Iraqi Shi’ite militia stone youths to death for Western-style “emo” punk clothes

By Reuters Staff
March 11, 2012

(An "emo" punk fan, 12 February 2009/Visual Kei )

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 neighborhoods 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.

The killings have taken place since Iraq’s interior ministry drew attention to the “emo” subculture last month, labeling it “Satanism” and ordering a community police force to stamp it out.

“Emo” is a form of punk music developed in the United States. Fans are known for their distinctive dress, often including tight jeans, T-shirts with logos and distinctive long or spiky haircuts.

At least 14 bodies of youths have been brought to three hospitals in eastern Baghdad bearing signs of having been beaten to death with rocks or bricks, security and hospital sources told Reuters under condition they not be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Nine bodies were brought to hospitals in Sadr City, a vast, poor Shi’ite neighborhood, three were brought to East Baghdad’s main al-Kindi hospital and two were brought to the central morgue, medical sources said.

Six other young people, including two girls, were wounded in beatings intended as warnings, the security sources said.

Read the full story by Ahmed Rasheed and Mohammed Ameer here.
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