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Four Iranian men sentenced to death by hanging for sodomy

Saturday, May 12, 2012

An Iranian court has sentenced four men from the town of Choram, in the Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province, to death by hanging for sodomy.

The four men — identified as “Saadat Arefi,” “Vahid Akbari,” “Javid Akbari,” and “Houshmand Akbari” — were due to be executed shortly after their verdict was approved recently by high court judges, according to a report from the Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) in Iran.

According to HRANA and JOOPEA, the men will be hanged for sodomy in accordance with Sharia law.

According to Iranian human rights campaigners, over 4,000 gay men and lesbians have
been executed since the Ayatollahs seized power in 1979. (File photo.)

A gay activist based in Iran said, “Although being gay is not a crime based on Iranian criminal law but this is the most clear statement against same sex-acts in past months.”

He added that “there wereof our other men hanged in past five months.”

London based Iranian Human Rights Lawyer, Mehri Jafari said, “I am horrified and saddened to have heard the news about these four men. Not only with regards to the execution which is about to take place, but the fact that is beyond our control.”

“There are two important issues in this case; the location of the alleged occurrence and the interpretation of the Sharia’ law that a Hodud (strict Sharia punishment) is eminent.

“Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad is one of the most undeveloped provinces in Iran and it is obvious that a lack of access to lawyers and fair trial can be considered a serious issue in this case. After this announcement it is very likely that the execution will be carried out soon, and the remote location makes it difficult to exert any influence on the process.”

Jafari further pleaded, “I hope international organizations act quickly and effectively on this specific case.”

Gorji Marzban, chairperson of the Austrian-based Oriental Queer Organization (ORQOA) said, “The recent death sentence for the four Iranian men is a shocking reality and demonstrates the discrepancy between Western and Islamic perception of queer life.”

“Last month the Iranian authorities hanged a young man and the local news agencies and authorities were intentionally unclear about the reason for the death penalty. In the case of these four men we have a clear text attributing the reason for hanging is sodomy,” Marzban said.

“The judicial denial of same-sex relationships in Iran stems from its relationship to Shari’a law and patriarchy. This is a warning signal not only for the queer population of Iran but also for all types of gender inclusive the heterosexuals who have sexual relations outside marriage.

“The death penalty has failed to eradicate homosexuality from Iran but it was successful to force queer people into the closets. Sooner or later any Islamic community is obliged to integrate queer people. We believe that Iranians should gain more gender equality and rights and wholly condemn such an archaic sentence to murder which is inherently unislamic!”

Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its 2011 report — We are a Buried Generation: Discrimination and Violence Against Sexual Minorities in Iran — stated that because trials on moral charges in Iran are usually held in closed sessions, it is difficult to determine what proportion of those charged and executed for same-sex conduct are gay and in what proportion the alleged offense was consensual.

Because of the lack of transparency, Human Rights Watch said, “It cannot be ruled out that Iran is sentencing sexual minorities who engage in consensual same-sex relations to death under the guise that they have committed forcible sodomy or rape.”

The issue of the death penalty for same-sex acts is further compounded by the fact that the Iranian legal code does not differentiate between rape and homosexual acts.

In many cases, it is often unclear whether the accused has actually committed a sexual act or it is a mere accusation based on some dispute. Even in the cases where the same-sex act has happened, often it is not clear whether the individuals involved are actually gay or it is an occasional act of sexual gratification.

Iranian Human Rights activists constantly note the fact that the two genders are strictly segregated increases the tendency for same-sex acts among the youth, in a phenomena that is also similarly known in single gender prisons. Indeed this phenomenon happens throughout highly segregated societies in the Middle East and North Africa.

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Filed under: Middle East

33 more reader comments:

  1. considering Iran has more Sex changes in the world, im suprized they havent done there president yet

    Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 6:34pm
  2. Four Iranian men murdered by their government.

    Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 6:34pm
  3. Maybe there is a reason to destroy their nuclear facilities and maybe get an Imam or two.

    Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 6:35pm
  4. Omg

    Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 6:40pm
  5. Isn’t surprising, I did a paper on Iran way back in high school, and at the time they had murdered 97,000 people since the Revolution for Homosexuality, so I asked the question why this isn’t on the same “evil” level as Nazi Germany.

    Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 6:41pm
  6. I can’t believe in this day and age this can happen. God bless the people / person that sentenced these men to death and hopefully they will realize how wrong they are and will stop this cruelty/injustice.

    Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 6:42pm
  7. John lee According to Iranian human rights campaigners, over 4,000 lesbians and gay men have been executed since the Ayatollahs seized power in 1979.

    Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 6:45pm
  8. What is wrong with this world…

    Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 6:46pm
  9. Iran is the scariest country in the world. It’s long history is thicker in blood than perhaps that of any other middle Eastern, African or Asian country. The government is rigid, and the laws cruelly interpreted. It’s a horrifying country, but I do have to wonder why these four didn’t try to emigrate, or practised in something they knew was illegal. It baffles me that people stay in these dictated countries when we have Canada or the likes that open our arms to these people.

    Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 6:48pm
  10. I dont seem to understand why cant we live and let live…

    Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 6:51pm
  11. My dea

    Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 6:52pm
  12. My almighty God have mercy on us.The world hatred has got to be stopped.

    Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 6:54pm
  13. :S these men do not deserve to die for this!!! this is horrible!!!!

    Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 6:54pm
  14. It’s sad that religion is so injected into their culture in the Middle East that it’s nearly impossible to do anything about this case…Religion is infection; any holy God wouldn’t instill such ignorance and hate into his supposed love-filled religion. It’s amazing how religion can hold a society back…

    Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 6:55pm
  15. Sad – but also glad that after the fall and the new leaders taking control – alot of the elite left and emigrated to Europe, the US and other nations. They have enriched our cultures – i.e. – Los Angeles – but also realize they are now of us and can’t go back as it is now for them. Sad on both scenarios.

    Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 6:56pm
  16. -_______-

    Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 6:58pm
  17. Sad sad sad!

    Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 7:23pm
  18. I’m Persian and I am openly gay! I couldnt agree more with lots of your comments here! Government of Iran is savage! Human right means nothing in Iran! But please be informed that Iran is the only muslim country with a 100% Religious government and No religious people! 87% of Iranian are not religious! That’s one of the reasons Iranian immigrated to USA and Europe after 1979 islamic regime took over! Let’s not forget about the great history of Persian empire and the great things Cyrus the Great did for humanity! Let’s not forget the Great Persian Emperor, Cyrus, wrote the very first rules of human right!! We hope for a free Iran! Free people, and a land Free of Ayatollas!! AMen!

    Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 7:23pm
  19. Fuck Iran this is make me so freaking mad

    Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 7:27pm
  20. There is no god in Iran

    Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 7:29pm
  21. folks we here in the USA are heading in this direction with the foolishness that is going on.

    Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 7:33pm
  22. Iran is odd, evil and crazy! i don’t like that kind of shit. I knew Iran always homophobia and Iran will kill gay people. STAY AWAY from EVIL IRAN!!! smh!

    Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 7:38pm
  23. What kind of piece of shit hits the ‘like’ button for murdering gays?!

    Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 8:07pm
  24. Disheartening and frightening.

    Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 8:08pm
  25. This has been going on for sometime now…I read a news article a few months ago about gay teens in Iran being publicly executed…If a gay or lesbian comes out their family and “friends” turn them into the authorities and…well you see the rest…Very sad…Just breaks my heart to read things like this…

    Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 8:36pm
  26. If those post-Ayatollahs keep this up (and I’m out of hope that they won’t), there won’t be anyone left when everyone else hightails it out of there. Such is what happens with oppressive, belligerent governments.

    Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 8:36pm
  27. This is why America needs to get its shit together and stop hating people for something that is inherent. Why do people give a shit about what happens in the privacy of someone else’s bedroom?! Sexuality is such a very small part of what makes us up as humans. Despicable….and a lot of America is just as bad…and would cheer this sick, barbaric outmoded “justice” on. Embarrassing.

    Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 8:58pm
  28. Disgusting.

    Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 11:23pm
  29. sad!

    Posted on Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 3:52am
  30. 40 likes? who keeps liking these horrible posts??

    Posted on Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 4:15am
  31. shameful ruling.. primitive.. so glad I live in Canada!!

    Posted on Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 4:41am
  32. Sad thing about this is. America Let’s these kind of people into this Country to study in our Collages and Institutions. Not realizing that there over here in United States to infiltrate into our Society to kill or harm our Country in the name of religion. Because, they call Us…( United States ), infadels ! Iran is a land of crazy people,they will kill there own people….,in the name of religion,because they think it will get them a better seat in heaven ! What person in there right mind…,would strap a bomb to himself…,and blow-up a building or an airplane in the name of Alla ? What Country,would sell there own daughter into marriage…,for wealth ? And cut-off a Woman’s head for committing adultery? Do you See…anything…,sain about these people? There flat-out Crazy People !

    Posted on Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 6:22am
  33. Exactly the reasons religion should be rules for private life moral laws should be the rule of a state.

    Posted on Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 7:33am