There are reports that at least 90 Iraqi teenagers were stoned to death by religious extremists in Baghdad in the past month for sporting “emo” haircuts and nose rings.
At least 90 Iraqi teenagers with “emo” appearances have been stoned to death by religious extremists in Baghdad in the past month after an inflammatory interior ministry statement dubbed it “devil worshiping”, activists said.
Iraq’s Moral Police released a chilling statement on the interior ministry’s website condemning the “emo phenomenon” among Iraqi youth, disturbingly declaring its intent to “eliminate” the trend.
“The ‘Emo phenomenon’ or devil worshiping is being followed by the Moral Police who have the approval to eliminate [the phenomenon] as soon as possible since it’s detrimentally affecting the society and becoming a danger,” the statement read.
“They wear strange, tight clothes that have pictures on them such as skulls and use stationary that are shaped as skulls. They also wear rings on their noses and tongues, and do other strange activities,” it continued.
Religious extremists caught onto the interior ministry statement, and have been harassing and killing teenagers with “strange” or “emo” appearances.
A group of armed men dressed in civilian clothing led dozens of teenagers to secluded areas a few days ago, stoned them to death, and then disposed their bodies in garbage dumpsters across the capital, according to activists.
The armed men are said to belong to “one of the most extremist religious groups” in Iraq.
“First they throw concrete blocks at the boy’s arms, then at his legs, then the final blow is to his head, and if he is not dead then, they start all over again,” one person who managed to escape told Al-Akhbar.
Iraq’s moral police was granted approval by the Ministry of Education to enter Baghdad schools and pinpoint students with such appearances, according to the interior ministry’s statement.
The exact death toll remains unclear, but Hana al-Bayaty of Brussels Tribunal, an NGO dealing with Iraqi issues, said the current figure ranges “between 90 and 100.”
“What’s most disturbing about this is that they’re so young,” she said.