The bodies of two gay men have been found in Baghdad's Shiite slum of Sadr City after a leading cleric repeatedly condemned homosexuality, an Iraqi police official said Saturday.
The killings come after Shiite cleric Sattar al-Battat repeatedly condemned homosexuality during recent Friday prayers, saying Islam prohibits homosexuality. Homosexual acts are punishable by up to seven years in prison in Iraq.
The two men were believed killed Thursday by relatives who were shamed by their behavior, said the official. Police said they suspected the killings were at the hands of family members because no one has claimed the bodies or called for an investigation.
The killings come weeks after Iraqi police found four bodies in late March buried near Sadr City with the words "pervert" and "puppies" written on their chests, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.
Puppy is a derogatory word used by residents in Sadr City to refer to homosexuals, the official said.