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UN council to meet on Islamic State LGBT attacks

'This will be a historic meeting. It will be the first Security Council meeting on LGBT rights'
File photo shows a young man being flogged by an Islamic State member

UNITED NATIONS - The UN Security Council will hold a meeting this month to hear about Islamic State (IS) attacks on sexual minorities, the first-ever council meeting focussed on gay rights, the US ambassador said Thursday.

The informal meeting on 24 August will shine a spotlight on "ISIL and its systematic targeting of LGBT persons who find themselves in ISIL-controlled territory," said Samantha Power.

The United States and Chile will host the meeting that will be open to all member states interested in the plight of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people persecuted by IS.

"This will be a historic meeting. It will be the first Security Council meeting on LGBT rights," Power told reporters.

UN envoys will hear accounts from Adnan, an Iraqi who fled northern Iraq after being targeted as gay, Syrian Subhi Nahas, who was also threatened and Jessica Stern, the director of the International Gay and Lesbian Rights Commission.

Power said that IS attacks on gays had been well-documented.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported last month that IS fighters dropped two men from a building in the city of Palmyra and then stoned them to death.

In December, IS posted photographs showing militants throwing a man off a rooftop and then stoning him to death, saying he was gay.

Two men were stoned to death in Syria in November after declaring that they were gay. 

It remained unclear how many countries with anti-gay laws would attend the meeting, but Power said she expected a good turnout.

The United States is leading an international coalition that has vowed to defeat the IS group, which declared a caliphate in June 2014 after seizing the Iraqi city of Mosul.

IS now controls large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria, and has gained a foothold in Libya, Yemen, Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East.

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