LGBT Iraqis face 'imminent risk of death' under Islamic State

Published: November 19, 2014

washington blade
Michael K. Lavers
Original Article:

A new report concludes LGBT Iraqis who live under the control of the Islamic State group are likely “at imminent risk of death.”

The 18-page document the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission and MADRE, a global women’s advocacy organization, released on Wednesday notes the Sunni militant group has imposed a strict interpretation of Shariah law in the wide swath of northwestern Iraq that it currently controls.

The report notes the Islamic State group’s interpretation of Shariah law includes sayings from the Prophet Muhammad and his associates that indicate opposition to cross-dressing and similar behaviors. A member of the Sunni militant organization who appeared in a propaganda video in September compared gays to drug dealers and pedophiles, describing them as “animals” and “dirty people” who God says are “the worst of creatures.”

The IGLHRC and MADRE report says the Islamic State group on its website says those found guilty of sodomy “shall be executed for an offense against God.”

The report says the Sunni militant group in June indicated it condemned to death a Syrian man who allegedly committed homosexuality. IGLHRC and MADRE said a picture the Islamic State group released shows a man kneeling in front of his apparent executioner.

“Given its own legal interpretations and its own claim to having carried out such sentences, coupled with reports of widespread sexual violence and instances of summary and arbitrary executions believed to have engaged in homosexual acts, anyone believed to be LGBT under the Islamic State control is likely at imminent risk of death,” reads the IGLHRC and MADRE report.

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