By Robin Sivapalan
Two gay teenagers have been publicly executed in Iran adding two more to an estimated death toll of 4,000 lesbian, gay and bisexual people condemned to death by the regime since the Ayatollahs seized power in 1979. The two boys, Mahmoud Asgari (16) and Ayaz Marhoni (18), were imprisoned for 14 months and subjected to 228 lashes before being executed in Edalat (“Justice”) Square in north east Iran on July 19.
Since the original report by the Iranian Students News Agency detailing the charge of sodomy, a story by Iran Focus alleges that the boys were instead charged with raping a 13 year old boy. Campaign group Outrage! see this as an attempt to undermine public sympathy for the teenagers in what Peter Tatchell describes as “the latest barbarity by the Islamo-fascists in Iran”, where sharia law dictates the death penalty for gay sex. Three other gay Iranians are being sought by police in connection with the same so-called crime and are likely to face the same fate if caught.
According to human rights activists, some 100,000 Iranians have been executed over 26 years of clerical rule, including women for having sex outside of marriage and political opponents of the Islamist regime. Even if one disagrees with Outrage!’s advocacy of trade sanctions, its call for solidarity with the democratic and left opposition in Iran should be supported.
See the Outrage web site