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Public execution of two teenagers in Iran
COC: ‘Netherlands must strongly condemn Iran, and must call for European sanctions’
ILGA publishes press releases and statements as submitted by its members. Conflicting information has been circulated around this information: it is argued the two boys were hung for having raped a 13 years old boy. On this case, apart from the press release of COC below, please also read the statement from other ILGA members IGLHRC and Outrage.
After the execution of two young homosexuals earlier this week COC Netherlands calls upon Minister Bot of Foreign Affairs to strongly condemn Iran and to declare European sanctions. Besides, COC Netherlands requests to adjust the country report on Iran, which was published last April.
“We react with revolt on these executions and hope that Ben Bot as Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs will react upon these horrible murders. Killing two teenagers, only because of their sexual orientation, is unacceptable! It is barbarian and medieval. Neither political conviction or religion may justify these actions”, says Frank van Dalen, chairman of COC Netherlands. “The Netherlands and other European countries should heavily condemn the Iranian legal system and the Iranian leaders for ratifying these murders!” More murders in the future! Currently Iran is still hunting for three other young Iranian homosexuals. Since 1979 more than 4.000 homosexuals would have been killed, just because they are who they are, Iranian Human Rights organisations report. “The Netherlands has to strife to stop similar murders in the future,” COC Netherlands says. The lesbian, gay and bisexual organisation will also send a letter to the Iranian consulate in The Hague to express its revolt. European Sanctions Chairman Van Dalen emphasizes that words alone are not enough. “Especially now a conservative president came to power in Iran it is of the utmost importance that Europe gives a strong signal saying that these Human Rights violations can not count on any understanding. We call upon the Netherlands to take the initiative for European sanctions towards Iran.” Adjusting the country report on Iran The country report on Iran, as it was published by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs last April, describes the position of homosexuals in the Islamic Republic. The given message is a sad one, though it is said that in practice prosecution does not take place. Considering these latest executions, the report is proven to be outdated. COC Netherlands calls upon Minister Bot to adjust the country report on this point. COC chairman Van Dalen: “A country report is used in asylum cases. Now it is irrefutable being proven that people in Iran get killed because of their sexual orientation, there is enough reason to accept homosexuality as a valid ground for those asking for asylum.” Also COC calls upon Minister Bot to discuss this issue with countries such as Belgium, Great Britain and Denmark, which are acknowledging the return of asylum seekers that are rejected upon ‘procedural reasons’. “A harsh attitude, considering two teenagers have been hanged only because they are gay,” says Van Dalen.
Statement by IGLHRC
Reported Executions in Iran
July 22, 2005
Conflicting stories about the public execution by hanging of two young men in Mashhad, Iran on July 19, 2005 have been circulating this week.
IGLHRC has been very closely monitoring this story and actively
seeking confirmation of the precise facts. It is not clear, for
instance, whether the men were executed specifically for homosexual acts or for sexually assaulting a 13-year old boy as stated in one report.
IGLHRC staff is working to gather accurate information from our
colleagues in order to determine the best course of action to address what would be considered serious outrageous violations of the basic human right to life. Although the reports have been conflicting about the precise nature of both the crimes of and charges against the two young men, IGLHRC condemns the use of the death penalty in general, but particularly in the context of sexuality-related crimes the death penalty is completely disproportionate to the crime committed.
In Iran, homosexual acts are punishable by death. Under article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, however, death sentences may be imposed only for the most serious crimes, which clearly excludes any consensual sexual relationship. According to Paula Ettelbrick, IGLHRC Executive Director, while IGLHRC stands opposed to the death penalty in all cases as contrary to international human rights standards, the disproportionate punishment imposed on sex crimes makes these cases even more egregious from a human rights perspective. In addition, public executions for any crime constitute a violation of the right to be free from cruel and inhuman treatment.
Also, the UN Expert on Extrajudicial Killings, Philip Alston, has
recently maintained in a similar case that, "Sodomy cannot be
considered one of the most serious crimes for which, under
international law, the death penalty can be prescribed," he said. The punishment is wholly disproportionate."
Please continue to check www.iglhrc.org for updates on this case.
Paula L. Ettelbrick
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
Iran executes gay teenagers
Two gay teenagers were publicly executed in Iran on 19 July 2005 for the 'crime' of homosexuality
ILGA publishes press releases and statements as submitted by its members. Conflicting information has been circulated around this information.On this case, apart from the press release of Outrage below, please also read the statement from other ILGA member IGLHRC.
The youths were hanged in Edalat (Justice) Square in the city of
Mashhad, in north east Iran. They were sentenced to death by Court No.19.
Iran enforces Islamic Sharia law, which dictates the death penalty for gay sex.
Shocking photos of the execution are at the links below
1 2 3
One youth was aged 18 and the other was a minor under the age of 18. They were only identified by their initials, M.A. and A.M.
They admitted to having gay sex (probably under torture) but claimed in their defence that most young boys had sex with each other and that they were not aware that homosexuality was punishable by death.
Prior to their execution, the teenagers were held in prison for 14 months and severely beaten with 228 lashes.
Their length of detention suggests that they committed the so-called offences more than a year earlier, when they were possibly around the age of 16.
Ruhollah Rezazadeh, the lawyer of the youngest boy (under 18), 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.
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 being hunted by the police, but they have gone into hiding and cannot be found. If caught, they will also face execution.
News of the two executions was reported by ISNA (Iranian Students News Agency) on 19 July.
A later news story by Iran In Focus, allegedly based on this original ISNA report, claimed the youths were executed for sexually assaulting a 13 year old boy. But the ISNA report does not mention any sexual assault.
A report of the executions on the website of the respected democratic opposition movement, The National Council of Resistance Of Iran, also makes no reference to a sexual assault.
The allegation of sexual assault may either be a trumped up charge to undermine public sympathy for the youths (a frequent tactic by the Islamist regime in Iran).
Or it may be that the 13 year old was a willing participant but that Iranian law (like UK law) deems that no person of that age is capable of sexual consent and that therefore any sexual contact is automatically deemed in law to be a sex assault.
If the 13 year old was sexually assaulted, why was he not identified and also put on trial (under Iranian law both the victims and perpetrators of sexual crimes are punished)?
Full story in Farsi from ISNA, with three photographs
"This is just the latest barbarity by the Islamo-fascists in Iran"
said Peter Tatchell of the London-based gay human rights group
"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.
"Altogether, an estimated 100,000 Iranians have been put to death over the last 26 years of clerical rule. The victims include women who have sex outside of marriage and political opponents of the Islamist government.
"Last August, a 16 year old girl, Atefeh Rajabi, was hanged for 'acts incompatible with chasity.'
"Britain's Labour government is pursuing friendly relations with this murderous regime, including aid and trade. We urge the international community to treat Iran as a pariah state, break off diplomatic relations, impose trade sanctions and give practical support to the democratic and left opposition inside Iran," said Mr Tatchell.
Protest to the Iranian Ambassador:
Tel: 020 7225 3000
Fax: 020 7589 4440
Embassy of Iran
16 Prince's Gate
London SW7 1PT
If you live outside the UK, protest to the Iranian Embassy in your
country, and press your government to break off diplomatic relations
and impose trade sanctions against Iran.
Email this news release and photos to your friends. Urge them to
Global anger grows over teen executions in Iran
Gay.com U.K. and the PlanetOut Network
Monday, July 25, 2005 / 05:22 PM
International human rights organizations are calling for action to be taken against Iran after officials publicly executed two gay teenagers last week.
The two boys, who were identified only by their initials, were executed for having sex with each other. Homosexuality is illegal under the Sharia law, which allows execution of children as young as 9 years of age.
The teens were also charged with raping a 13-year-old boy, although the majority of news services say this charge has been trumped up by the Iranian state in a bid to avoid international criticism.
Activists believe the boys gave their "confession" after weeks of torture. They were detained and subjected to beatings by local police for up to two weeks before their death.
Now, international groups are calling for stronger action to be taken against Iran. In Tehran Saturday, children's rights activist Shirin Ebadi said that the hangings violated the terms of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Ebadi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003, told the Associated Press that her campaign to outlaw the execution of minors had "fallen on deaf ears," but vowed that her Center for the Protection of Human Rights would step up the fight.
In the United States, the Human Rights Campaign is calling for Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to denounce the executions.
"As we have seen in recent weeks, the barbarous punishments for sexual acts in these countries run contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," the HRC stated in a letter to Rice.
"For that reason, these acts must be condemned."
In the United Kingdom, Peter Tatchell of the London-based LGBT rights group OutRage! criticized the Labour party for trying to forge closer ties with the government of Iran.
"Britain's Labour government is pursuing friendly relations with this murderous regime, including aid and trade," Tatchell said.
"We urge the international community to treat Iran as a pariah state, break off diplomatic relations, impose trade sanctions and give practical support to the democratic and left opposition inside Iran."
Tatchell also said the country had become a "prison," with the ultraconservative state blocking any movement toward a more liberal, democratic society.
Elsewhere, activists are calling for their governments to publicly criticize the Iranian-sanctioned executions.
In Sweden, the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RFSL) has called on the government to update its asylum policy so that lesbian and gay people are not deported back to Iran.
"I think the Swedish government is extremely cynical when it sends gays and lesbians back to Iran," Soren Andersson told the AFP news agency.
"They keep looking for excuses to send them back there, but it is dangerous for homosexuals in Iran," he added.
However, Iran is standing firm on its decision to kill the two young men. Last week, ultraconservative deputy Ali Asgari stated that the punishment "served them right."
IRAN: Activists condemn execution of gay teens - IRIN