‘Islamic State’ has reported 15 LGBTI executions

"Islamic State" logo
“Islamic State” logo

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has published reports of 15 people said to have been executed in the past 12 months by “Islamic State” militias for alleged homosexuality-related crimes.

The IGLHRC file “Timeline of Publicized Executions for ‘Indecent Behavior’ by IS Militias,” lists reported executions of 18 people accused of indecent behavior, sodomy, adultery and other so-called morality-based crimes. [An Arabic version of the list is here.] None of the reports has been confirmed, of course, because of the war under way in the area.

IGLHRC is seeking signatures on an appeal to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the governments of Canada, France, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United States to urgently step up resettlement and asylum efforts to help save lives and protect persecuted groups fleeing Islamic State violence.

The IGLHRC file includes the following 15 reported executions for alleged homosexuality-related offenses. Photos and videos have been omitted here in order to limit the sensational publicity that they provide for the perpetrators of these vile acts:

  1. On June 23, 2014, social media and Syrian monitoring websites first published a statement attributed to the Islamic State, announcing the execution of a man for “committing the acts of the people of [Prophet] Lot.” [IGLHRC explains: Most Muslims associate same-sex relations among men with the people of Prophet Lot.] No date for the execution was announced, and the statement—which carried the emblem of the Islamic State for Iraq and Syria in Damascus Province—did not elaborate on the method of execution. The statement, however, claimed that the “local court of the Islamic State received complaints that the defendant” had committed sodomy “and corrupted the youth by inviting [young people] to engage in this act and entice them with cash.” The statement added that “[the man] was detained and after the investigation, he confessed to his action. Also it became clear that he was warned and punished several times before, but [each time] returned to his acts of moral contamination.” The statement was accompanied by a photo of a middle-aged man with white hair, blindfolded and kneeling on the ground, while three men carrying an Islamic State’s flag stand behind him and a fourth man, who has covered his face, is reading what seems to be an Islamic State’s Sharia court ruling. It has not been possible to confirm if an execution took place.
  2. On November 25, 2014, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights [SOHR] reported that the Islamic State stoned to death a young man—about 20 years of age—after they found videos on the young man’s phone that showed him engaging in an “indecent act with another man.” According to SOHR’s report, which has not been independently confirmed, the man was stoned to death in the city of Mayadeen, Deir Ezzour region, in front of a large crowd, including children. This same SOHR’s report noted that the Islamic State Militia also stoned another young man to death on Altakaya street in Hamidiye region of the Deir Ezzour city, after accusing him of engaging in an “indecent act with another man.” The SOHR’s report indicated that the Islamic State Militia took the bodies of the two men with them, refusing to bury them or give the bodies to their next-of-kin for burial.”
  3. On December 9, 2014, the Islamic State’s branch in the Fourat Province posted a series of images on a public text and image sharing website, “justpaste.it,” announcing the execution of a man charged for committing the act of the people of [Prophet Lot]. The statement, which is signed by “your brothers at the Public Relations Office of the Fourat Province,” states that “the Islamic Court in Fourat Province, decreed that a man who had committed the act of the people of [Prophet] Lot to be thrown off the tallest building in the city, then to be targeted by rocks till he is dead.” One photo included in the statement shows a group of men with machine guns, in ski masks and military fatigues, one of them reading from a piece of paper. The caption of the photo states, “The readout of the execution order to inform the Muslims.” Other images show a yellow three-story residential building, with 8 Islamic State militias on the roof, apparently showing the execution of the man charged with sodomy as it is carried out. The last shot shows the body of a man, handcuffed and apparently lifeless, on the ground at the bottom of the building.
  4. On January 8, 2015, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the Religious Court and the Abu Amara Brigade of the Islamic State militia threw a man from the top off the Bayan hospital building, located in the Sha’ar neighborhood of Aleppo city, Syria, for allegedly “committing indecent act with another man.” According to SOHR’s report, which has not been independently confirmed, the man was still alive after he fell off the building, at which point members of the Brigade allegedly opened fired and killed him.
  5. On January 17, 2015, the Islamic State’s local branch, the Neinava Province’s Media Center, published 4 photos on justepaste.it (later removed from the site), purportedly showing the execution of two men who were thrown off a high building in Neinava Province, Iraq. The ISIS photos were published under the title “the photo reports from the implementation of the punishments required by the Almighty God.” They showed crowds, including children, gathered, purportedly to watch the execution. The men’s names were not made public. One of the photos in the series was captioned, “The execution is punishment for the person who committed the act of the people of [Prophet] Lot by throwing him off a tall building.” According to the captions, the men were charged with sodomy, convicted by the Sharia court in the Neinava Province, and their punishment was in accordance with Sharia law. The photos showed a man dressed in military fatigues and a ski mask, reading from a paper using a megaphone. The photo’s caption explains that the man was “reading the religious ruling issued by the Sharia Court of the Neinava Province against the two men who committed the act of the people of [Prophet] Lot.” Other photos show two men, blindfolded and handcuffed, taken to the edge of what is seemingly a tall building and pushed off the edge one at a time. One photo shows two lifeless bodies, laying face up on the ground, with a caption that reads, “this is the punishment for those who violate God’s law.” In the same post, the Islamic State militia published captioned photos online of their execution of a woman they allegedly stoned to death for adultery and their crucifixion of two other men for “spreading corruption on earth” through “assaulting the Muslims with arms,” “terrorizing the public,” and “armed robbery.”
  6. On January 28, 2015, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that a man (whose age or identity was not disclosed) was killed on January 27 by the Islamic State in Tal Abyad street in Raqqa city, Syria, the capital of the Islamic State Militia. According to SOHR’s report, which was not independently confirmed, the man was charged with “committing [an] indecent act with another man”. The report notes that the defendant was thrown off a tall building on that street, but survived the fall. The report also notes that the IS militias threw rocks at him until he was killed.
  7. On February 1, 2015, The Islamic State militia published a set of images, claiming to be the “photo coverage of the imposition of the Islamic punishment [had] on a man who had committed the act of the people of [Prophet] Lot.” The Islamic State communication contains 8 images and is signed “The Islamic State in Raqqa Province.” The first photo shows a young man, dressed in military fatigues and wearing a black headband, addressing a crowd of people on a street with a microphone, reading from a piece of paper carrying the Islamic State’s Logo. The caption on that photo says that the person is “reading the [ruling about the] Islamic punishment (had) for those Muslims who attended the event.” The second photo shows a crowd (including children) standing at the intersection of the street. The caption says, “A large crowd of Muslims attended the implementation of the punishment.” The next image shows a man with a greying beard, barefoot, seated on the ground and his face covered with a hat, while a young man wearing military fatigue and carrying a handheld radio squats next to him. The caption of the image says, “The perpetrator [of sodomy] is reminded of God and is encouraged to repent.” One photo shows the man, blindfolded, sitting on a plastic chair close to the edge of the roof of the half-finished multiple-story cement building. The next photo shows a body falling from the building, and the last image shows a body on the ground (intentionally blurred out), with a crowd of persons around it. The caption of all images read, “The implementation of the Almighty God’s ruling against those who commit the act of the people of [Prophet] Lot.”
  1. On February 9 , 2015, the Islamic State’s Information Office in the Aleppo Province in Syria issued a photo report to announce “the stoning to death of a young man accused of committing the act of the people of [Prophet] Lot.” According to the Islamic State’s post, the stoning took place in the city of Manbij, where men and children were gathered in a empty lot (between two apartment blocks). Islamic State militias, machine guns in their hands and with their faces covered are standing inside a roped off section of land, near a pile of stones. Other images show that over a dozen Islamic State militia are inside the roped off section, with stones in their hands, while people are watching from atop a dirt mass nearby. The last photo shows a blind-folded person being dragged to the center of the roped off area by armed Islamic State militias. The statement ends with “Praise be the Lord of the Universe”.
  2. On February 27, 2015, The Islamic State’s Information Office in Raqqa Province published a photo report on social media, to report “the punishment of a man who had committed the acts of the people of [Prophet] Lot.” The first two photos show how people, mainly men and teenagers, are gathered outside a bombed-out building. The next shot shows a man being thrown off the roof, with the caption explaining that “This was the God’s prescribed punishment for those who commit the act of people of [Prophet] Lot.” The next four photos show the person as he is free falling, and when his body (which is blurred in those images) hit the ground. The victim was both blindfolded and handcuffed. The last shot shows men throwing pieces of rocks, with the caption saying that the victim is “being stoned after being thrown off a tall building.”  The statement also ends with “Praise be the lord of the Universe.”
  3. On March 3, 2015, The Islamic State’s Information Office in Raqqa issued a photo report on the “the punishment of a man who had committed the acts of the people of [Prophet] Lot.” The report does not say in which city this pictures were taken. The report first shows a busy street where people are crowded and a few cars and cabs are trying to navigate through the gathered crowd. There are also people who appear to be onlookers on a rooftop of one of the buildings lining the street. One caption reads: “To watch the punishment, a group of Muslims gathered.”  The next shot shows three ski-masked men preparing to throw a blindfolded man off the roof of a white building while an Islamic State Militia member takes photos. The next photos show the man, handcuffed, being thrown from the top of the building. The last photo shows the lifeless body of the man on the street, as some armed militia members throw stones at him.
  4. On March 10, 2015, the Islamic State issued a photo report to report the death of 3 men in Neynava Province in Iraq. According to the report, two of the men were involved in sodomy and the last one was accused of blasphemy. All 3 men were beheaded at the center of the city, in front of a big crowd. [See the full list for the wording of the “Islamic State’s court order about the execution.”]
  5. On April 23, 2015, The Islamic State’s Information Office in the Syrian province of Homs published a photo report on social media (https://dump.to/bii) about the stoning of two men, allegedly “convicted” of “committing the acts of the people of [Prophet] Lot.”  The photos show a blindfolded young man, walking while, guided by several armed men. The caption cited a religious quote that required the death penalty for sodomy.The next photo showed armed men hugging two blindfolded men, with the caption, “May God forgive them and have mercy on them.” The fourth shot shows a black van marked as a police car, with a masked man standing next to it and talking through a microphone to a gathered group. The caption said “The announcement of the ruling about the religious punishment in front of a group of Muslims.” The last photo shows the two blinded-folded individuals on the ground, with stones around them, while a few gun-carrying men are throwing stones at them. The caption reads, “The moment of the enforcement of the punishment.”

In addition, the IGLHRC report noted two reported executions for adultery:

On April 26, 2015, the Islamic State’s Information Office in the Iraqi province of Neynava issued a photo report (https://dump.to/n2) about the stoning of two men, allegedly accused of adultery. The first two photos shows a group of men and children gathered in a park-liked area, apparently to witness the stoning. Some people are standing on a truck, next to a billboard that has the logo of the Islamic State and their slogan “Islamic State, A Caliphate based on Prophet’s style [of governance].” The caption of the two photos reads: “Muslims gathering to witness the enforcement of the Islamic punishment.” The next photo shows a man whose face is covered in black cloth, reading what the caption says is the “court’s religious ruling for adultery.” The man is surrounded by a group of men, some carrying walkie-talkies, others carrying machine guns. The last two shots shows two men, both blind-folded and hand-cuffed, being stoned separately by a dozen or so armed men, while men and boys are watching the scene.  The caption of the fourth photo reads, “The enforcement of the religious punishment against adulterers.”

See the full list for more details and footnotes, including specific sources.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]


Leave a Reply
  1. Why you insults profit Muhamed, we are peace religon, this gays should be more behaving for peace. This gays crimes must be punished Allah swt.

  2. These are lies this fake lie liars. These never happen you lies all of you gays they only teach gays be good with Qoran not hurt them. Never they hurt the gays never never this all lies lies lies!!

  3. You are no nothing of what the situations in this country only fakes, these lies only you put you need to delete this fake lies. This never go in in Sirya this only fake news.

  4. In Qoran it says to be nice to gays and teach them behave no never hurt or kill the gays never this say in Qoran. Only they want teach the gays to be behave and nice not to never never hurt or hit

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