Islamic State militants track down gay people through the cellphone and Facebook contacts of their captives, then throw them from rooftops, the UN Security Council heard in a closed-door informal meeting yesterday—the first ever to address violence and discrimination against the LGBT community. "If a victim did not die after being hurled off a building, the townspeople stoned him to death," says Syrian refugee Subhi Nahas, who eventually escaped to the US. "This was to be my fate, too." As a gay man living in Idlib, Nahas says he "was terrified to go out. Nor was my home safe, as my father, who suspiciously monitored my every move, had learned I was gay. I bear a scar on my chin as a token of his rage," per Reuters. The International Business Times reports militants in Iraq threw nine gay men from a tall building in Mosul on Sunday.
ISIS has also claimed to have punished sodomy with stonings, firing squads, and beheadings, killing at least 30 people, the executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission says, per the AP, though she adds that persecution of gay people occurred in Iraq and Syria before ISIS declared a caliphate. Gay hangouts were raided and many people arrested and tortured in 2011 when Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government "launched a campaign accusing all dissidents of being homosexuals," Nahas says. "Some were never heard from again." US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power calls the meeting "a small but historic step" as "the fate of LGBT persons who fear for their lives around the world is taking center stage." Only Chad and Angola were absent of 15 council members. (Read more Islamic State stories.)