IRAN EXECUTES 2 GAY TEENAGERS
Two gay Iranian teenagers -- one 18, the other believed to be 16 or 17, were executed this week for the "crime" of homosexuality.
the Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA) reported on July 19. (The ISNA report is in Farsi, and was translated into English by the British gay rights group OutRage!, which released its report today--ISNA also provided the terrifying photos of the teens' last moments you see on this page. You can see an enlarged version of each photo by left-clicking on them) The two youths -- identified only by their initials as M.A. and A.M., were hanged on July 19 in Edalat (Justice) Square in the city of Mashhad in north-eastern Iran, on the orders of Court No. 19. The hanging of the teens was also reported by the National Council of Resistance of Iran.
And the website Iran Focus not only confirms the story but provides more details, reporting that "Members of Iran's parliament from the north-eastern city of Mashad, where a minor and an 18-year-old man were publicly hanged yesterday, vented their anger on Wednesday on foreign and domestic news outlets for reporting the ages of hanged prisoners...Ultra-conservative deputy Ali Asgari said that the two deserved to be hanged in public, adding, 'Whatever sentence is decreed by an Islamic penal system must be approved, unless proven otherwise.' Asgari complained of foreign and domestic reporting that the two were mere boys. 'Instead of paying tribute to the action of the judiciary, the media are mentioning the age of the hanged criminals and creating a commotion that harms the interests of the state,' the member of the Majlis Legal Affairs Committee said. 'Even if certain websites made a reference to their age, journalists should not pursue this. These individuals were corrupt. Their sentence was carried out with the approval of the judiciary and it served them right.' "
Consensual gay sex in any form is punishable by death in the Islamic Republic of Iran. According to the website Age of Consent, which monitors such laws around the world, in Iran "Homosexuality is illegal, those charged with love-making are given a choice of four deathstyles: being hanged, stoned, halved by a sword, or dropped from the highest perch. According to Article 152, if two men not related by blood are discovered naked under one cover without good reason, both will be punished at a judge's discretion. Gay teens (Article 144) are also punished at a judge's discretion. Rubbing one's penis between the thighs without penetration (tafheed) shall be punished by 100 lashes for each offender. This act, known to the English-speaking world as 'frottage,' is punishable by death if the 'offender' is a non-Muslim. If frottage is thrice repeated and penalty-lashes have failed to stop such repetitions, upon the fourth 'offense' both men will be put to death. According to Article 156, a person who repents and confesses his gay behavior prior to his identification by four witnesses, may be pardoned. Even kissing 'with lust' (Article 155) is forbidden. This bizarre law works to eliminate old Persian male-bonding customs, including common kissing and holding hands in public." And Outrage, in its release about the gay teens' execution, noted that, "according to Iranian human rights campaigners, over 4000 lesbians and gay men have been executed since the Ayatollahs seized power in 1979. Last August, a 16-year-old girl , [Atefeh Rajabi] was hanged [in the Caspian port of Neka] for 'acts incompatible with chastity,' [i.e., sex before marriage]."
In the case of the two teens hanged in Mashhad, "They admitted having gay sex (probably under torture) but claimed in their defense that most young boys had sex with each other and tdhat they were not aware that homosexuality was punishable by death," according to the ISNA report as translated by OutRage. "Prior to their execution, the gay teenagers were held in prison for 14 months and severely beaten with 228 lashes. The length of their detention suggests that they committed the so-called offenses more than a year earlier, when they were possibly around the age of 16."
"Ruhollah Rezazadeh, the lawyer of the younger of the two boys, had appealed that he was too young to be executed and that the court should take into account his tender age (believed to be 16 or 17). But the Supreme Court in Tehran Ordered him to be hanged." The Iranian authorities are putting out a cover story that the two boys had participated in the rape of a 12-year-old, but OutRage affirms from its sources that this accusation is a smokescreen for inhuman conduct and is without foundation. However, the Murdoch press (e.g., the Times of London) is putting about the Iranian government's story as a virtual statement of fact. But there is no mention of this Iranian government accusation in the original ISNA report, otherwise quite detailed.-- which rather suggests it's a recent invention.
Left-click on the third photo above and look at the enlarged version, which shows the younger of the two adolescents weeping as he faces the end of his young life. Then, if you would like to protest the barbaric hanging of these two lads to whom nature gave same-sex hearts, be aware that, while the U.S. has no diplomatic relations with Iran, there is an Iranian embassy in Canada. You may write, telephone, or fax the Iranian ambassador in Canada:
Ambassador Seyed Mouhammad Ali Moosavi, Embassy of Iran, 245 Metcalfe St., Ottawa, Ontario .K2P 2K2 Canada Telephone (OO1-613- 235-4726, 233-4726; Fax, 233-5712
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