Sex Crimes and Punishment in Baghdad

This chapter is part of POMEPS Studies 35: Religion, Violence, and the State in Iraq. Download the full PDF here.

Alissa Walter, Seattle Pacific University

In the 1990s, the city of Baghdad was a shell of its former self. A series of catastrophes—the ruinous economic costs of the Iran-Iraq War, US and coalition bombing of Baghdad during the Gulf War, and the United Nations’ imposition of economic sanctions from 1990 to 2003—hollowed out Iraq’s economy and destabilized Baghdad’s social order. During the six weeks of the Gulf War from January to February 1991, nearly 60,000 US and coalition bombing sorties targeted Iraqi urban centers, focusing heavily on Baghdad.[1] “Smart bombs” blew out 90% of Baghdad’s electrical grid. An estimated 75 percent of Baghdadis lost access to clean water. [2] Food in the capital city spoiled without electricity. Water sanitation ceased to function in Baghdad, and sewage overflowed in homes and public sewer systems. [3] Even years after the Gulf War, reconstruction efforts limped along, seriously hindered by the rules of international sanctions that restricted imports that could have a military application, including cement and other building materials.[4]

The economic disruptions of the sanctions that followed the Gulf War had their own debilitating effects. Sanctions devastated the Iraqi economy and led to the devaluation of its currency. Public sector paychecks fell to an average of $2 to $3 per month and unemployment, already high from the demobilization of millions of soldiers after Iraq’s recent wars, surged in the midst of the economic downturn.[5] Predictably, many employees stopped reporting to work for these paltry wages, weakening the human resources of the state and diminishing the ability of the government to carry out its tasks with the speed or thoroughness required. For example, an estimated 12,000 teachers stopped reporting to work, crippling the public education system.[6]

One consequence of the economic and social disruptions of war and sanctions was a rising wave of crime in the 1990s as some people turned to illegal means to supplement their withered paychecks. I argue here that economically-motivated crimes, including commercial sex work, had important political effects. Growing lawlessness challenged Saddam’s legitimacy as a keeper of law and order and strained the operations of the criminal justice system and Ba‘thist security apparatus.

Faced with an increasingly restive population, Ba‘thist leaders outwardly relied on public spectacles of violence and harsh new sentencing laws to scare Iraqis into compliance. Behind the scenes, the diminished capacity of the state meant that officials relied more heavily on citizen informants and neighborhood-level surveillance to identify criminals. But even once government officials became aware of criminal behavior, the Ba‘th Party archives[7] reveal that officials within the justice system were not equipped or even particularly motivated to sentence all detainees to the full letter of the law.

This chapter focuses on gendered experiences of crime and punishment in the capital city of Baghdad, where the government enjoyed a relatively high level of control (in contrast to the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in the North, or to the southern provinces that had rebelled during the Intifada in 1991). Saddam’s renewed focus on Baghdad’s underground sex industry was the product of two inter-related trends in the 1990s: the regime’s faith campaign and Saddam’s reliance on spectacles of violence to govern a badly weakened state.

Policing commercial sex work: From British Colonialism through the 1980s

Commercial sex work occupied an uneasy standing in Iraq throughout the 20th century. When the British first established its mandate in Iraq, it opted to legalize and regulate the practice of prostitution, but outlawed it shortly after, bowing to domestic pressures to end the legalization of prostitution throughout its empire. [8] Despite the ban, illegal prostitution flourished in particular around the pilgrimage traffic in Iraq’s Shi‘i shrine cities.[9] In the Hashemite era, rulers occasionally felt the need to crackdown on the sex trade. During the brief coup d’état that put Rashid ‘Ali al-Gaylani in power in 1941, he formed a “morality police” squad to curb illegal prostitution, and ten years later, Hashemite officials razed an informal red light area in the central al-Maidan district of Baghdad, disbursing sex workers throughout the city and pushing the sex trade further underground.[10] King Faisal II reiterated his government’s opposition by passing a new law outlawing commercial sex work in 1956.[11] For much of the post-colonial period, Iraqi governments largely tolerated the discreet operation of brothels in Baghdad, though ‘Abd al-Karim Qasim re-affirmed its illegality with an updated law in 1958.[12] But throughout the 1970s and 1980s, elite Baghdadi men, military officers, and officials connected to the Ba‘thist regime were known for frequenting high-end brothels and night clubs, even if prostitution itself was usually carried out away from the public eye.[13]

Gendered anxieties at the end of the Iran-Iraq War about the destabilizing influence of returning veterans and the rise of female-headed households prompted the regime to revisit its policies towards prostitution. In particular, regime officials and government newspaper editorials identified young men returning from war as an especially volatile and even criminal segment of society: state media described young veterans as “wild” and “violent” and prone to causing street fights.[14] Women were called on to solve this problem of male volatility in a variety of ways: leaving the work force to boost male employment rates, dressing and behaving modestly so as not to corrupt or be corrupted by these young men, and marrying at a young age to help ‘settle’ and stabilize men in domestic roles. Relatedly, the government encouraged women to bear more children through a new national fertility campaign designed to offset the high casualty rates Iraq suffered during the Iran-Iraq War.[15]  

To assist in the domestication of society by coupling off young people, the Ba‘th Party took a stronger position on prostitution at the end of the Iran-Iraq War. Viewed in this light, prostitution was antithetical to—or at least a distraction from—the successful promotion of marriage and reproduction for young Iraqis. The Ba‘th Party passed a law in 1988 that recommitted the government to enforcing the prohibition on the sex trade. This 1988 law clarified the legal definitions of prostitution (bigha’), pimping (samsara), and brothels (bayt al-da‘ara), all of which were prohibited by law. Pimps and madams were sentenced to a maximum of seven years in prison, along with the owners and managers of nightclubs, brothels, or hotels where commercial sex work took place. Anyone who forced another person into sex work was subject to harsher prison sentences, especially if that person was under eighteen years old. Furthermore, those convicted would lose their homes: neighborhood popular committees were tasked with evicting and displacing families who were accused of pimping, prostitution, or managing brothels.[16]

Notably, the 1988 law subjected sex workers themselves to relatively light sentences: they were to be sent to a “reform house” (dar al-islah) for a period ranging from three months to two years. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs was responsible for managing “behavioral, cultural, and professional rehabilitation programs” (baramij al-ta’hil al-suluki wa-l-thaqafi wa-l-mihni) that would enable women to “earn an honest living” (tamkinhunna min kasab ayishhunna bi-wasila sharifa).[17] They could be released after meeting one of the following conditions: if they agreed to pay a fine and remain under the care of a husband or other male guardian, if they got married, or if the court decided that they could live an “honorable life.”[18]

Unfortunately, there is very little information about what conditions inside these reform houses were like, or how well women were able to re-integrate into Baghdad society after being released. Interestingly, the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) writes about these Ba‘thist-era reform houses positively, though without providing details. Part of their positive appraisal is meant to contrast the availability of shelter-like institutions under Saddam Hussein, in contrast to the current government’s refusal to legalize shelters for women or families in Iraq. (See Zahra Ali in this collection).[19]

Tellingly, the 1988 law tended to conceive of prostitutes as female, rather than male, despite the fact that men are technically included with the regime’s 1988 definition of prostitution (al-bigha’), which was: “fornication (zina) or sodomy (al-luta) in exchange for money with more than one person.”[20] However, the original Arabic text of this law clearly refers to “prostitutes” using female grammatical terms, and the stipulation that a sex worker could be released from a reform house into the custody of male guardian further confirms that the law was addressing female prostitutes.[21] Punishments for men caught in sexual liaisons with other men, whether with paid sex workers or in private relationships, were dealt with through separate laws that will be addressed below.

Policing Commercial Sex Work: 1994-2003

The mid-1990s marked a turning point in the government’s approach to crime and punishment for a variety of crimes, including commercial sex work. For example, it was in 1994 that the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) passed harsh new decrees stipulating that thieves would have their hands cut off and their foreheads tattooed, and that soldiers who deserted from the military risked having their ears amputated. [22] Iraqis who lived through this period recall seeing broadcasts of surgical amputations for thieves on television, and the physical deformations of amputated hands and cut ears visibly marked certain bodies as ‘criminal,’ to be undoubtedly subjected to some degree of negative social stigma for the rest of their lives.

Likewise, the RCC escalated the punishments associated with commercial sex work. A law passed in 1993 issued much harsher penalties for those who organized and facilitated commercial sex work: instead of a mere seven year prison sentence, pimps and madams could now face the death penalty for their crimes, and in 1994, it was ruled that their property would be seized, as well.[23] Prostitution was not technically a capital offense, but law 234 passed in 2001 made the crime of “sodomy” punishable by death.[24] Though this does not explicitly relate to commercial sex work, files in the Ba‘th Party archives indicate that it was used to punish men who were discovered in a brothel raid in 2002 (it is unclear whether these men were customers of female sex workers or if they were engaged in sexual activity with other men; the specific law invoked suggests the latter).[25] This 2001 law coincides with an infamous spate of alleged public executions of prostitutes, pimps, and madams that was committed by the Fida‘iyyu Saddam militia overseen by Saddam’s son, ‘Uday.[26]

Scholars have posited a number of theories to explain this shift towards draconian, and, in some cases, spectacular punishments in the mid-1990s. Dina Khoury writes that, after the sanctions had worn on for longer than anticipated, these new laws were meant to “project an image of effectiveness” in the midst of lawlessness and hyperinflation. Ratcheting up its use of violent coercion was meant to mask the “incapacity of state institutions and the party” to effectively govern.[27] Relatedly, Ariel Ahram argues that periods of “war and crisis” push states like Iraq to adopt “hyper-masculine” behaviors, seeking to control and humiliate the bodies of targeted women and men. [28] Though he writes specifically about the use of sexual violence by the state, his arguments can be reasonably applied to the mutilation of thieves’ and deserters’ bodies, as well as to the heightened punishments for different actors in the commercial sex industry.   

As yet another survival strategy, Saddam launched the “faith campaign” (hamlat al-iman) at this same point in the mid-1990s.[29] One goal of the faith campaign was to gain the support of religious conservatives for the regime. It was, in part, an effort to co-opt religious leaders, to carry out surveillance in mosques and religious schools, and to pressure imams to reinforce regime messaging through Friday sermons (See Sam Helfont in this collection).[30] The faith campaign also had important implications for the regulation of commercial sex work. As Achim Rohde documented, the faith campaign of the early 1990s increased the public piety of the regime, leading to the outlawing of alcohol, the closing of bars, and periodic declarations against “excessive make-up,” belly dancing, and pornography.[31] “Honor killings” against women suspected by their family of engaging in pre- or extra-marital sex, even if raped, were briefly legalized by the regime in 1990, and unofficially tolerated to a greater degree than previously throughout the rest of the decade.[32]

Ambivalence in the justice system

While the RCC created new decrees calling for harsher punishments for those convicted of commercial sex work, the archives provide a more nuanced picture of how such cases were handled in practice. Exceptions could be made, and the draconian laws described above were not consistently applied.

Starting with the police: citizen informants readily forwarded accusations of prostitution to Ba‘th Party officials, but the police and party investigating committees appeared to follow up on these tips with surveillance and careful investigation rather than immediate arrest. In the case of a woman from the Rashid district of Baghdad accused of prostitution, the investigating judge ordered that the woman’s house be placed under secret surveillance. At the end of an eight-month investigation, they found no evidence that she engaged in prostitution and the charges were dropped. [33] Similarly, a group of neighbors wrote a joint petition complaining that a divorced man was acting as a pimp and operated a brothel out of his home. The complaint was forwarded to the police, and in the meantime, the man fled and went into hiding. Despite his appearance of guilt, the investigating officials continued their work and eventually concluded that there was no basis for the charge and that there were “no negative indications” about this man or his family.[34] Whether this man was the victim of a smear campaign by his neighbors, or the beneficiary of corrupt police work that let him off the hook, it is impossible to tell from the archives alone. But these cases indicate that it was possible to be investigated and found innocent of the accusations despite a broader clampdown on sex work by the regime.

Furthermore, even for those who were found guilty of prostitution or pimping, the penalties were often much more lenient than the RCC laws would indicate. [35] In 1997, after the RCC had passed its harsh new decrees, a woman was investigated and found guilty of illegally operating a hair salon at her house that also functioned as a bar and brothel, including during the holy month of Ramadan. Guilty on three counts, she was sentenced to only 10 days in jail, evicted from her house, and ordered not to engage in prostitution or pimping again, even though stipulated punishments called for at least seven years imprisonment and even possibly execution.[36] 

The case of a raid on a brothel in 2002 further demonstrates the legal ambivalence of these crimes in the eyes of the regime. The Rashid Branch in Baghdad had received reports that a particular apartment housed young female runaways from the countryside who were taught to be prostitutes, suggesting that some kind of trafficking was taking place. The police carried out a raid on the building. Instead of runaway girls, they found men with alcohol inside the apartments who subsequently confessed to “prostitution” and “pimping.” The judge reviewing the case sentenced some of the men under the anti-sodomy law 234 of 2001, indicating that the men had also been accused of engaging in sexual acts with one another.[37] Despite the severity of the accusations, the detainees received penalties of just six months in prison or a fine, rather than the death penalty stipulated by the anti-sodomy law.[38]

One episode in particular helps illustrate how the new laws were primarily intended to be public demonstrations of the regime’s continued power and capability: in 2001, a group of neighbors wrote to the regime to complain that a woman and her two daughters were working as prostitutes out of their apartment. The mother had previously been arrested for sex work, for which she served only a short six-month prison sentence. Why, they wondered, had she not been executed, as the law recommended? [39] Though officials had evidently chosen to treat this woman leniently during her prior arrest, the regime could not afford to appear weak now that people were complaining. The petition pushed the regime to act: the three women were subsequently arrested and turned over to a court “in accordance with RCC decree  number 118 from 1994” and that “legal measures were taken,” suggesting that the women were likely executed for their crimes according to the punishments stipulated by this law.[40]

The cases above indicate that the new harsh penalties against commercial sex work were meant primarily to scare the public into submission; behind closed doors, judges and officials continued with earlier practices of lightly punishing sex workers to push for their reform. Scholars had previously established this pattern of compassionate treatment or inconsistent punishments in the case of deserters from the military: despite laws requiring that deserters’ ears be cut off, Dina Khoury found archival records that indicate few deserters were punished this way.[41] Desertion was a much more politically serious crime than prostitution; if military officers and Ba‘th Party officials were willing to occasionally look the other way when apprehending deserters, it is not surprising to see that prostitutes were not always punished to the full extent of the law, either.

On another occasion, Saddam relied on a gruesome, cautionary spectacle of violence to scare off would-be criminals: in 1992, the regime executed 42 merchants accused of price manipulations and displayed their corpses in front of their shops.[42] Even in this case, though, the regime displayed inconsistency and leniency in applying its punishments: 42 merchants were executed, but they were from among a group of 550 merchants detained in a sweeping crackdown against corruption. The other 508 merchants were spared this deadly fate. [43] Likewise, the archives give an example of a shopkeeper who merely lost his license to sell government-subsidized goods as a punishment for price manipulation.[44] In most instances, shopkeepers were simply too low of a political priority for the regime to go after every merchant guilty of minor corruption.


An examination of the evolution of Ba‘th Party laws punishing certain sex crimes highlights how the economic and political crisis of international sanctions and the challenges of demobilizing the Iraqi military translated into gendered policies designed to ‘settle’ young Iraqi men through marriage. Women were affected in numerous ways: they were encouraged to leave the work force, dress more modestly, and bear more children. They were also seen as responsible for protecting themselves from male harassment—and for not attracting male attention in the first place through their clothing or behavior in public.

Prostitution was another gendered expression of the regime’s concern about criminality and social volatility in the Iraqi capital. Cracking down on crime was one strategy by which Saddam’s regime attempted to avert a crisis of legitimacy. The occasional implementation of violent punishments as a public spectacle broadcast through print and news media was designed to deter potential criminals. However, the regime did not have the capacity or political will to consistently monitor the activities of the population or strictly enforce all of its laws, and so there was considerable variation in how punishments were applied. The relative autonomy of individual bureaucrats and officials within the regime to decide how to interpret and apply criminal statutes is an argument against the depiction of Saddam Hussein’s regime as “totalitarian”—a subject that has been the source of considerable scholarly debate.[45] In this collection, Helfont argued that in the 1990s, the regime developed “the institutional capacity both to promote its version of religion and to monitor the religious landscape…The regime simply did not exercise that type of control over the Iraq religious landscape in previous periods.” That may be true when it came to the politically sensitive domain of religion, in which Saddam went to great lengths to co-opt religious leaders and institutions as a means of expanding regime influence and social control. However, the influence of Saddam’s regime was not absolute, even within its own capital and in regards to its own bureaucrats. Ordinary citizens in the 1990s found that they could commit criminal acts with relative impunity in many cases, and individual bureaucrats, police officers, and judges were able to exercise discretion. Issuing draconian laws and occasionally reinforcing them with spectacles of violence was, in many cases, a bluff meant to convey the appearance of a more unified and effective government than existed in actuality.

* Research for this paper was funded by grants from the American Association of University Women, the U.S Institute of Peace, and the Academic Research Institute in Iraq. This paper is based on my dissertation, “The Ba‘th Party in Baghdad: State-Society Relations through Wars, Sanctions, and Authoritarian Rule, 1950-2003,” which I defended at Georgetown University in 2018. It will be incorporated into a forthcoming book manuscript with the working title Becoming Baghdad: Daily Life in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

[1] “Damage Control—and Real Damage,” New York Times, February 14, 1991; James F. Clarity, “War in the Gulf: Baghdad; from TV Reports in Iraq, News an Attack has Begun,” New York Times, January 17, 1991.

[2] Joy Gordon, Invisible War: The United States and Iraqi Sanctions (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010), 22.

[3] BRCC 01-3630-0003-0360, Secretary of Baghdad to the Ministry of Industry and Military Industrialization, “Running Purification Plants for Drinking Water in Baghdad,” February 22, 1991; R.W. Apple Jr., “War in the Gulf: Combat; Raids Said to Badly Delay Baghdad Messages to Front,” New York Times, February 11, 1991.

[4] Gordon, Invisible War, 37.

[5] Abbas Alnasrawi, The Economy of Iraq: Oil, War, Destruction of Development and Prospects, 1950-2010 (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994), 93.

[6] Gordon, Invisible War, 38.

[7] My argument draws on extensive research in the Iraqi Ba‘th Party archives, which contain approximately 11 million pages of memos from the Ba‘th Party headquarters that date from the 1980s until 2003. These archives are the legal and cultural property of the Iraqi government, and their current location at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University has generated controversy. A memorandum of understanding has been signed between the Hoover Institution and the Government of Iraq stating that the original documents will be returned to Iraq. However, the date of this transfer has not been agreed upon yet. Though the US Department of Defense originally funded the seizure and transfer of the Iraqi Ba‘th Party archives to justify the 2003 invasion and carry out a de-Ba‘thification policy, scholars using this archive have tended to criticize the US occupation of Iraq and have produced scholarship that instead highlights the inner workings of Saddam Hussein’s regime and the social and political ramifications of his rule on the lives of Iraqis. My decision to work in these archives has been guided by the motivation to help tell the history of daily life under Saddam Hussein’s rule until the time that more Iraqis are able to examine these archives for themselves.  For more information about the Ba‘th Party archives, see: Bruce Montgomery, “US Seizure, Exploitation, and Restitution of Saddam Hussein’s Archive of Atrocity,” Journal of American Studies 48, no. 2 (May 2014): 559-593; Michelle Caswell, “‘Thank You Very Much, Now Give Them Back’: Cultural Property and the Fight over the Iraqi Baath Party Records,” The American Archivist 74, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2011): 211-240. Wisam Alshaibi is currently publishing his findings about the role of the US Department of Defense in funding the seizure of these archives: for now, see Arbella Bet-Shlimon’s discussion of Alshaibi’s work in her book City of Black Gold (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2019), 201.

[8] Liat Kozma, Global Women, Colonial Ports (New York: State University of New York Press, 2017), 53. Paragraph 232 of the Baghdad criminal code passed in November 1918 explicitly outlawed prostitution, procurement, and the operation of brothels.

[9] Kozma, Global Women, Colonial Ports, 81.

[10] Memoirist Jamal Haydar blamed the creation of this red-light district on the arrival of the British in the early 20th century: Jamal Haydar, Baghdad: Malamih Madina fi Dhakirat al-Sitinat [Baghdad: Features of a City in Memories of the 1960s], 22. See also: Khalis H. Al-Ashab, “The Urban Geography of Baghdad,” Vol. 1. Ph.D. diss., University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, 1974, pg. 369-370.

[11] Haydar, Malamih Madina, 22.

[12]Mukafahat al-Bigha’” [Combatting Prostitution], Law #79, June 18, 1956,; “Mukafahat al-Bigha’ [Combatting Prostitution], Law #54, November 1958,

[13] Baram, Saddam Husayn and Islam, 52; al-Jawaheri, Women in Iraq, 114.

[14] Jabar, “The War Generation in Iraq”: 131-132; al-Khafaji, “War as a Vehicle for the Rise and Demise of a State-Controlled Society”: 275.

[15] CADN 54PO/B/6, “Monthly Summary from April – May 10,” May 17, 1986; Sassoon, Saddam Hussein’s Ba‘th Party, 254-255; al-Jawaheri, Women in Iraq, 22.

[16] A memo addressed to the Presidential Diwan from April 1990 complained that neither the police nor the local popular committee had evicted a Baghdad family accused of “promoting indecency” despite numerous complaints. Party secretariat to the Presidential Diwan, “Report,” April 24, 1990, BRCC 01-3787-0001-0411. The responsibility of popular committees to evict people accused of prostitution can be found in RCC decree #25 from 1995, paragraph 50. Accessed August 17, 2016.

[17]Mukafahat al-Bigha’” [Combatting Prostitution], Law #8 of 1988,”

[18]Mukafahat al-Bigha’” [Combatting Prostitution], Law #8 of 1988,”

[19] Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), Prostitution and Trafficking of Women and Girls in Iraq, March 5, 2010. Accessed May 2, 2019.

[20]Mukafahat al-Bigha’” [Combatting Prostitution], Law #8 of 1988,”

[21] Arrested prostitutes are referred to as al-mahjuza, exclusively using the feminine grammatical form. Paragraph 11 of Law #8 of 1988 states: that a [female] prostitute can leave the reform house if: (1) “her husband” (zawjha), guardian, or other relative pays bail and takes responsibility for her good behavior after release; (2) she marries (tazawwajat), or (3) if the court testifies that she will commit to living an honorable life (asbahat bi-hala tastati‘u ma‘ha al-‘ish al-sharif).

[22] Decree #59 from 1994, “Severe Punishments for those who Commit Theft,”; Decree #114 from 1994, “Modifying RCC Decree #59 from 1994 (Theft),”; Decree #109 from 1994, “Tattoo on the Forehead for any Person whose Hand was Cut Off as Punishment According to the Law for Cutting Hands,”; Decree #117 from 1994, “Prohibition of Removing the Tattoo,”; Decree #115 from 1994, “Punishment by Cutting Off the Outer Ear.” Accessed August 17, 2016.

[23] RCC #155 from 1993: “Regarding Combatting Indecency and Prostitution,” Accessed August 17, 2016; RCC #118 from 1994: “Decision to Punish by Execution Everyone who Ran Pimping Operations…” Accessed August 17, 2016.

[24] RCC #234 from 2001: “Regarding the Death Penalty for anyone who Commits Sodomy with a Male or a Female,”

[25] Ministry of the Interior to the party secretariat, “Information,” February 18, 2002, BRCC 01-2170-0001-0758.

[26] US Department of State, “Iraqi Women under Saddam’s Regime: A Population Silenced,” March 20, 2003,; al-Jawaheri, Women in Iraq, 114-115.

[27] Khoury, Iraq in Wartime, 154-155.

[28] Ariel Ahram, “Sexual Violence and the Making of ISIS,” Survival 57, no. 3 (2015): 57-78, pg. 58.

[29] Gordon, Invisible War, 38; Graham-Brown, Sanctioning Saddam, 187; Rohde, State-Society Relations, 111; Baram, 303, 322.

[30] Samuel Helfont, Compulsion in Religion, 188-189, 201.

[31] Rohde, State-Society Relations in Iraq, 109-118.

[32] Al-Jawaheri, Women in Iraq, 113; Rohde, State-Society Relations, 102-103.

[33] Party secretariat to the Rashid Branch, “Information,” June 15, 1999, BRCC 01-2129-0000-0293.

[34] Rashid Branch to the party secretariat, “Statement [in favor of] Eviction,” April 23, 2001, BRCC 01-3389-0000-0650 (including related documents from -0638 until -0650). Petition can be found at BRCC 01-3389-0000-0651.

[35] See, for example, party secretariat to the Ministry of the Interior, “Arrest of a Bad Person,” March 20, 2001, BRCC 01-2077-0001-0305

[36] Party secretariat to the Ministry of the Interior, “Request for Information,” September 17, 1997, BRCC 01-2843-0001-0503.

[37] RCC #234 from 2001: “Regarding the Death Penalty for anyone who Commits Sodomy with a Male or a Female,”

[38] Ministry of the Interior to the party secretariat, “Information,” February 18, 2002, BRCC 01-2170-0001-0758. These laws were sometimes fully enforced, of course: another case saw two men sentenced to life in prison for “practicing sodomy.” Ministry of Justice to the party secretariat, “People’s Day,” February 25, 2002, BRCC 01-2170-0001-0665.

[39] Collective petition, “Statement Proving the Practice of Pimping and Prostitution,” 2001, BRCC 01-2077-0001-0072.

[40] Assistant Director from the party secretariat to the Khalid bin al-Walid Branch, “Information,” May 28, 2001, BRCC 01-2077-0001-0065.

[41] Khoury, Iraq in Wartime, 154-155; see: “Status of Deserters for Wednesday, October 26, 1994” BRCC 027-2-4-1069.

[42] Makiya, Republic of Fear, xvi.

[43] Makiya, Republic of Fear, xvi.

[44] Ministry of Trade to the party secretariat, “Raising Prices,” November 17, 1989, BRCC 001-5-3-0052.

[45] See Faust, Ba‘thification of Iraq, Makiya, Republic of Fear, Sassoon Saddam Hussein’s Ba‘th Party.