Missing gay Syrian refugee found beheaded, mutilated in Turkey
The man went missing on July 23 and was found two days later in the Yenikapi district of Istanbul.
He had previously been threatened, kidnapped and raped, according to Kaos Gay and Lesbian Cultural Research and Solidarity Association (KAOS GL), a Turkish rights group. CNN is not naming the victim out of concern for his family's safety.
On Sunday, the man's housemates told KAOS GL that police called them to identify their friend's body.
"We identified him from his pants... They had cut (him) so violently. So violent that two knives had broken inside him. They had beheaded him. His upper body was beyond recognition," his friend said, whom CNN is not naming for safety reasons.
The refugee had been in Istanbul for about a year. It hasn't been confirmed whether he was killed for being gay. As of Friday, his killers had not been detained.
His housemates said this wasn't the first time the man had been kidnapped. He had been previously abducted about five months ago and taken to a forest, where he was beaten and raped.
"I am so scared. I feel like everyone is starting at me on the street... No one cares about us. They just talk. I get threats over the phone," another of his roommates told KAOS GL.
In June, a gay pride parade
in Istanbul was interrupted by police with pepper spray and rubber pellets after 13 years of being allowed to march uninterrupted.
At the time, activists told CNN it was an attempt by President Tayyip Erdogan to appeal to his conservative base.