Warning: some readers may find the images below disturbing.
This week fighters from the Islamic State group released video footage that allegedly depicts a gay man being thrown off a seven-story structure. It’s the fifth publicized killing of a man accused of having sex with men in the last month.
Syrian human-rights observers say the murders of men accused of having sex with men are happening more often and are bound to increase.
“There will be more killings of men accused of being homosexuals,” said Rami Abdulrahman, founder of Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in a telephone interview from London.
“And there already may be more killings we don’t know about because some groups publish their videos and others hide it,” said Abdulrahman.
The latest video released shows a militant fighter pointing what appears to be a smartphone recording the moments before the man is thrown off the building. The images were uploaded and circulated on social media by IS-affiliated accounts, according to the International Business Times.
“The Islamic court in Wilayet al-Furat decided that a man who has practised sodomy must be thrown off the highest point in the city, and then stoned to death,” read one of the statements accompanying the photos later released by ISIS, according to Pinknews.co.uk.
Abdulrahman said according to Syrian law individuals who commit crimes—like same sex sexual activity—should be taken to government courts, “not to the Islamic State courts or other groups like that.”
Abdulrahman said the killings were all part of an IS campaign to “scare people.”
The British Government’s Foreign Office issued a statement condemning the killings seen in the pictures.
“ISIS makes no distinction between cultures countries or religion. We condemn ISIS’s treatment of all people, including LGBT individuals,” read the statement.
The first Islamic State execution of an alleged gay man occurred in November, according to the Observatory. Since then at least four more men have reportedly been killed for being accused of having sex with men or “homosexual affairs.”
“If true, the reports coming out of Iraq and Syria are horrific and yet another reminder of the dangers posed by ISIS to anyone who doesn’t conform to their view of the world,” read a statement released by Stonewall, the U.K. LGBT civil rights group. “ISIS are not just a threat to gay people, but a whole range of groups who simply seek to exercise their fundamental human right to be themselves”.