Iranian man has been hanged in public, this time Tuesday in
the western city of Kermanshah on the charge of sodomy, the
nonprofit news service Iran Focus reported.
was charged with organizing a "corruption ring,"
assault, and "lavat," or sodomy, Iran Focus reported,
quoting Iran's official news agency.
hanged in the evening in Kermanshah's Freedom Square in
front of hundreds of people, the report said.
"Iran tries to
portray these people as dangerous criminals," said
Hossein Alizadeh, communications coordinator of the
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
in New York. "Though sodomy itself is a capital crime,
they always say there were other things that were wrong.
In this case, they accused him of running a prostitution
ring. Unfortunately, the lack of due process makes it
practically impossible to investigate what really
Islamic penal code, gay sex even between consenting adults
is punishable by death. Several public hangings of reputed
gay men have been reported in the last two years,
prompting the international gay rights group to call
for a United Nations investigation.
When Iran in July
2005 hanged two teenagers accused of being gay, human
rights activists around the world took note. In that case,
the youths had been detained for 14 months and lashed
228 times. Several European nations began accepting
homosexuality as cause for granting asylum to Iranian
refugees, most recently the Netherlands, after a long
partisan struggle, in October of this year.
Alizadeh said, Iran issued its report of the latest
execution only in Persian. "They wanted to send a lesson to
the people in the country," he said. "They didn't want
to call international attention to it."
that despite official harassment and against long odds, gay
Iranians have a Persian Gay and Lesbian Organization and an
Internet presence, based in Canada, at www.pglo.net.
The group operates largely in secret; last month,
Alizadeh said, the person in charge of health issues
had his identity revealed and had to flee the country.
condemn homosexuality abroad as well. A 2005 Iranian
state radio commentary criticized same-sex marriages in
Western countries. Ayatollah Ebrahim Amini, an
influential cleric, said in a 2002 sermon in Qom that
gay and lesbian marriages reflect a weakness of
Western culture, and Ayatollah Ali Meshkini in a 2000 sermon
in Qom criticized the German Green Party for being
pro-gay, Iran Focus reported. (Barbara Wilcox, The