Prostitutes in Iraq slain amid culture of fear

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27 alleged prostitutes were killed in Iraq’s Zayouna district, but few people know the details of the murders, amid a culture of fear and secrecy. Zayouna residents said local apartments have long been used for prostitution. Alleged sex workers were found murdered every few months, with police unwilling or unable to prevent the attacks. Questions about motives and the identity of the gunmen were met with silence. Shiite militias with connections to political parties hold sway over parts of Baghdad, while suicide blasts by Sunni extremists are still frequent. Both groups’ antipathy to sex workers is probably one of the few things they have in common. Prostitution is a highly taboo subject in conservative Iraq, where religious political parties have risen to prominence in recent years.

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