TV & Radio
July 22, 2005
Public execution for the teenagers convicted of rape
By Our Foreign Staff - The (London) Times
IRAN has publicly hanged two male teenagers convicted of raping a 13-year-old boy at knifepoint. After the Supreme Court upheld the verdict of child rape, they were executed on Tuesday in Edalat (Justice) Square in the city of Mashhad.
The British gay rights group Outrage! has accused Iran of torturing the two into confessing that they had homosexual sex. It believes that the assault charges were a smokescreen to justify killing homosexuals.
Pictures of the hangings, on the ISNA student news agency website, showed the terrified young men crying as they were interviewed by state media in a lorry on the way to the gallows. Another picture showed hangmen in balaclavas tightening the nooses around their necks.
Iran’s religiously conservative judiciary decided that the pair had raped the 13-year-old at knifepoint while he was out cycling in the northeast province of Khorassan. The young men’s ages were not released but Ruhollah Rezazadeh, the lawyer for one of them, told ISNA that he was under 18, yet the judiciary had refused to spare him for being too young. The other accused was said to be 18 years old.
Iranian newspapers reported that the two were also given more than 200 lashes for theft and drinking alcohol. The press carried conflicting reports about the fate of three other men accused of involvement in the sexual assault. Qods newspaper said that they were still on the run, although the Mardomsalari daily reported that they had been jailed.
Mr Rezazadeh defended the two, saying they had not understood that gay relations and drinking were forbidden. Homosexuality is a crime in Iran, but the death penalty is normally reserved for murder, rape, armed robbery, adultery, drug trafficking and apostasy.
Many newspapers said that the pair were originally from the restive southwest province of Khuzestan, home to Iran’s Arab minority and the lion’s share of the Islamic republic’s oil wealth.
Peter Tatchell, an Outrage! spokesman, said that Britain should reconsider its relations with Iran because of its victimisation of homosexuals. “We urge the international community to treat Iran as a pariah state, break off diplomatic relations and impose trade sanctions,” he said.
Britain follows a policy of constructive engagement with Iran, alongside France and Germany, mainly directed at resolving an international dispute over whether Tehran is seeking nuclear arms.
The European Union has been pursuing a human rights dialogue with Iran, but last year the American pressure group Human Rights Watch said that abuses had risen since 2000.
Amnesty International said that Iran executed 159 people last year, a figure exceeded only by China. Under Iran’s religious law, the age of criminal culpability is defined as puberty, which most judges put at 15 for boys and nine for girls.
Iran has already drawn fire from international rights groups for executing minors. Last summer a 16-year-old girl, Atefeh Rajabi, was hanged in the Caspian port of Neka for sex before marriage. Medical reports, not allowed in court, had suggested that she was mentally ill.
The clerical judiciary has repeatedly said that it is preparing to overhaul its approach to juvenile crime and would institute a minimum age of 18 for long prison or death sentences. But human rights lawyers are not convinced that the reforms will be implemented soon.
Since 1990 11 child offenders reported executed
Jan 2004 Mohammad Mohammadzadeh, 21, executed for an alleged murder
June 2004 Ali, 16, sentenced to die for killing fellow high school student
Aug 2004 Atefeh Rajabi, 16, hanged for sex before marriage
Nov 2004 Vahid, 16, sentenced to death for murder of a friend said to have tried to abuse him
Jan 2005 30 under 18 detained and thought to be facing death sentence
Source: Amnesty International
Report: Iran Gay Teens Executed
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: July 21, 2005 11:00 am ET
(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. (story)
In March a gay couple was beheaded in a public execution in Saudi Arabia. (story) 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. (story)
Iranian teens executed for homosexuality
by Christopher Curtis
Iran publicly executed two teenagers on Tuesday accusing them of raping a 13-year-old boy and having gay sex, according to Iran's ISNA news agency.
The two teenagers were hanged in Edalat (Justice) Square in Mashhad, Iran's second-largest city. They were only identified by their initials, M.A. and A.M.
Before their execution, the teenagers were held in prison for 14 months and lashed 228 times.
Ruhollah Rezazadeh, the lawyer for the youngest teenager, appealed to Tehran's Supreme Court, saying his client was too young to be executed, but the court ordered him hanged.
While the teens admitted to having sex with each other, the London-based gay human rights group OutRage! believes the admissions were coerced under torture.
OutRage! also doubts that the 13-year-old was raped, noting that the crime was not mentioned by some key news agencies. The organization believes the alleged rape to be either a trumped-up charge or, it suggests, the 13-year-old was a willing participant.
"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," Tatchell said.
Iran enforces Islamic Sharia law, which demands the death penalty for gay sex. Under the Iranian penal code, girls as young as nine and boys as young as 15 can be executed.
Members of Iran's parliament hailing from the northeastern city of Mashad complained Wednesday about news coverage of the deaths.
"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," said ultraconservative deputy Ali Asgari in a quote published by Iran Focus.
"Even if certain Web sites 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," he said.
Posted July 21, 2005
Deux adolescents exécutés pour homosexualité en Iran - E-llico.com
Deux adolescents prétendument homosexuels ont été exécutés publiquement le 19 juillet dernier pour "crime" d’homosexualité. Ces jeunes ont été pendus dans un square de la ville de Mashhad, dans le nord-est de l’Iran après leur condamnation à mort par un tribunal selon la loi islamique.
L’information a été donnée par l’Agence d’information des étudiants iraniens (ISNA, Iranian Students News Agency).
Un des deux jeunes était âgé de 18 ans, le second était mineur. Les deux garçons auraient reconnu (probablement sous la torture) avoir eu des relations homosexuelles. Pour leur défense, les deux victimes ont plaidé l’ignorance de la loi et le fait que beaucoup de jeunes avaient des relations homosexuelles entre eux.
Avant leur exécution, les adolescents ont été détenus 14 mois en prison et ont été fouettés de 228 coups.
Leur avocat n’a pas réussi à infléchir la décision de la Cour suprême de Téhéran en évoquant leur jeunesse (16 ans au moment des faits). Le code pénal iranien prévoit que les garçons peuvent être pendus à partir de 15 ans.
Selon des informations des défenseurs des droits de l’Homme, trois autres jeunes iraniens auraient été arrêtés par la police, mais leur traque aurait été dissimulée en disparation. On craint aussi leur exécution.
L’homosexualité est régulièrement utilisée contre les opposants au régime iranien par les forces de police et de justice pour les arrêter ou les éliminer physiquement.
Peter Tatchell, du groupe Outrage, a déclaré à propos de cette exécution : "Il s’agit du dernier acte de barbarie en date des Islamo-fascistes en Iran".
Selon les défenseurs des droits de l’Homme en Iran, 4 000 gays et lesbiennes auraient été exécutés depuis la prise du pouvoir par les Ayatollahs en 1979.
Mis en ligne le 22/07/05
For Immediate Release:
Friday, July 22, 2005
SECRETARY RICE URGED TO CONDEMN EXECUTION OF GAY IRANIAN TEENS
‘Atrocities committed by foreign governments against all people must be condemned swiftly and forcefully by the world’s greatest democracy,’ said HRC President Joe Solmonese.
WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign sent a letter today to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asking her to condemn the recent execution of two gay teens in Iran as well as other horrific human rights abuses against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people across the globe. The text of the letter follows:
July 22, 2005
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.