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UN gay rights hearing: 'If Islamic State didn't get me, my family would'

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UN gay rights hearing: 'If Islamic State didn't get me, my family would'

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The United Nations Security council has held a ground-breaking meeting to discuss the plight of homosexuals in lands occupied by ISIL.

Diplomats heard from Syrian refugee Subhi Nahas who told how men suspected of being gay would be thrown from buildings and stoned to death if they survived the fall.

“This was to be my fate, too,” Nahas told a closed-door informal meeting. The meeting was organised by the US 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 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. As an informal meeting, UN members were not required to attend and Angola and Chad were not present.

ISIL has declared a caliphate in territory it has seized in Iraq and Syria.

An Iraqi man identified as Adnan told his story to the Security Council by telephone from an undisclosed location, as he said he was still not safe.

“In my society, being gay means death and when (Islamic State) kills gays most people are happy because they think we are evil, and (Islamic State) gets a good credit for that,” he said, according to his prepared remarks.

“My own family turned against me when (Islamic State) was after me,” said Adnan, who fled his home. “If (Islamic State) didn’t get me, members of my family would have done it.”

Adnan said Islamic State militants hunt down gay people through cell phone and Facebook contacts of people they capture.

Nahas fled Syria to Lebanon, then moved to Turkey.

“Death threats followed me to Turkey. A former school friend from Idlib named Khalil had joined (Islamic State). He relayed through a mutual friend that he wanted to kill me, aiming to go to paradise,” he said. “I was terrified.”

Nahas has settled in the United States and works with the Organization for Refuge, Asylum, and Migration to help governments and refugee agencies build their capacity to protect LGBT refugees.