Sources are reporting Iraqi actor Karar Noshi was kidnapped and murdered in Baghdad because of his effeminate appearance and rumors about his sexuality.
Noshi, a student of Baghdad University’s College of Fine Arts, was known for his long blond hair. He had been the subject of trolling on social media, where several Facebook pages nominated him as “the Beauty King of Iraq.”
News site Kurdistan24 reports Noshi’s body was dumped on busy Palestine Street in central Baghdad, and there was “evidence he had been tortured and viciously stabbed.”
Images purported to be his corpse were circulated online.
Noshi had apparently rebuffed negative comments about his appearance, claiming that Iraq’s true “beauty king” was “every young man fighting with all his honor to defend the nation.”
“As for the pictures, they are from theatrical and cinematic works of art, which I pride myself on,” he added. “I cherish my personal freedom to build a unique external appearance. I remain silent about the abusive responses that undoubtedly reflect the level of their writers.”
U.S.-based Iraqi human-rights activist Faisal Al Mutar wrote on Facebook that Noshi had been killed after being “accused of being gay.”
It’s not clear what Noshi’s actual sexual orientation was, but men accused of homosexuality have been brutalized and murdered in Iraq in recent years, some stoned to death or thrown from buildings.
Al Mutar blamed extremist Shia militias for Noshi’s death.