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Manchester gets 5 Live gig

BBC Radio 5 Live has hired Made in Manchester Productions for documentary about how life was much easier for gay iraqis under Saddam Hussein.

The Manchester team are celebrating the finished programme, which signifies their first major commission for the national network.

In Gay Life After Saddam, presenter Aasmah Mir finds out how life for the country’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community has got much worse since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Producer Ashley Byrne, who is also Made in Manchester’s Creative Director, says: “We’re proud to be making our 5Live debut with such an important documentary which tackles a subject that doesn’t usually feature as part of the usual narrative from Iraq.

“The programme includes an interview with a gay Iraqi who was kidnapped and raped before fleeing the country, we hear from a young man who fled to Paris after being tortured and we get exclusive access to a so-called ‘safe house’ harbouring vulnerable LGBT Iraqis on the outskirts of Baghdad,” says Ashley.

Co Producer Gail Champion says: “What becomes clear throughout is that not one person, one group or another is responsible for this persecution. It seems like it’s chaos in Iraq with the authorities struggling to keep control. What surprised me more than anything was how much life was easier for LGBT people under Saddam Hussein.”

The programme also includes interviews with the Iraqi Prime Minister, religious leaders and people on the streets of Baghdad.

The show will air from 7-8pm this Sunday, 5th July 2009.

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