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U.N. to meet on ISIS killings of homosexuals

Informal meeting on August 24 will shine a light on 'ISIS and its systematic targeting of LGBT persons'

Published: Updated:

The U.N. Security Council will hold a meeting this month to hear about ISIS attacks on sexual minorities, the first-ever council meeting focused on gay rights, the U.S. ambassador said on Thursday.

The informal meeting on August 24 will shine a spotlight on “ISIS and its systematic targeting of LGBT persons who find themselves in ISIL-controlled territory,” said Samantha Power.

The U.S. and Chile will host the meeting that will be open to all member-states interested in the plight of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people persecuted by ISIS extremists.

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

U.N. 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.

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

The U.S. is leading an international coalition that has vowed to defeat the extremist 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.