Iraqi militiamen stone 14 youths to death for “emo” dress

JERUSALEM (JWN and agencies)—At least 14 youths have been stoned to death in Baghdad over the past three weeks in a campaign by Shi’ite militants against youths wearing Western-style “emo” punk-rock clothes and haircuts, security and hospital sources said.

The executions took place after Iraq’s Interior Ministry ordered police to stamp out the phenomenon, which it called “Satanism.” Fans of the punk music like to wear distinctive dress, such as tight jeans, T-shirts with logos, and long or spiky haircuts.

The bodies of 14 youths were brought to three hospitals in eastern Baghdad showing signs of having been beaten to death with rocks or bricks, security and hospital sources told Reuters. Six other young people, including two girls, were brought in suffering wounds from beatings apparently intended as warnings.

A leaflet distributed in the Shi’ite district of Baghdad 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.