Persecution of gay and bisexual men by ISIL

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Gay and bisexual men have been violently persecuted by the Islamic extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant within its region of control in Iraq, Syria and Libya.

Laws regarding same-sex sexual activity[edit]

Law enforcement in ISIL controlled areas purport to carry out punishments. This means that homosexuals caught engaging in same-sex affairs should be thrown from rooftops. If they do not die on impact then they should be stoned to death.[1][2]

ISIL has published a list of offenses that will result in automatic execution, including homosexuality.[3]

According to Subhi Nahas, a gay Syrian who escaped Syria fearing for his life, he had heard that while ISIL was sparing effeminate gay men "for the pleasure of older men," the "masculine" men suspected of being gay were being killed. He also stated that gay men joined ISIL to protect themselves and their families, sometimes reporting on fellow gays to conceal themselves more effectively.[4]

Laws regarding same-sex child abuse[edit]

Abu Zaid al-Jazrawi, a senior commander of ISIL, raped a 15-year-old boy who was thrown off a building in Deir ez-Zor, Syria for being gay. It was reported that al-Jazrawi was reportedly flogged, forced to leave Syria, and join the fighting fronts in northwestern Iraq. The Sharia Court in Deir ez-Zor reportedly said that Abu Zaid should, like the boy, die for being gay, but ISIL commanders demanded he be sent to fight in Iraq instead.[4]

Documented executions in ISIL-controlled territory[edit]

On November 23, 2014, ISIL fighters stoned to death a 20-year-old unidentified man in Mayadin, Syria and fighters stoned to death an 18-year-old unidentified man in Deir Ezzor, Syria. The men were known opponents of ISIL, and their supporters say ISIL had used the allegation that they were gay as justification to execute them. This was the first reported execution of LGBT people by ISIL.[5][6]

On April 30, 2015, it was reported that three men, accused of being homosexual, were executed by being shot in the head by the ISIL in Derna, Libya. Human rights activists consider this the first death sentence against homosexuals in the history of modern Libya.[7][8]

From December 9, 2014 to May 7, 2016, OutRight Action International estimated that 41 gay men were executed in ISIL controlled territories in Iraq and Syria.[9]

On July 22, 2016, it was reported by activists that ISIL executed a young Iraqi man in Kirkuk, Iraq by throwing him from the top of a building on charges of being gay. His corpse was later stoned by the crowd. ISIL arrested the man under the pretext that he was a homosexual.[10]

On August 10, 2016, a video was released by ISIL showing ISIL religious police, known as "hisbah", in "Wilayat al-Jazirah," Iraq, which shows a gay man being thrown off a building. According to the Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium, Wilayat al-Jazirah used to be considered part of Wilayat Ninawa, which contains Mosul. Vulnerable cities in Wilayat al-Jazirah include "Tal 'Afar, Al-Ba'aj, Al-'Ayadiyyah, Al-Mahlabiyyah, Sinjar, Wardiyyah, Sanuni, Khana Sor, Ibrat al-Saghira, Al-Badi, Al-Qanat."[11]

On August 20, 2016, a local source in Nineveh province, Iraq revealed that ISIL executed four men on charges of homosexuality and sodomy, including two of its own members, by throwing them off a building.[12]

On December 5, 2016, ISIL threw a gay man accused of 'homosexual relations' off top of a building in Maslamah City in Aleppo, Syria.[13]

On January 9, 2017, a 17-year-old male was arrested and thrown off a building by the Diwan al-Hisba, in Mosul under the pretext that he was "a homosexual".[14][15]

On March 27, 2017, IS Diwan al-Hisbah published photos showing a gay man being thrown off a roof and being stoned to death for being gay in Mosul.[16]

On August 15, 2017, the Amaq Agency released images showing a gay man being thrown off a roof for being gay in Deir ez-Zor Governorate.[citation needed]


One June 14, 2016, the House of Commons of Canada voted 166-139 against a Conservative parliamentary motion to recognize the atrocities targeting Yazidis, Christians, Shia Muslims, other ethnic and religious groups, and gays and lesbians—to be defined as genocide.[17]

The U.S. Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016 for the countries of Iraq and Syria state that:

Da'esh published videos depicting alleged executions of persons accused of homosexual activity that included stoning and being thrown from buildings. In July, UNAMI reported a young man had been abducted and killed in Baghdad because of his sexual orientation. Sources reported the abductors were known members of armed groups. Some armed groups also started a campaign against homosexual persons in Baghdad, UNAMI reported at least three more LGBTI persons had disappeared since July.[18]

In previous years photographs and videos appeared showing Da'esh pushing men suspected of "being gay" from rooftops in Raqqa governorate or stoning them to death. According to Outright International, on May 7, Da'esh's media office issued a "photo report about the imposition of sharia punishment" on those suspected of belonging to the LGBTI community. The photographs included images of a boy pushed from the top of a building.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Steve Robson (28 February 2015). "Sick ISIS killers blindfold 'gay' man, throw him from roof then stone his corpse". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  2. ^ "ISIS Hurls Gay Men Off Buildings, Stones Them: Analysts". NBC News. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  3. ^ Hastings, Deborah (24 April 2015). "ISIS terrorists pose as gay men, lure victims on dates, then kill them: social media". NY Daily News. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  4. ^ a b Teeman, Tim (6 January 2016). "The Secret, Hypocritical Gay World of ISIS". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  5. ^ "ISIS stones 2 'gay men' to death in Syria: observer". Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  6. ^ "Reports: ISIS Executes Two Gay Men In First Antigay Attacks". Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Islamic State in Libya shoots three accused homosexuals in the head - Geller Report". 2 May 2015. Archived from the original on 19 August 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  8. ^ "The situation of homosexuals in Libya is getting worse". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  9. ^ kmills (2 April 2016). "Timeline of Publicized Executions for "Indecent Behavior" by IS Militias". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  10. ^ "Radical ISIS group executes Iraqi man for being gay - ARA News". 23 July 2016. Archived from the original on 5 August 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  11. ^ Prince, S.J. (10 August 2016). "WATCH: New ISIS Execution Compilation Video Shows 'Gay' Man Thrown From Roof". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  12. ^ "ISIS executes 4 for homosexuality and sodomy in Mosul". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  13. ^ "ISIS thugs throws prisoner off a roof for 'being gay' (Photos)". Archived from the original on 8 May 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  14. ^ "ISIS throws Iraqi teenager from top of building for being gay - ARA News". 12 January 2017. Archived from the original on 11 August 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  15. ^ Prince, S.J. (9 January 2017). "PHOTOS: ISIS Executes 'Gay Man' by Throwing Him Off Roof in Mosul". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  16. ^ Photos: Islamic State stones a youth accused of homosexuality in Mosul
  17. ^ "Canadian Motion to Recognize ISIS Slaughter of Christians, Yazidis, Shias, and Gays as Genocide Defeated". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  18. ^ "IRAQ 2016 HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 March 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  19. ^ "SYRIA 2016 HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT" (PDF). U.S. State Department. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 March 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.