Thursday, July 28, 2005

Iran "hunting more gay teens"

The Iranian government is apparently hunting more gay teens, after publicly executing two boys for having sex with each other last week.

According to campaigners, police officials are searching for three boys connected with the “crimes” of Mahmoud Asgari (16) and Ayaz Marhoni (18), who were hanged last week.

An international protest is being urged in response to the hangings, which were conducted in accordance with the ultra conservative Sharia law.

Campaigners across the globe are calling for more action to be taken against the Iranian government for its actions.

The boys being hunted are thought to have been named by the hanged boys under torture, the Outrage! group claims. They have since disappeared.

It is thought that Asgari and Marhoni were subjected to more than 200 lashings during their 14 months in prison and forced to confess to crimes they may have not committed.

They were also accused of raping a 13-year-old boy, although the majority of press reports have dismissed this charge as an attempt to avoid any censure from international governments or human rights bodies.

"This is just the latest barbarity by the Islamo-fascists in Iran,” Outrage! campaigner Peter Tatchell said today.

"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.”

A London protest has been organised next month outside the capital’s Iranian embassy.

The protest will take place on 11th August between 1-2pm. Those who cannot attend are being urged to email and phone the Iranian Ambassador.

Campaigners across the globe may well join the protest, after action was taken globally on the hangings.

In the UK, the government was criticised for attempting to forge closer links with the Iranian government, while in other European countries gay groups called for an update to asylum legislation regarding lesbian and gay people fleeing conservative regimes.

In the US, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was urged to publicly denounce the killings.


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