But it was the Iraqi government that first labeled emo teens a public menace.

On Feb. 12, the Interior Ministry released a statement condemning the “phenomenon of emo” as Satanic. The rebellious teenage fashions of dark clothes, skull-print t-shirts and nose rings, the ministry said, were emblems of the devil…

For at least six years, gay Iraqis have been bullied and harassed by security forces and beaten and killed by reactionary Islamist militias in heavily Shiite areas of Baghdad…

In one photo, a handsome young man in a white jacket, dark aviator sunglasses and coifed black hair stands as if he were posing for a Gucci advertisement. In another, the vacant, bloody face of a man with similar features stares up at the sky. His body lies in the bed of a police pickup truck.