In a barbaric, terrifying act, ISIS executed two men "convicted" of being gay, by tossing them from a rooftop of a tall building, to the crowd below.
Caution: graphic images and details – trigger warning.
ISIS, the terrorist group known also as the Islamic State or ISIL, Thursday released images of an execution of two unnamed men who were "convicted" of homosexuality. The executions were carried out in Iraq, either in Mosul or, more likely, Ninawa.
The images have spread virally via Twitter and mainstream news outlets are beginning to report them as well. The Daily Beast reports the images "were distributed by ISIS social media accounts."
In areas of Iraq and Syria where ISIS has taken over, public executions are common. They have been a staple of the group’s puritanical interpretation of Islamic law since before it took control of Mosul and declared itself the Calpihate, or Islamic State.
Death is shown in high resolution—the killing carefully composed inside the frame. These images belong to a deliberate social media and information strategy. Like all good Internet propaganda the images are made to be readily “shareable” and appear to have been released with the intent that they travel to a broader audience. It worked. Obscene and merciless, it’s a reflection of the state of life under ISIS rule.
Radio Free Europe (RFERL) describes the photo above, saying it "shows the victim being held by another man, apparently his executioner, on the edge of a rooftop. Text accompanying the photograph says that the man is being punished with 'Hadd,' meaning a punishment that is determined in the Koran and the Hadith for crimes considered to go against the rights of God. The caption noted that the man had committed the crime of the practices of the 'people of Lot,' a euphemism for sodomy, and that he must be killed by being 'thrown from a high place.'"
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a right wing group, via PJ Tatler, reports it as "the second confirmed case of ISIS executing gay men by throwing them off a tall building. In December 2014, ISIS executed a homosexual in a similar way."
Caution (images can be enlarged by clicking through to Twitter):