Gay Syrian refugee found beheaded in Turkey

Gay Syrian refugee found beheaded in Turkey
A gay Syrian refugee was found brutally mutilated and beheaded in Turkey, a gay rights group confirmed.
2 min read
05 August, 2016
The Syrian was targeted because he was gay, according to his friends [AFP]

A mutilated and headless body found in central Istanbul was identified as a gay Syrian refugee, a local rights group confirmed.

Muhammed Wisam Sankari went missing on July 23 after leaving his home in the conservative Fatih district, Turkish gay rights group Kaos Gay and Lesbian Cultural Research and Solidarity Association (Kaos GL) reported on Wednesday.

His body was found two days later, with friends suggesting he was previously harassed by gangs that threatened to rape him.

"They cut Wisam violently. It was so violent, two knives had broken inside of him. They beheaded him. His upper body was beyond recognition, his internal organs were out. We recognised our friend from his trousers," one of his friends told the organisation.

The Syrian, who fled his native country after fearing for his life, had also been kidnapped and raped five months before his death, according to his friend.

"They took him by car to a forest where they beat and raped him," the refugee's housemate, Rayan, said.

Authorities legalised homosexuality in 1923 – a move witnessed in the mid-nineteenth century by the Ottoman Empire – however Turkish society has held a largely conservative view in regards to the topic.  

In June, Turkey banned the annual gay pride march for the second year in a row, citing security and public order fears.