 22 youths to be "punished". Medical officials said at least 15 have been killed in the past month, including seven who were stoned to death, five who were shot and one who was beaten to death. At least two victims were girls.