UN Security Council to meet on Islamic State gay attacks

Reuters , Thursday 13 Aug 2015

United Nations
United Nations Security Council in session. (Photo: Reuters)

 Two men, one Iraqi and one Syrian, targeted by Islamic State for being gay will brief the United Nations Security Council on their experience as part of a bid by the United States and Chile to draw attention to the "brutal attacks" by the militant group.

Islamic State has declared a caliphate in swathes of territory it has seized across Iraq and Syria. The United Nations and rights groups say the militants rape and kill women, recruit child soldiers and attack religious minorities.

"(Islamic State) ... has targeted one particular community with seeming impunity and scant international attention: LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) individuals, and those perceived to be LGBT," the United States and Chile said in a note outlining an informal Security Council meeting on Aug. 24.

Reuters obtained the note on Thursday.

The two nations said Islamic State carried out extrajudicial executions of gay people by throwing them off high buildings and has posted online at least eight visual reports of such killings.

"Most recently, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported last month that ISIL attackers dropped two men from a building in Palmyra, Syria, and then stoned them to death," said the meeting concept note, obtained by Reuters.

The Security Council will be briefed by Adnan, who fled Iraq, and Syrian Subhi Nahas about their experience of being targeted by Islamic State, and Jessica Stern, executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, and Chile's U.N. Ambassador Cristian Barros Melet will co-host the meeting and "hope to discuss the multiple political, military, and social lines of effort needed to degrade and destroy (Islamic State)," the note said.

The meeting will "examine what kinds of protections are needed for LGBT individuals, what the international community needs to do to stop the scourge of prejudice and violence, and - related to this - how to advance equality and dignity, even in conflict zones."

U.N. Security Council members are invited, but not required, to attend informal meetings. Given varying views on gay rights among council members it was not immediately clear which states planned to attend. 

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