Post submitted by Jean Freedberg, HRC Global Deputy Director
In a particularly brutal and inhumane act, ISIL is reported to have executed a 15-year old Syrian boy this weekend for allegedly being gay. According to ARA News, the boy was thrown from the top of a building in front of a crowd in central Deir ez-Zor, an ISIL stronghold.
This killing is another tragic addition to a string of similar executions of individuals who are accused of being LGBT. These executions have been reported across ISIL-held territory in Syria and Iraq for at least two years.
“The level of brutality displayed by ISIL towards LGBT people is almost incomprehensible; yet once again, LGBT people are subject to hatred and violence because of who they are and who they love,” said HRC Global Director Ty Cobb. “These barbaric acts must not be tolerated by the international community, and we stand in solidarity with the global community in condemning them in the strongest possible terms.”
In the last two years, Outright International documented more than 30 executions of LGBT people. These crimes were highlighted in the first-ever hearing on LGBT issues before the United Nations Security Council last September convened by the United States and Chile, and the crimes were forcefully condemned by nine of the 15 members of that body.
LGBT refugees from Syria and Iraq are among the most vulnerable in the world, yet even when they escape the Islamic State, they can face discrimination and violence from other refugees. HRC has been working to help ensure protection for LGBT refugees and asylum seekers who have joined the millions of refugees fleeing ISIS controlled territory.
HRC has advocated for better treatment for LGBT refugees who come to the U.S., and, in recent months, the organization helped publish a guide for service providers for LGBT asylum seekers; has urged the U.S. Congress to reject any legislation that could further hinder an already slow refugee resettlement system; and participated in a special convening on LGBTI refugee issues on Capitol Hill.