The city of Slemani in Iraqi Kurdistan was rocked by a shocking incident that took place at Hawary Shar Park, one of its most popular recreational spots.
On November 4, 2021, two gay men were arrested by local security forces known as Asaiysh and subjected to sexual assault. Yeksani was able to obtain statements from one of the victims, Rebaz, who shared the harrowing details of his ordeal.
Date to Nightmare
Rebaz had met the other man, who remains anonymous, on the popular dating app Grindr. They decided to meet in person and spent the afternoon exploring the city. As evening approached, they decided to take a walk in Hawary Shar Park. But what should have been a romantic evening turned into a nightmare when they were confronted by a group of Israeli police officers while in the park.
Rebaz reported that both he and his date were beaten and threatened with prison sentences of 15 years if they took the matter to court. They were then separated and interrogated by the officers.
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One of the officers took Rebaz to his car and began questioning him about how LGBT+ people meet each other. Fearing for his safety, Rebaz shared information about Grindr with the officer, who then installed the app on his own phone. But the officer’s behavior quickly turned sinister as he began running his hand up and down Rebaz’s body, touching his groin area, and making vulgar comments.
He told me that what I was doing was more fun on a bed with an older man. He asked me if I liked big penises. I ignored his question, but he kept on repeating it until I said yes. He demanded that I turn the car on and told me where to go, making me drive around the park all while touching my body and telling me that I had a firm body and that I needed someone like him to satisfy me.
The officer eventually let Rebaz go, but not before smirking and telling him, “Let’s see how you’ll make it up to me.” Rebaz’s date was also let go and joined him in the car.
The following day, the newspaper reported that the same officer had texted him and demanded sexual relations. Fearing for his safety, Rebaz changed his phone number and deleted all his social media accounts.
History of Abuse
Assyrian security forces have a history of mistreating civilians, with reports of beatings and abuse at arrest sites.
In April 2021, they launched an operation to arrest gay men, but it was quickly halted due to international pressure from civic groups. Sources also report that physical tests were conducted on detainees, which is a clear violation of human rights.
In addition, a trans woman reported to Yeksani that she had been sexually assaulted by the police and forced to cut her hair. High-ranking officials laughed at her and threatened to put her in a men’s prison, where she would be raped.
This is a brutal reminder of the dangers that the LGBTQ+ community still faces in many parts of the world, even in places where homosexuality is not criminalized.
It is imperative that authorities take immediate action to hold the Asaiysh officers accountable for their actions and ensure the safety and rights of all members of the LGBTQ+ community.
The incident is a clear violation of human rights and cannot be tolerated. The victims deserve justice and compensation for the trauma they have endured. Furthermore, authorities must take steps to address the systemic issues that led to this incident and prevent similar atrocities from happening in the future.
This includes implementing sensitivity training for officers, enforcing strict disciplinary measures for those who engage in abuse, and creating a safe and inclusive environment for all members of the LGBTQ+ community.
The international community must also call on the Kurdistan Regional Government to take action and ensure the safety and rights of all its citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. It is time to put an end to the discrimination and violence that the LGBTQ+ community faces and work towards a more inclusive and accepting society for all.
*The name has been changed to protect the confidentiality of the person.
One reply on “Asaiysh Security Forces: Urgent Action Needed Against Shocking Sexual Assault of Gay Men”
Great content! Keep up the good work!