In yet another gruesome public execution, ISIL militants reportedly pushed four men off of a building in Mosul, Iraq last week after accusing them of "homosexuality and sodomy." As is so often the case, a crowd gathered to watch the horrific display, which this time claimed two former members of ISIL among the dead.
While LGBTQ people in many parts of the world face violence and persecution, ISIL has become particularly infamous for their public executions of men they have accused of homosexuality. It is often difficult to ascertain whether the executed had actually engaged in same-sex sexual activity or whether ISIL leaders have levied the accusation of "homosexuality" against them as a way to garner public support for their execution.
HRC recently released a white paper providing background on the situation facing LGBTQ Iraqis and Syrians under ISIL control, which included a series of recommendations for the U.S. government, the United Nations and others. The primary focus of those recommendations is helping LGBTQ people flee the most dangerous areas and find refuge in more LGBTQ-friendly places. HRC also hosted a summit in June to focus attention on the issue, and released recommendations for the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program in May.
"The most important thing we can do is keep our doors open to refugees," said Ty Cobb, the Director of HRC Global. "LGBTQ people around the globe are extremely strong and courageous, but in certain places, the violence is just overwhelming and they must have a place to seek refuge. Our country has long been a beacon of hope for all kinds of persecuted people, and this is not the time for us to turn our backs on them."
HRC will continue advocating for the continued admission of refugees to the U.S., specifically to ensure that LGBTQ refugees are treated with sensitivity and confidentiality, and that they are resettled in areas that have LGBTQ resources.