Monday, September 7, 2015

ISIL Persecutes LGBT People, Experts Tell UN | Al Jazeera America

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has claimed responsibility for executing at least 30 people accused of sodomy, the head of an international gay rights organization told the U.N. Security Council on Monday.

The executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, Jessica Stern, said that courts established by ISIL claim to have punished sodomy with stoning, firing squads, beheadings and by pushing people from tall buildings.

"In addition to men perceived as gay, trans-identified people and lesbians are among those who have been raped and killed," Stern said.

Stern, who addressed the issue at the council’s first-ever meeting on LGBT rights, says fear of the group, which controls large swathes of Iraq and Syria, has fueled violence by other armed groups and "private actors" against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender individuals.

"It's about time, 70 years after the creation of the U.N., that the fate of LGBT persons who fear for their lives around the world is taking center stage," said U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power, who organized the meeting on violence and discrimination against LGBT people with Chile’s U.N. envoy, Cristian Barros Melet.

Stern called for specific strategies to combat LGBT attacks, including U.N. action to relocate those most in need and bringing the gay community into broader human rights and humanitarian initiatives.

ISIL Persecutes LGBT People, Experts Tell UN | Al Jazeera America

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