Gay Syrians, Iraqis recount ISIS persecution at UN meet

Europe and TurkeyAugust 27, 2015 – UNITED NATIONS • Members of the United Nations Security Council heard gay people from Syria and Iraq tell of their terror-filled lives under the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the first council meeting on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. Mr Subhi Nahas told the meeting that gay people in his Syrian home town of Idlib were being hurled from rooftops and stoned by cheering townspeople. “In the Islamic State, gays are being tracked and killed all the time,” said Mr Nahas, who escaped and now works for a refugee organisation in the United States. Gay people in Idlib were targeted by the Syrian government, then by Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front after it took over the city in 2012, and finally by ISIS militants, who seized control last year. “At the executions, hundreds of townspeople, including children, cheered jubilantly as (if) at a wedding,” Mr Nahas recounted. ISIS has claimed responsibility for at least 30 executions for “sodomy”, Ms Jessica Stern, director of the International Gay and Lesbian Rights Commission, told the closed-door meeting. ISIS has also put at least seven videos or photos online as a form of advertisement for the killings, she said, in remarks released after the meeting. An Iraqi, who used the false name “Adnan” out of fear for his safety, said he had suffered brutality at the hands of Iraqi security forces before ISIS fighters showed up, and feared his family could have turned him in to ISIS militants. Speaking by phone from an undisclosed location in the Middle East, Mr Adnan said ISIS fighters “are professional” when it comes to tracking down gay people. “They hunt them down one by one. When they capture people, they go through the person’s phone and contacts and Facebook friends,” said Mr Adnan…story continues below…

Source: Gay Syrians, Iraqis recount ISIS persecution at UN meet, United States News & Top Stories – The Straits Times

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