New reports are circulating that ISIS has beheaded three men in Iraq because they were gay. Photos released online show the men blindfolded and corralled in a traffic roundabout before being beheaded in front of a crowd of onlookers.
The latest images did not show the claimed beheadings and their authenticity could not be independently verified.
A series of photographs shows the blindfolded men kneeling in the centre of what appears to be a traffic circle with a crowd of people looking on as a masked, black-clad executioner stands by with a long, rusty blade.
Accompanying captions said the trio were then executed, the third of them for alleged blasphemy.
The photos were said to have been taken in Nineveh province, the first to fall to a sweeping ISIS-led offensive last June but the exact location was not specified.
This incident is the latest in a series of slayings ISIS has carried out against individuals it claims are gay. In recent weeks there have been a series of videos of allegedly gay men being thrown from buildings and stoned to death by ISIS militants.
We previously reported on the threats gay individuals face living in ISIS-controlled territory.
While these killings are unquestionably brutal, ascertaining the sexual orientation of the murdered individuals is a problematic proposition. ISIS has a history of labeling anyone it perceives as a threat or enemy as also being a homosexual. As The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission notes, the accusation of homosexuality "could be applied to anyone the Islamic State seeks to discredit." Moreover, "accusing opponents of homosexuality is a tried and true tool used to discredit political adversaries throughout the world."
You can see two more pictures ISIS posted online, AFTER THE JUMP…