Gay men targets

UNITED NATIONS – Syrian refugee Subhi Nahas watched in fear as the al-Qaida-linked group Nusra Front took over his home town of Idlib and began torturing and executing men suspected of being gay. Then, with the rise of Islamic State, came videos of gay men being hurled from buildings.

If the victims did not die from the fall, they were stoned to death.

“This was to be my fate, too,” Mr Nahas told a closed-door informal meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Monday. The meeting was organised by the United States and Chile to draw attention to “brutal attacks” by the militants.

“I 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,” said Mr Nahas, according to a text of his prepared remarks.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said this was the first time the UN Security Council had discussed lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.

“It is impossible not to take up the struggle for their rights as our own as we have other great human rights struggles,” she told the meeting, according to her prepared remarks.

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