ARA News, an independent Syrian news agency, reported members of the Sunni militant group publicly stoned the 15-year-old boy to death in the city of Mayadin on Monday.
ARA News reported that militants arrested the teenager on May 22. A Sharia court accused him of engaging in sodomy and ordered his execution.
ARA News published a picture that appears to show militants stoning the teenager’s lifeless body. The independent Syrian news agency quoted an eyewitness who said local residents “were forced to participate in stoning the victim.”
“The brutal scene has shocked all residents of Mayadin,” the eyewitness told ARA News.
Mayadin is located on the Euphrates River in the province of Deir ez-Zor. The city less than 115 miles downstream from the so-called Islamic State’s de facto capital of Raqqa.
Members of the Sunni militant group in January reportedly killed a teenager in the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor who allegedly “engaged in a homosexual relation with” a “prominent ISIS officer.” ARA News reported that top commanders with the so-called Islamic State stripped the officer of his position and expelled him to Iraq.
State Department: Militant group does not hide ‘horrific crimes’
Reports indicate the so-called Islamic State, which is also known as Daesh, has executed dozens of men in Syria and Iraq who had been accused of committing sodomy.
An LGBT rights advocate in the Libyan city of Benghazi told the Washington Blade earlier this month that members of the Sunni militant group have killed gay men in areas of his country they control. The activist said during the same interview that the three militants who attacked his car in 2014 later swore allegiance to the so-called Islamic State.
A State Department official on Thursday could not confirm the report from Mayadin, but stressed it “would fit ISIL’s pattern of brutality against LGBT individuals.”
“Indeed, ISIL does not try to hide its horrific crimes against LGBT persons — it often broadcasts them for all the world to see,” the official told the Washington Blade. “Many of us have seen the videos. ISIL parading a man through the streets and beating him for being gay. ISIL marching men to the tops of buildings and throwing them to their deaths for being gay.”
“We continue to condemn ISIL’s violent and systematic targeting of LGBT individuals,” added the official. “At its core, these acts are so shocking because ultimately it is the denial of a person’s most basic right because of who they are. It is ISIL deciding that, because of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, they do not deserve to live.”
Many LGBT Syrians and Iraqis from areas under the control of the Sunni militant group have fled to Lebanon, Turkey and neighboring countries.
The Obama administration last fall announced it would allow 10,000 Syrians to resettle in the U.S. in the current fiscal year and another 75,000 in 2017. Advocates have urged the White House to allocate 500 of these slots to LGBT Syrians who have fled the so-called Islamic State and other militant groups in their war-torn homeland.
The Sunni militant group claimed responsibility for a series of terrorist attacks in Paris last November that left 130 people dead and more than 300 others injured. U.S. Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) less than a week later were among the members of Congress who voted for a bill that sought to suspend the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees in the U.S.