Homosexuality in Syria is not accepted and there are harsh punishments for committing homosexual acts. Section of 520 of the penal code in the Syrian Constitution criminalizes bodily lust against “the law of nature,” which according to Islamic law, means homosexuality. Anyone who commits this offense is subject to three years in prison. In 2010, the Syrian police began a crackdown that led to the arrests of over 25 men. The men were charged with various crimes regarding homosexual acts and encouraging homosexual behavior. With that being said, homosexuality in this context refers to sexual acts between males. Interestingly, there is no specific law regarding two females and the law remains ambiguous in that regard.
Men who are gay in Syria face double the threat
- President Assad
President Assad is extremely anti-gay and prohibits homosexual relations in Syria, which is directly stated in its constitution. President Assad has a specific police division responsible for the track down and charges of homosexuals in accordance with Syrian law. This division is called the “Criminal Security Division” and there is a subdivision known as the “Department of Protection of Public Moralities: Specifically, this division of officers goes looking for people who are accused of being gay. They arrest these people and the men are commonly abused, beaten, and killed.
ISIS, which is a prominent terrorist organization that’s grounded in Syria, is also an anti-homosexual group. The Islamic State group has released many chilling images showing a man being stoned to death in for being gay. Many of the photographs show a blindfolded man with his hands tied behind his back, as a group of ISIS soldiers throw rocks at him from behind. Act’s such as these been reported many times an ISIS openly displays these photos across the media and in Syrian society. In another circumstance, photographs released by ISIS in Raqqa from March 2015, depict a large crowd, mainly men, all looking upward. On top of a building stand three men, faces covered with black balaclavas stand on either side of their victim while a fourth stands by and photographs. In the next minute, the man is thrown off the building. In the next photo, one can see a small crowd of men and the caption reads, “stoned to death” In this situation, this man was thrown off a building then stoned because he was accused of being gay.
ISIS Video by CNN
This video depicts the situations I mentioned above of a gay man being killed by ISIS. Specifically, the video shows a homosexual man being thrown off the roof then being stoned to death. This video also includes a one on one interview with a gay Syrian man named Nour. Nour tells his account of the situation going on in Syria and why he felt he needed to flee the country.