Killings are said to be in response to Iraq's interior ministry declaring 'emos' to be devil worshippers
Over 50 Iraqi youths, loosely described as “emos”, have been killed by the country’s conservative militia in recent months, human rights activists have reported.
According to BBC News, over 50 teenagers have been shot or beaten to death over the last few months, with most of those targeted being male.
It is thought that the killings are in response to Iraq’s interior ministry’s declaration that regards the term “emo” as an indication of devil worship and homosexuality.
Reports also indicate that militias in the Iraqi capital Baghdad’s conservative Shia neighbourhood of Sadr City have distributed leaflets with the names of 20 young people that they say should be punished for being “emo”.
Powerful Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has reportedly described emo youths as “crazy and fools”, but has also stressed he believes they should be dealt with through the law.
He said of his beliefs on “emos”: “They are a plague on Muslim society, and those responsible should eliminate them through legal means”.
Local reports have indicated that the death toll from the killings may be as high as 100, with a popular method of attack apparently consisting hitting the target over the head with a brick and repeating until they die. Another popular method reportedly involves taking the victims to the roof of a tall building and pushing them off.
A similar targeting of “emos” occured in Russia in 2008 when it was suggested that the movement could be made illegal and several “emos” were targeted in assaults.