ISIS Kills Syrian Teen For Homosexuality After Commander Raped Him

| by Sheena Vasani
ISIS officer believed to be Abu Zaid al-JazrawiISIS officer believed to be Abu Zaid al-Jazrawi

ISIS reportedly killed a 15-year-old Syrian boy for homosexuality, but let his alleged rapist – an ISIS commander – live.

Abu Zaid al-Jazrawi was demoted and sent to Iraqi fighting fronts as punishment, ARA News reports.

Meanwhile, the teenage rape victim was thrown off the top of a building in front of a large crowd.

Homosexuality is a criminal offense according to ISIS’ radical interpretation of Islamic law, which many activists worldwide condemn.

“[ISIS] accuses people of being gay only on basis of some superficial information without any investigation,” civil rights activist Raed Ahmed previously told ARA News. "Although the Islamic law bans homosexuality, the brutal punishment by [ISIS] has never been witnessed throughout history."

ISIS has killed at least 30 people for homosexuality, The Guardian reported in August 2015. To tackle this, the UN Security Council held its first discussion on ISIS attacks against the gay community that month.

The conversation was part of a larger meeting dedicated to ending violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people worldwide, ranging from the Middle East to the Americas.

Jessica Stern, the executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, told the council that persecution against homosexuals was a problem in the region long before extremist groups like ISIS emerged.

It was an issue during the previous secular regime, even during the days the relationship between the Syrian government and the West was not as conflict-ridden.

Gay Syrian refugee Subhi Nahas told the council that President Bashar al-Assad’s regime "launched a campaign accusing all dissidents of being homosexuals" in 2011.

When ISIS took over in 2014, the violence increased.

Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, has explained the broader political reasons behind this backlash against homosexuals worldwide.

“LGBT people are also convenient scapegoats for embattled leaders, who are trying to rally support from more conservative sectors of their society,” Roth wrote on the Human Rights Watch website. "Whether it’s Uganda, Nigeria or Russia, the decision to scapegoat the LGBT community is an outcome of serious challenges to the regime, for widespread corruption or abusive authoritarianism."

When asked what could be done, Roth suggested calling out leaders who scapegoat. He also encouraged wider societal education efforts “to show that gays occupy the same range of positions in life and society as everyone else.”

Sources: ARA News (2), The GuardianHuman Rights Watch / Photo Credit: Daily Mail