Iranian Gay Teens Executed
(London) Two teenagers have been executed after a religious court found them them guilty of homosexuality according to pro-Democracy groups. The Iranian Students News Agency reports that the executions took place on July 19 in the northeastern city of Mashhad. One teen, ISNA says was 18, the other was a minor, believed to be 16 or 17. The organization ran a picture of what it said was the execution on its Web site.
The English language "Iran In Focus" also reported the executions, saying the teens were hanged in public in the city square. It quotes sources as saying the teens were executed for having sex with another minor but this could not be confirmed. The report does not name the victim. Under Sharia law the victim of a sexual assault must also be executed.
Both news services say that prior to their execution, the teenagers were held in prison for 14 months, severely beaten and given the lash 228 times. A report of the executions was also carried on the website of the respected democratic opposition movement, The National Council of Resistance Of Iran.
Ruhollah Rezazadeh, the lawyer for the younger teen reportedly had appealed the death sentence but the Supreme Court in Tehran ordered him to be hanged. Under the Iranian penal code, girls as young as nine and boys as young as 15 can be hanged.
Three other young gay Iranians are reportedly being hunted by police, but they are said to have gone into hiding and cannot be found. If caught, they would also face execution.
The British LGBT rights group OutRage has called for sanctions against Iran. The organization has called for western states to break off diplomatic relations, impose trade sanctions and treat Iran as "a pariah state".
"This is just the latest barbarity by the Islamo-fascists in Iran,” said OutRage spokesperson Peter Tatchell. "The entire country is a gigantic prison, with Islamic rule sustained by detention without trial, torture and state-sanctioned murder.
"According to Iranian human rights campaigners, over 4,000 lesbians and gay men have been executed since the Ayatollahs seized power in 1979," said Tatchell.
Iran In Focus reports that members of Iran’s parliament are applauding the court for carrying out the death sentence on the teens.
"These individuals were corrupt. Their sentence was carried out with the approval of the judiciary and it served them right,” the publication quotes Ali Asgari, a member of the Majlis Party Legal Affairs Committee.
At least three men have been sentenced over the past month to death by stoning in Nigeria which also follows Sharia law in several provinces.
In March a gay couple was beheaded in a public execution in Saudi Arabia. The pair had been convicted of killing a blackmailer who had threatened to expose them to authorities. Hundreds of other gays have been rounded up by Saudi authorities in recent months.