In an unsettling reminder of how dangerous it is to be gay in some parts of the world, a monitoring group has revealed to The Independent that at least 25 men have been murdered by ISIS for being gay in Syria.
The men have been shot in the head, thrown from rooftops, and stoned to death, and one 15-year-old boy was raped by a senior Isis officer before his death. Isis militants have become adept at using social media accounts to hunt down and harm men who are suspected of being gay.
According to accounts given to United Nations security ambassadors, the violence isn’t limited to Isis troops, and some of the men who survived being thrown from rooftops were then stoned to death by citizens in front of large crowds.
“At the executions, hundreds of townspeople, including children, cheered jubilantly as at a wedding. If a victim did not die after being hurled off a building, the townspeople stoned him to death.”
As civil rights activist Rawd Ahmed told Syrain news agency ARA:
“Daesh (another name for Isis) accuses people of being gay only on the basis of some superficial information without any investigation. Although the Islamic law bans homosexuality, the brutal punishment by Daesh has never been witnessed throughout history.”
In response, human rights activists are calling on different countries to address the plight of gay men in Syria while confronting the refugee crisis.
We highly recommend you check out these compelling accounts of what it’s like to be gay in the Islamic State. While the U.S. isn’t quite perfect on LGBT issues, these killings are a shocking reminder that life for gays can be very dangerous in other parts of the world.