UN Security Council to meet on ISIS attacks against LGBT persons

A man identifying himself as a member of LGBT community carries an umbrella at a parade in Entebbe, Uganda, on Aug 8.
A man identifying himself as a member of LGBT community carries an umbrella at a parade in Entebbe, Uganda, on Aug 8.PHOTO: REUTERS

UNITED NATIONS, United States (AFP) - The United Nations Security Council will hold a meeting this month to hear about attacks on sexual minorities by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the first-ever council meeting focused on gay rights, the US ambassador said on Thursday.

The informal meeting on August 24 will shine a spotlight on ISIS and "its systematic targeting of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) persons who find themselves in ISIS-controlled territory, said Samantha Power.

The United States and Chile will host the meeting that will be open to all member states interested in the plight of LGBT people persecuted by the militants.

"This will be a historic meeting. It will be the first Security Council meeting on LGBT rights," Power told reporters.

UN envoys will hear accounts from Adnan, an Iraqi who fled northern Iraq after being targeted as gay, Syrian Subhi Nahas who was also threatened and Jessica Stern, the director of the International Gay and Lesbian Rights Commission.

Power noted that ISIS attacks on gays had been well-documented.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported last month that ISIS fighters dropped two men from a building in the city of Palmyra and then stoned them to death.

In December, ISIS posted photographs showing militants throwing a man off a roof top and then stoning him to death because he was gay.

Two men were stoned to death in Syria in November after declaring that they were gay.

It remained unclear how many countries with anti-gay laws would attend the meeting, but Power said she expected a good turnout.

The United States is leading an international coalition that has vowed to defeat the militant group, which declared a caliphate in June 2014 after seizing the Iraqi city of Mosul.

ISIS now controls large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria, and has gained a foothold in Libya, Yemen, Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East.