REPULSIVE: ISIS throws men to their death… for being gay

REPULSIVE: ISIS throws men to their death… for being gay

These people are sick! The depraved, sadistic horror of the latest videos and photographs posted on the internet by Islamic State (IS) is almost impossible to contemplate.


The depraved, sadistic horror of the latest videos and photographs posted on the internet by Islamic State (IS) is almost impossible to contemplate. They show two men bound and blindfolded as they are manhandled to the edge of a rooftop parapet. Their only ‘crime’? To be gay.
A masked IS fighter announces into a microphone that the two prisoners have ‘engaged in homosexual activities’ and must be punished in accordance with Islamic, Sharia law. In the square about 100 feet below, a large, all-male mob has gathered.
Then the grisly carnival proceeds as, one by one, the men are thrown from the roof. A still shows one victim in a sitting position, mid-flight. In another, both lie on the ground motionless, presumably dead.
The events took place in Mosul, the third largest city in Iraq, which IS now controls. The same ‘release’ from IS on Friday shows two more victims, supposedly ‘bandits’, hanging by their wrists from rough, iron crucifixes while masked gunmen, dressed in military fatigues, brandish pistols. The next photo reveals the puffs of gunsmoke as both men are shot through the head.
Then there is a video sequence which, if possible, is more shocking. A woman shrouded in a black burka is dragged across a sandy area, pulled by a white cord tied round her waist. Her voice, punctuated by terrified, breathless gasps, can be heard pleading with her captors.
Then, in a grove of dusty trees, the fighters hurl large rocks at her. The final image shows her body covered by a tarpaulin. Her supposed ‘crime’ is said to have been adultery.
IS, which controls sizeable portions of Syria and Iraq, is by no means alone in its resort to execution, although few countries exact capital punishment with the same stomach-churning brutality.
Yet my new book reveals that across the world, the use of capital punishment is in retreat, with the spread of human rights standards even to countries such as China.
Since 1988, the number of countries which have abolished capital punishment has tripled from 35 to 100. Only 39 of the world’s 198 nations have executed anyone in the past ten years.
There has also been a steep decline in the use of the death penalty in most countries that retain it. The 35 executions in the US last year were the fewest for 20 years.
There have been steep falls in Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia, while China has introduced much stricter legal safeguards and rights of appeal. It is still the world’s most frequent user, but although the total of prisoners executed remains a state secret, local experts believe it has halved in less than a decade.
The worrying exception, however, is the Muslim world, where many countries continue to impose the death penalty for ‘offences’ which in most jurisdictions would never be considered as crimes – such as homosexuality and adultery.
Here there has been a surge in the number of executions and the continuing application of the death penalty for ‘crimes’ far less serious than murder or terrorism.
In fact, some Islamic scholars believe use of capital punishment in countries like Saudi Arabia goes far beyond the requirements of Koranic teaching.
In Saudi, and some other states where Sharia law is embedded in the legal system, the fundamentalists are in control. The Koran says the death penalty should be reserved for the most heinous offences.
Executions in Iran have roughly quintupled to just under 1,000 a year since 2005, and show no sign of diminishing, despite the election of the so-called ‘liberal’ Hassan Rouhani as president.
Here the death penalty is imposed for crimes including embezzlement, burglary and robbery, as well as religious ‘crimes’ such as adultery.
Homosexuality is a capital crime in Islamic countries including Iran, Northern Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan. Capital punishment can be applied for adultery in Afghanistan, Iran, Northern Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and the UAE.
As an abolitionist, I find it depressing that while British soldiers died in part to defend human rights in Iraq and Afghanistan, both countries have seen big increases in the use of the death penalty.
In Iraq, capital punishment was abolished in 2003, but reintroduced two years later. It now covers not only murder but crimes such as the theft of electricity. Iraq executes about 150 people a year. By the end of 2013, there were 300 prisoners on death row in Afghanistan, many convicted only on the evidence of confessions obtained under torture. There have been executions for ‘immoral behaviours’ such as infidelity, and of children.
Even Muslim countries where executions had wholly or largely ceased are now seeing a new surge. Following the terrorist attack on the school in Peshawar last year, Pakistan has carried out its first for eight years. And last week, Indonesia announced it intended to execute the 64 people on its death row for drug crimes as soon as possible, and issued six immediate death warrants.
The theatrical IS atrocities are monstrous, yet of course there is a context – and that is the handful of regimes where the brutal application of capital punishment is the norm, not the exception.
It is all too easy for western governments to condemn IS while still maintaining relationships with countries such as Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and increasingly Iran.
It is not consistent – and if we are serious about human rights it must be addressed.

IS needs to be stopped! President Obama needs to start taking aggressive steps to stop the spread of radical Islam which he has failed to do up until this point. If we don’t speak up for these people suffering under this rule, when they come for us there is going to be no one left to speak up. We have an opprotunity to stop them and we we need to take it before the situation gets worse for everyone.

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