ISIS extremists based in Syria have killed another purportedly gay man by throwing him from the roof of a building and subsequently stoning him after he survived the drop, UK's Independent reports. A sizable crowd gathered gathered at at the ground level of the building in al-Tabaqa. The unnamed man is thought to have been aged 25-30 and was blindfolded before his execution. Though ISIS-aligned fighters claimed to have carried out this killing and a number of others recently in accordance with ISIS’s own penal code which forbids homosexuality, it is important to note that the organization’s use of rhetoric to justify brutality against those who oppose the organization.
As The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission explained last year after a savage attack on a man in Iraq, ISIS is not above accusing people of sodomy if it means being able to justify being able to silence them by death:
“At this time, to publicly call Iraqi men “gay” can only do harm. If the men did not identify as gay, the allegation is inaccurate and obscures the Islamic State’s motivation for publicly labeling them as such.
[O]ne cannot assume that the executions were for sodomy solely on the basis of information from the Islamic State. Without evidentiary basis or independent confirmation, this sweeping allegation could be applied to anyone the Islamic State seeks to discredit—including human rights activists and anyone opposed to the Islamic State. Accusing opponents of homosexuality is a tried and true tool used to discredit political adversaries throughout the world.”