The self-proclaimed Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, has executed another group of men for allegedly being gay, reports The Washington Blade.
Iraqi TV station Al-Sumaria reported that ISIS militants threw nine men from the top of a tall building in Mosul on Sunday after a "Sharia judge" found them guilty on "charges of sexual perversion," according to the Blade.
As has been the case in similar executions reported in ISIS-controlled territory in Syria and Iraq throughout the past year, a crowd of locals reportedly gathered at the base of the building to watch the men die. In other instances, victims who survived the fall were subsequently stoned to death. Still other victims have been beheaded by ISIS militants who found them guilty of engaging in "sodomy."
A spokesperson with the U.S. State Department stressed to the Blade that the department is "deeply troubled" by such reports, but spotty access to reliable information in the region makes the reports and subsequent death toll "difficult to confirm."
But U.S. diplomats have acknowledged that the radical militants are targeting people perceived to be LGBT, most recently at the United Nations Security Council's first-ever meeting regarding LGBT rights. During that meeting, held at the New York U.N. headquarters on Monday and hosted by U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power and her Chilean counterpart, Ambassador Christian Barros, diplomats heard from two refugees who had been targeted by ISIS for being gay.
"My own family turned against me when [Islamic State] was after me," Adnan, an Iraqi man who fled his home, said at the meeting. "If [Islamic State] didn't get me, members of my family would have done it."
Militants affiliated with ISIS have executed at least 30 LGBT people, Jessica Stern, executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, reported at Monday's meeting. That total presumably does not include the nine men allegedly murdered in Iraq just one day before the U.N. meeting.