Iraq and Syria: Groups File Petition with the International Criminal Court to Prosecute ISIS for War Crimes against Women and LGBT People
Thursday, November 9, 2017 12:10 PM

Several human rights organizations have petitioned the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prosecute ISIS and its fighters for the widespread persecution of people on the basis of gender, sexual orientation and gender identity. The petition is based on extensive evidence of war crimes committed by ISIS in territory controlled by the group in Iraq and Syria through July 2017, including: torture, rape and murder of women and LGBT individuals. According to the petition, “the ISIS regime used torture and execution to brutally force people into narrow gender roles. Along with targeting people believed to be gay, this ranged from executing women in professional roles to threatening to behead men who did not grow robust beards.”

If accepted, the petition would set a precedent, as it would mark the first international prosecution for war crimes committed against LGBT persons, as well as a significant expansion of the “range of gender-based persecution” considered by the ICC.

The Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic of the City University of New York, MADRE and the Organization For Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) submitted the petition to the ICC. A copy of the petition is available on MADRE’s website. 

Compiled from: Feder, Lester J., These Lawyers Have A Case For Charging ISIS With Killing LGBT People, BuzzFeed News (November 8, 2017).