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K6

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Re: Iran
« Reply #12 on: Tue, May 09, 2006, 00:55 »

The question remains, what to do with the worst enemies of the gay people? Some may be clearly declared outlaws.

We might regard them as *pirates* and thus as ennemies of mankind.And threat them accordingly and consequently.I hope that if this historical moment ever comes about,we will summon the necessary courage to do what is to be done in the service of our interest and political independence.Gays of the past as well as of the future will be looking at us then,begging us not to fail in a time which will determine the course of our future history.In some beautifull movie of the future telling of the heroic deeds leading to our self-determination,each of us could be casted as a hero or as a villain.What role does each of us want in that movie ?

K6

Mogul

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Re: Iran
« Reply #11 on: Tue, May 09, 2006, 00:08 »

The current discussions stirred by Brian Whitaker and others apparently are an attempt to repeate the "success story" of a compromise  achieved with christians: to agree that "homosexuality is a sin" but homosexuals shall be spared from death sentence because of political correctness. All the sophisticated interpretations of the Old Testament and the Qur'an are very interesting from the "scholar's point of view", but actually both books contain a very clear judgements on homosexuality (though K. H. Ulrichs was arguing that the Bible condemns sex between men and says nothing about sex between Uranians!).

I agree that indeed there are little chances to appeal to the moral principles of people who a priory regard you as a creature below the right of existence. The secular state is at any means the best choice, however we usually operate in given conditions such as religiously dominated societies. Surely one should discriminate between moderate and fundamentalist mullahs/priests, and probably it's smart to support the ones while fighting the others.

The question remains, what to do with the worst enemies of the gay people? Some may be clearly declared outlaws.
"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right!" Salvor Hardin

K6

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Re: Iran
« Reply #10 on: Sat, May 06, 2006, 21:19 »

I am inclined to agree with K6 completely. Mr. Whitaker seems to be lost in a delusion that originates in spending far too much time researching ideas as they appear in library books and not enough time lloking into the ways those ideas are actually put into action by real people. It may well be that there is little to condemn homosexuality in the Qu'ran, just as there is little in the Bible. These books, though, are just ink and paper. I have never been attacked by a piece of paper. The mullahs and the priests are a quite different story. They have made their positions very clear.

There is no dialogue with such people. All that remains to be discussed is what is to be done about them, and their input is neither necessary nor helpful.

What counts with religion is what it did.It is clear that monotheistic religions operated against gay interests,over the last two millenia in the case
of christianism,and over the last fourteen centuries in the case of islam.There is to be no forgiveness from our part if we are to pass as serious and
consequent political actors.Such monotheistic religions like christianism and islam will have to pay the price in any area which will become part of an eventual gay independent State.They will have to be driven out,no trace remaining of them except in museums.In history,even hethro governments and States finaly grew tired of the interference of religion in political and social matters,and taught the clergy and the believers a lesson.It happened even and at least in one muslim country,in Turkey and in the 20s and the 30s and under the administration of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk,a great secularist in the eyes of history,and apparently also a gay.A gay State will have to be secular and without role for religion in political or social matters.

K6

Feral

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Re: Iran
« Reply #9 on: Sat, May 06, 2006, 18:33 »

I am inclined to agree with K6 completely. Mr. Whitaker seems to be lost in a delusion that originates in spending far too much time researching ideas as they appear in library books and not enough time looking into the ways those ideas are actually put into action by real people. It may well be that there is little to condemn homosexuality in the Qu'ran, just as there is little in the Bible. These books, though, are just ink and paper. I have never been attacked by a piece of paper. The mullahs and the priests are a quite different story. They have made their positions very clear.

There is no dialogue with such people. All that remains to be discussed is what is to be done about them, and their input is neither necessary nor helpful.
« Last Edit: Sun, May 07, 2006, 04:29 by Feral »
Stonewall was a riot.

K6

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Re: Iran
« Reply #8 on: Sat, May 06, 2006, 07:05 »

A telling collection of Fathwas on Homosexuality, Homosexuals and "their organizations" can be found on IslamOnline.net.

Having read this, I honestly wonder how Brian Whitaker is seriously expecting a dialogue with moslem scholars in this article?

There exists no possibility of dialogue or of compromise with people whose processes of thinking aren`t rational.

K6

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Re: Iran
« Reply #7 on: Fri, May 05, 2006, 23:24 »

A telling collection of Fathwas on Homosexuality, Homosexuals and "their organizations" can be found on IslamOnline.net.

Having read this, I honestly wonder how Brian Whitaker is seriously expecting a dialogue with moslem scholars in this article?
"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right!" Salvor Hardin

Mogul

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Re: Iran
« Reply #6 on: Sat, Apr 29, 2006, 06:41 »

The website of Outrage (www.outrage.org.uk) seems to be broken in some way, but some articles of Mr Tatchell can be accessed at his private website (www.petertatchell.net). Peter Tatchell can be contacted via: peter@tatchell.freeserve.co.uk.
"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right!" Salvor Hardin

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Re: Iran
« Reply #5 on: Fri, Apr 28, 2006, 07:11 »

As of this posting, now Mr. Tatchell's site appears to have been compromised as well. Having salvaged the first part of Mr. Forbes’s report from a cached version of the page, if no one objects, I shall post it here.


IRAN'S STATE MURDER OF GAYS

Victims framed for kidnap and rape

“Deportation would be a death sentence”

Asylum urged for gay Iranian refugees

London – 20 April 2006

The Iranian government is executing gay and bisexual men under the cover of rape and kidnapping charges, according to a major new investigation by Simon Forbes of the UK-based gay and lesbian human rights group OutRage!

Mr Forbes's nine-month investigation, published today by OutRage!, is based on information gathered from sources inside Iran. His research reveals:

* Lynchings by Iran's security forces, and ‘honour killings' by families in the south western province of Khuzestan

* Secret hangings in prison

* The method of hanging is designed to cause slow, agonising strangulation

* Internet entrapment of gay Iranians using foreign-based online gay dating agencies

* A pattern of framing gay people on charges of kidnap, rape and paedophilia, as the following five sample cases suggest:

* The Gorgan case where two men were publicly hanged for Lavaat (sodomy) in November 2005

* Details of the Kermanshah case where three men were hanged in prison in November 2005 for sodomy that was alleged to have taken the form of the kidnap and rape of a younger male

* The Arak case of two men sentenced to death for sodomy in August 2005, which also involved the alleged kidnap and rape of a younger male, the son of an officer

* Two cases of public execution for sodomy in Mashhad in December 2004 and July 2005 that involved suspiciously similar charges

* Claims of rape are sometimes made to save the family's honour or to save the passive partner from execution, and are part of an Iranian government propaganda offensive to scapegoat and demonise gay people

* Comparisons with Saudi Arabia, where it is also suggested that bogus rape charges are levelled against gay men

* Hypocrisy of the mullah's attitudes towards the abuse of young girls, the rape of both males and females in custody, and widespread sodomy in religious colleges

The full, shocking report follows below.

It is the first document in a series of documents that will be published by OutRage! in the coming weeks and months. These documents expose the state-sanctioned torture and murder of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people by the Iranian clerical regime.

“Mr Forbes's pioneering investigation is based on information from credible, verified sources inside Iran. It provides clear evidence of homophobic honour killings, arrests, torture and executions,” said OutRage! spokesperson Peter Tatchell.

“His research confirms a pattern of framing same-sex lovers on charges of kidnap and rape, in order to discredit them, discourage public protests and deflect international condemnation.

“The information on which the Home Office bases its rejection of most gay Iranian asylum claims is partial, badly researched and glosses over gay human rights abuses by the Iranian regime.

“Until Iran's anti-gay laws are repealed, the UK, EU and US should permanently halt the deportation of lesbian and gay Iranians. So long as Iran criminalises same-sex relations, it will not be safe for gay people to return to Iran.

“The decision in mid-April by the Dutch government to defer its planned deportation of gay Iranian asylum seekers is a recognition that deportees would be at serious risk of torture and execution.

“While we welcome the Dutch moratorium on deportations, we deplore its temporary nature.

“Deportations are tantamount to a sentence of death. Any gay asylum seeker sent back to Iran is likely to be arrested, tortured and executed.

“Under the European Convention on Human Rights it is illegal to deport people to countries like Iran where they would be at risk of torture and execution,” said Mr Tatchell.



Iran – The State-Sponsored Torture & Murder of Lesbians & Gays Men

New evidence of how the clerical regime frames, defames and hangs homosexuals

By Simon Forbes of OutRage! London, UK

With editorial input by Brett Lock and Peter Tatchell of OutRage!

The shocking photos of the execution of gay teenagers, Mahmoud ‘Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, in the Iranian city of Mashhad on 19 July 2005, bought home to many people for the first time the barbaric, inhuman and violently homophobic nature of the Iranian clerical regime.

Their executions were, of course, just two of many state-sanctioned murders of children, unchaste women, gay people, and ethnic, political and religious dissidents.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has been repeatedly condemned by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for widespread and severe human rights abuses, including abuses of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Limited official information about sodomy executions

Detailed and reliable figures concerning Iranian executions for Lavaat (sodomy) are hard to come by, as the government rarely gives out information concerning its criminal justice system. It seems particularly reluctant to provide statistics on sodomy cases, much as Britain and Europe were reluctant to reveal the true scale of executions in the days when sodomy was a capital offence.

Homan, an Iranian lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) exile group, estimated that around 4,000 people had been executed for Lavaat from 1979 until the mid-1990s. An attempt to set up a gay organisation in the early 1980s led to 70 executions. Around 100 gay people were sentenced to death following one raid on one private party in 1992. [1]

A very large number were executed, or rather lynched without trial, as the Ayatollahs began to hijack the Iranian Revolution by the end of 1979. Those killed reportedly included foreign visitors. That year gay activists from the Lavender Crescent Society in San Francisco were taken from the airport in Tehran shortly after their arrival and summarily shot dead. [2] Gay and bisexual men were quite literally hanged from trees at that time. Executions of lesbians took place as well. [3] Additional ‘smokescreen' charges, such as rape and kidnap, were rarely made, seemingly because there was very little international interest or protest at these widespread killings of LGBT people. Since the world did not care much about the execution of queers in those days, the tyrants in Tehran felt no need to disguise their actions and motives.

Executions for sodomy are believed to be at a lower level in recent years, although it may simply be that they conducted in secret and are unpublicised.

An informed Iranian source, for whom English is his second language, told OutRage!: “Having said that the authority do not systematically looking for gays in every corner to find and execute them does not mean that the authority have changed their opinion or are somehow more gay friendly now.” [4]

According to Iranian informants, two, or possibly three, gay men were executed in prison in the city of Khoramabad without any publicity in the early part of 2005. [5]

OutRage!'s sources in Iran acknowledge that in small pockets of the country, principally in the wealthier parts of Tehran, it is sometimes possible for same-sex couples to live discretely with each other; albeit with the ever present danger that they might be exposed and face lethal punishment. In truth, nowhere in Iran is truly safe.

To say that some parts of Iran are safer than others for queers in 2006 is the equivalent of saying that some parts of Germany were safer than others for Jews in 1935.

Our Iranian informants are at pains to stress that although gays are not the number one target of the regime and although there is not a permanent, systematic, universal witch-hunt of LGBT people in every corner of the country at all times, this does not mean gays are not at risk.

Gay and bisexual men can meet in certain parks. They can contact each other via gay chat rooms on foreign-based gay websites. Private gay parties do take place in the major cities.

But this all happens very discretely and is very dangerous. The participants risk entrapment, arrest, torture and even execution.

In other words, some gay life exists in Iran but it is underground and precarious. An OutRage! contact inside the country is adamant (in his own unedited words, as a second-language English speaker):

“It [the holding of secret gay parties and so on] does NOT mean that gays are not executed and killed because of their sexuality. In Iran, everything depends on which city or which part of the country you are living in, and it depends on the judges as well. Unfortunately many of gays arrest or killing are not reported in the media.” [6]

Internet entrapment of gay men

To catch gay men, the Iranian authorities are increasingly resorting to entrapment via internet chat rooms. They arrange a date online, turn up at the agreed rendezvous point, and then arrest and charge the victim.

This is confirmed by Amir, a 22-year-old gay Iranian from the city of Shiraz, who was arrested by Iran's morality police.

Through a Persian translator, Amir gave the US journalist Doug Ireland a firsthand account of the anti-gay crackdown.

Ireland wrote it up on his blog:
http://direland.typepad.com/direland/2005/09/theyll_kill_me_.html

‘Amir set up a meeting with a man he met through a Yahoo gay chat room. When his date turned out to be a member of the sex police, Amir was arrested and taken to Intelligence Ministry headquarters, “a very scary place,” he says. “There I denied that I was gay—but they showed me a printout from the chat room of my messages and my pictures.”

‘Then, says Amir, the torture began. “There was a metal chair in the middle of the room—they put a gas flame under the chair and made me sit on it as the metal seat got hotter and hotter. They threatened to send me to an army barracks where all the soldiers were going to rape me. The leader told one of the other officers to take [a soft drink] bottle and shove it up my ass, screaming, ‘This will teach you not to want any more cock!' I was so afraid of sitting in that metal chair as it got hotter and hotter that I confessed. Then they brought out my file and told me that I was a ‘famous faggot' in Shiraz. They beat me up so badly that I passed out and was thrown, unconscious, into a holding cell.

‘“When I came to, I saw there were several dozen other gay guys in the cell with me. One of them told me that after they had taken him in, they beat him and forced him to set up dates with people through chat rooms—and each one of those people had been arrested; those were the other people in that cell with me.”

‘Eventually tried, Amir was sentenced to 100 lashes. “I passed out before the 100 lashes were over. When I woke up, my arms and legs were so numb that I fell over when they picked me up from the platform on which I'd been lashed. They had told me that if I screamed, they would beat me even harder—so I was biting my arms so hard, to keep from screaming, that I left deep teeth wounds in my own arms.”

‘After this entrapment and public flogging, Amir's life became unbearable. He was rousted regularly at his home by the basiji (a para-police made up of thugs recruited from the criminal classes and the lumpen unemployed) and by agents of the Office for Promotion of Virtue and Prohibition of Vice, which represses “moral deviance”—things like boys and girls walking around holding hands, women not wearing proper Islamic dress and prostitution.

‘Says Amir, “In one of these arrests, Colonel Javanmardi told me that if they catch me again that I would be put to death, ‘just like the boys in Mashhad.' He said it just like that, very simply, very explicitly. He didn't mince words. We all know that the boys who were hanged in Mashhad were gay—the rape charges against them were trumped up, just like the charges of theft and kidnapping against them. When you get arrested, you are forced by beatings, torture and threats to confess to crimes you didn't commit. It happens all the time, and has to friends of mine.”

This compelling testimony by Amir to Doug Ireland reveals the widespread use of internet entrapment, a threat of execution for mere homosexuality, the torture of gay men to extract false confessions, and the implied admission by an Iranian colonel that the youths in Mashhad were hanged because of their sexuality – and not because they raped and kidnapped, as was officially claimed by the Iranian authorities at the time of their hanging.

Honour killing of LGBTs

In the some parts of Iran the risk of death for homosexuality is extremely high, either at the hands of the security forces or at the hands of the individual's own family. In the south western province of Khuzestan, from which Mahmoud and Ayaz came, a gay man is known as a raguuS or “little dancing boy,” a term suggesting effeminacy and sexual passivity. [7] Ewen Macmillan, an expert on life in the Ahwaz region, says:

“RawaagiiS (plural of raaguuS) are generally killed in Ahwaz, by the security forces or by their male kin, in one of three ways: strangulation, throat-slitting or decapitation. If the homosexual youths are killed by the security forces, their corpses -- frequently decapitated but accompanied by their heads -- are left in the street. Their families therefore have a certain tragic incentive to kill them more humanely and bury them secretly. In addition, amongst Iran's Arab minority, male relatives of homosexual youths regard their murder as vindicating the honour of the clan and, indeed, of their ethnic group as a whole. [Name deleted] said that he knew of another youth from al-Aamiri [in Ahwaz], who was a raaguuS, and who had expressed the wish to escape Iran, but who was unfortunately killed before he was able to do so.” [8]

In some cases a member of one or other of their own families report them to the authorities, as happened in the case of Mahmoud and Ayaz.

In Khuzestan, this included an instance where a “mother is alleged to have found him (her son) and his lover having sex and informed the authorities. The actions of the mother -- the consequences of which she may at the time have been unaware -- are alleged to have resulted in the killing of her own son.” [9]

Another documented case in the same province involved Sayyid RiDa Mussawi. Just as ‘Iyaad Marhuuni used the Persian name Ayaz, RiDa used the Persian name Shahraam about town. He was not killed by authorities but beheaded by some his brothers and cousins in 2002 in the city of Ahwaz/Ahvaz. The family members were arrested but they were later released when the parents of Shahraam forgave the killers, as permitted under Shari'a Law. Shahraam was murdered because he became known as a raaguuS and specifically because he was known as the partner of another gay man, who later fled to Britain. [10]

The level of honour killings varies wildly within the country. In Tehran they are said to be rare, but in the western provinces, such as Khuzestan, Luristan and Kurdistan, and in the south eastern province of Baluchistan, they are said to be much more common. [11] Public lynchings of LGBT people by the security forces also seem to be largely confined to the rebellious province of Khuzestan where, as a matter of course, they act outside the legal system with scarcely any restraint or respect for the local population (Khuzestan is inhabited by Ahwazi Arabs, who are a severely persecuted ethnic minority).

Secret executions in prisons

In recent times, many executions for Lavaat (sodomy) seem to be have been conducted inside prisons, rather than in public. These secret executions take place behind closed doors. They are not publicly notified. The local population is unaware they have happened. In the period 1979-89, public executions were much more common. According to a former woman resident of the city of Mashhad, such hangings “were not a rare event and homosexuals were regularly killed like that” when she lived there. [12]

I have uncovered references to a case in 2000 or 2001, where a student was sentenced to death for Lavaat. As is typical, his execution was not publicised. Since it was not publicised, if the death sentence was carried out, it probably took place in prison, not in public. We cannot know for sure that he was hanged, but since his guilt was clear and he had committed same-sex acts repeatedly over a long period of time, it seems unlikely that the sentence was commuted. He was defended by Mr K, who later gave evidence about this case at UK asylum appeal tribunal. [13]

According to Mr K's evidence “The student had been sentenced to death because he had confessed. They had found sperm in his body. There was no way for him but to confess. He had carried out homosexual acts for a long time with another student, and his room mate had realised this and reported it to the people responsible for the dormitories, and they had put the person under surveillance and entered the room at the time he was arrested. He knew he would receive the death sentence and he had confessed.” [14]

The Tehran case

On 14 March 2005 two gay men were sentenced to death for consensual Lavaat in Tehran. [15] The younger man, a wrestler, confessed that he had shot a video of them having sex together for the purpose of extortion. Unfortunately, the wrestler's wife found the video and out of curiosity played it. In a fury she took it to the Qazis who watched it as well. Both were arrested brought before the court and sentenced to death. [16] The act committed was presumably anal sex, which is punishable by death for the first offence.

It would appear that only the younger man confessed. Confession by one man would not automatically lead to the conviction of the other. The older man was therefore probably convicted through “knowledge of the judge” under Article 120 of the Penal Code.

In practice, Lavaat is probably much easier to prove without confession than some people think, at least in the case of the passive partner. Medical evidence of penetration may well be sufficient. As we have already heard, 22 year old Amir, from the city of Shiraz, was threatened by the police that if he was sent for a medical examination and they found penetration he would be sentenced to death. [17]

It is not known if or when the sentence in this 14 March case in Tehran was carried out. Stoning is a possible sentence because the young wrestler was married, and stoning is the traditional mode of execution for married people who commit sodomy.

Otherwise, hanging is the normal method of killing ‘sodomites.' Although not as cruel as stoning, it should be born in mind that the way it is carried out is designed to ensure that the neck is not broken. Instead, death is induced by slow, painful strangulation. Relatively thin ropes or even wire are often used to maximise suffering. The knot is placed at the side of the neck to prolong the agony. [18] We can see from photographs in the case of Mahmoud and Ayaz that death did not come quickly. [19] The windpipe can take several minutes to be slowly squeezed shut. [20]

The Gorgan case

Another public execution, in November 2005, was in the northern town of Gorgan near the Caspian Sea. The sole internal Iranian press report read as follows: “Execution of two criminals:- Gorgan – Kayhan reporter: Sentence of execution of two people by the name of Mokhtar N and ‘Ali A for the crime of homosexuality (Lavaat) came to be carried out in the Shaheed Bahonar Square, Gorgan. The criminal records of these two people [included] kidnapping, knife-wielding, rape (tajaavoz beh ‘onf), harassment and fighting. They were aged 24 and 25 respectively.” [21]

The men were publicly hanged from two cranes. Unlike the Mashhad hangings in July 2005, photography of the execution was actively discouraged, although a poor quality picture was sent to the Persian Gay and Lesbian Organisation. [22] A report by Iran Focus suggested that the reason for the execution was simply for Lavaat and that the other crimes listed were previous convictions. [23]

It was Iran Focus who spotted this small article, which could easily have been missed. Subsequently Human Rights Watch, who are not fans of Iran Focus, also suggested that the executions were for consensual homosexual conduct. [24]

Amnesty International wrote to the Iranian authorities about the case. As of early February 2006, four months later, they had received no reply. [25] The Dutch Foreign Ministry, who have a cordial relationship with their Iranian counterparts, were given more consideration. The Dutch were assured that the convictions were not for “homosexual relations” but for “kidnapping, rape and extortion.” [26] It is worth noting that the Kayhan article makes no mention of extortion in the list of charges.

The details of the Gorgan case are unclear. The cited string of charges could refer to past convictions or to convictions at their trial. Moreover, the article is very badly worded. Either way, this list of charges is all too familiar in gay cases and needs to be treated with suspicion.

Paula Ettelbrick, of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, said shortly after these executions: “It's clear that a pattern is emerging in which young men are executed as couples and that the crimes they allegedly committed always involve some form of sexual assault of another male.” [27]

The Kermanshah case

Also in November 2005, three men were hanged in a prison in the city of Kermanshah. In this case they were accused of kidnapping and rape (tajaavoz) of a 19 year old. [28]

For more details about this triple execution, and the executions in the preceding Gorgan case, see Doug Ireland's expose: http://direland.typepad.com/direland/2005/11/save_usa_gay_ir.html

This report from Doug Ireland also includes an interview with Mojtaba, a 27 year old gay man from the city of Shiraz. His partner was arrested and Motjaba narrowly escaped arrest by fleeing to Turkey. The fate of his arrested partner is unknown.

Two cases in Mashhad

In the city of Mashhad, there have been two relatively recent cases of pairs of males being executed, at least one of which involved juveniles. Both instances involved an almost identical string of charges. There is the hanging of Mahmoud and Ayaz in July 2005. The other case was at the end of December 2004 and was reported in the Iranian newspaper Kayhan. [29]

Evidence received from people in Mashhad confirms that the hanged gay teenagers, Mahmoud ‘Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, were lovers, not rapists as the regime alleges. Moreover, extensive investigations reveal that the regime's claims against the youths are riddled with inconsistencies, contradictions and implausibilities. A major investigative report will be released soon, exposing the fabrications and lies of the Iranian regime concerning these two executed gay teenagers.

In both the Mashhad cases, sodomy charges appear to have been embroidered with additional, non-consensual charges, probably in part to discourage international condemnation and protests. The authorities presumably reasoned that there would not be much international sympathy for people executed for sexual assault.

As we have seen in each of these different cases, whenever men are executed for sodomy, the defendants are invariably accused of the kidnap and rape of a younger male. Such allegations need to be treated with extreme scepticism, as they tend to follow a suspiciously stereotypical formula.

The tactic of defaming the victims

This current tactic of adding charges of rape, child abuse and kidnap to the sodomy charges against gay and bisexual men is in marked contrast to the early days of the Islamic Republic. In the 1980s, a period when even most western democracies were avowedly homophobic, there was no need to disguise the execution of homosexuals. No one gave a damn. Even Amnesty International ignored the plight of terrorised LGBT people.

Since the early days of theocratic rule in Iran, much of world has moved on, with a growing understanding of LGBT people, and an increased revulsion against homophobic persecution.

The Iranian dictatorship now realises it is not good PR to execute people for merely being gay. That risks an international outcry. To pre-empt condemnation, the Iranians now craftily pin on same-sex lovers additional charges involving paedophilia, violence and rape. It is a clever tactic that has hook-winked even some human rights groups.

There may be a further explanation for the standard Iranian formula of charges of homosexuality being often accompanied by charges of kidnap and rape. The regime clearly does not want its people to view same-sex relations as something a respectable person might engage in with consent. That could present Lavaat as something desirable and positive, and this might encourage tolerance – and even curiosity and experimentation. The clerical regime wants to depict sodomy in the worst possible light to deter and discourage its practice. To do this, it needs to present gay and lesbian people as repellent, dangerous individuals. In these circumstances, the mere charge of Lavaat is not sufficient. To prompt revulsion and support for executions, homosexuality needs to be associated in the public mind with violence and child abuse.

This is a very familiar tactic used by despotic regimes to discredit and marginalise dissidents. History teaches us that scapegoated and demonised minorities are often subjected to false smears and slurs, sometimes of a sexual nature. During the period of segregation in the southern United States, for example, false charges of rape were often pinned on young black men, and these charges were then used to justify lynchings or judicial executions. As we know, the real motive was to punish black men for consensual interracial sex, while ‘saving' the reputation of white women.

Comparisons with Saudi executions

As in Iran, it is not uncommon in Saudi Arabia for allegations of sodomy by force to accompany allegations of consensual sodomy.

There have been at least two cases of multiple executions of ‘sodomites' in the Saudi city of Abha in recent years - six were beheaded in 2000 and three were beheaded 2002. In one of these cases we are asked to believe that in a society where homosexuality is taboo they went round assaulting various people who apparently knew of and disapproved of their behaviour. In both these cases, it was claimed they had sodomised young boys in addition to each other. [30]

Such claims must be treated with great scepticism. For a start, Saudi Arabia is a country that makes liberal use of torture to get confessions. Furthermore, the motive in fabricating stories of ‘male rape' or ‘child abuse' by ‘sodomites' is almost certainly to neuter any international outcry over the executions. It is hoped that people in the West will conclude “it served them right.”

The Arak case

In the city of Arak in Iran, two men were sentenced to death for Lavaat towards the end of August 2005. [31] Their case seems to have been under appeal. The rumour that they were due to be executed on 28 August appears to have been false, as they hadn't even been tried when that rumour first circulated. [32] It was claimed that they were attracted to another man who refused their advances. It was further alleged that they abducted this man and forcibly sodomised him. Some sources within Iran regard this story as plausible. There was medical evidence used to prove penetration, although this penetration could, of course, have been consensual. [33]

Some Iranians are, however, still doubtful and fear that this, too, may be a trumped up charge. One cause of such suspicions is that the alleged victim was said to be the son of an officer. [34] Sources suggest the father was an officer in the regular army, the Artesh. The allegation of forced sex may have been made to save the family the shame of having a ‘sodomite' son.

No further information has been forthcoming about the Arak case since last August. We do not know whether these men have been executed or are still on death row.

Claims of rape to avoid execution

Claims of sexual assault by the passive partner are not uncommon in Iranian sodomy cases, as they know this is their only chance of escaping death. I recall a case about 15 to 20 years ago (the full details of which I no longer possess), in which two men who lived with each other were being tried for sodomy. One claimed that the other man had kept forcing him into sodomy and doing to him all manner of other same-sex acts, including forcible fellatio. The other man sat listening to all this impassively, but at one point said words to the effect: “he was a gay and wanted sex.” The mullahs believed the latter man and they were both sentenced to death and executed.

Iran's hypocrisy concerning sexual abuse

It would be a serious mistake to think that the regime is genuinely concerned about preventing sexual violence and the sexual abuse of children.

The late ruler of Iran, Grand Ayatollah Khomeini, treated lightly the subject of sex with young girls. He said:

"A man can marry a girl younger than nine years of age, even if the girl is still a baby being breastfed. A man, however, is prohibited from having intercourse with a girl younger than nine, other sexual act such as for[e]play, rubbing, kissing and sodomy is allowed. A man having intercourse with a girl younger than nine years of age has not co[m]mitted a crime, but only an infraction, if the girl is not permanently damaged. If the girl, however, is permanently damaged, the man must provide for her all her life.” [35] Khomeini himself married his wife, Batul, in 1930 when she was aged ten and he was 28 [36]

Rape of both males and females is not uncommon among those held in custody. Women and girls on death row are often raped by prison guards the night before the execution to ensure they are not virgins and do not go to paradise. [37] Sometimes the Mullahs join in with the prison guards. [38]

Amnesty International has evidence that prisoners are subjected to “various forms of sexual abuse, including rape of both men and women prisoners. Many former prisoners interviewed by Amnesty International became so distressed when asked about sexual abuse that they broke down and could not describe their experiences.” [39]

Hypocritically, the regime tacitly sanctions this sexual violation of prisoners. It is a known method of torture, used by the regime to break the will of detainees and to get them to make confessions to crimes, both real and imaginary.

It should not, of course, be suggested that such sexual abuse is unique to Iran or unknown in the supposedly “civilized” West. A gay asylum seeker aged 17, who had fled to Britain in 2002, was repeatedly subjected to sexual assaults by staff at a UK asylum reception centre. [40] This resulted in serious mental trauma.

People of low social status in any country can be abused in this way because the authorities know they won't be deemed to be credible complainants. Just as LGBT people are considered worthless by the regime in Iran, so are asylum seekers in the UK, especially gay asylum seekers. The Home Office views them with suspicion and contempt. Most are refused refugee status.

Another unofficially tolerated form of Lavaat (sodomy) occurs in religious colleges. Iranians tell me that young trainee mullahs will often have sex with each other in such places, with impunity. The rules of Islam are apparently for others, not themselves. It is not just the Anglican and Catholic churches that are full of sexual hypocrisy.

On this evidence, many of Iran's Islamic judges, the Qazis, who pronounce sentences of death on sodomites, are likely to have engaged in same-sex relations.

They order the whipping and hanging of men and teenage boys for acts they have probably done themselves when younger. They are not much different in this respect from skinhead and other ‘queer bashers' who attack obvious ‘queers' while having guilt-ridden sex within their own peer group.

Conclusion: The Islamic Republic of Iran is qualitatively more homophobic than almost any other state on earth. Its government-promoted and religious-sanctioned torture and execution of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people marks out Iran as a state acting in defiance of all agreed international human rights conventions.

REFERENCES

[1] Peter Tatchell in Gay Times October 1995

[2] Johann Hari in Attitude 20th May 2004
http://www.johannhari.com/archive/article.php?id=395

[3] Amir Taheri 1985 p263

[4] Letter to Outrage! 04th August 2005

[5] E-mail from Iran to Outrage! 05th August 2005

[6] Letter to Outrage! 4th August 2005

[7] Evidence of Ewen Macmillan in asylum appeal of ‘X' 10th June 2004

[8] Evidence of Ewen Macmillan in asylum appeal of ‘X' 10th June 2004 p18

[9] Evidence of Ewen Macmillan in asylum appeal of ‘X' 10th June 2004

[10] Evidence of Ewen Macmillan in asylum appeal of ‘X' 10th June 2004

[11] Evidence of Ewen Macmillan in asylum appeal of ‘X' 10th June 2004 & personal communication

[12] Letter to Pink Paper 1st September 2005

[13] RM and BB (Homosexuals) Iran CG [2005] UKIAT 00117 p13
http://www.ait.gov.uk/judgmentsfiles/j1766/00117_ukiat_2005_rm_bb_iran_cg.doc

[14] RM and BB (Homosexuals) Iran CG [2005] UKIAT 00117 p13

[15] Ettemaad 1383/12/25 (15th March 2005) [7th article in link]
http://www.etemaad.com/aspClinets/view_news.asp?id=125&Val=?????

[16] Ettemaad 1383/12/25 (15th March 2005)

[17] Doug Ireland in Gay City News, 22nd September 2005

[18] Dr. Hamiz 2004 & Saleha Darani
http://www.geocities.com/richard.clark32@btinternet.com/iranfem.html

[19] Simon Forbes – Place of Martyrdom, April 2006 p3

[20] Dr. Hamiz 2004 & Saleha Darani

[21] Kayhan 1384/08/22 (13th November 2005) translated with input from Bahram Soroush and Hadi Ghaemi

[22] E-mail from Payam Shirazi to Simon Forbes, 22nd January 2006

[23] Iran Focus 13th November 2005
http://www.iranfocus.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=4403

[24] Human Rights News, 22nd November 2005
http://hrw.org/english/docs/2005/11/21/iran12072.htm

[25] Amnesty International - AI Index: MDE 13/010/2006, 16th February 2006 http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE130102006?open&of=ENG-2MD

[26] Letter by Rita Verdonk 5403360/06/DVB, 28th February 2006 p2/5

[27] IGLHRC Press Release 16th November 2005
http://www.iglhrc.org/site/iglhrc/section.php?id=5&detail=595

[28] Iran Newspaper 1384/08/30 (21st November 2005)
http://www.iran-newspaper.com/1384/840830/html/casual.htm#s546039

[29] Kayhan 1383/10/12 (1st January 2005)
http://www.kayhannews.ir/831012/15.htm

[30] Planet Out 14th July 2000; Reuters 01st January 2002; Washington Blade 11th January 2002
http://www.sodomylaws.org/world/saudi_arabia/saudinews17.htm
http://www.sodomylaws.org/world/saudi_arabia/saudinews07.htm

[31] ISNA Markazi 1384/05/25 (15th August 2005)
http://markazi.isna.ir/mainnews.php?ID=News-870

ISNA Markazi 1384/06/01(22nd August 2005)
http://markazi.isna.ir/mainnews.php?ID=News-962

[32] Samii letter in Michael Petrelis blog 29th August 2005
http://mpetrelis.blogspot.com/2005_08_01_mpetrelis_archive.html

[33] Michael Petrelis blog 15th August 2005

[34] Michael Petrelis blog 15th August 2005

[35] Khomeini trans Parvin Darabi
http://www.homa.org/Details.asp?ContentID=2137352748

[36] Amir Taheri 1985 pp 89-90

[37] Dr. Hamiz 2004 & Saleha Darani
http://www.geocities.com/richard.clark32@btinternet.com/iranfem.html

[38] Doug Ireland 18th August 2005
http://www.gaycitynews.com/gcn_433/twomoreexecutionsplanned.html

[39] Iran: Briefing (1987, page 10) in Evidence of Ewen Macmillan in asylum appeal of ‘X' 10th June 2004 p24

[40] HS (Homosexuals: Minors, Risk on Return) Iran [2005] UKAIT 00120, page 12
http://www.ait.gov.uk/judgmentsfiles/j1782/00120_ukait_2005_hs_iran.doc
Stonewall was a riot.

Feral

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Re: Iran
« Reply #4 on: Thu, Apr 27, 2006, 19:10 »

The discussion resembles the debates about the story of hanging the two Iranian youth: all mainstream media were doubting the truthfullness of the reports. Similiar to the first-hand-witnes of the Shoah survivors, the truth is sometimes too horrible to be easily believed - although people sould know better.

Yes--they really should know better.

In my limited dealings with str8 people, I am perpetually amazed at how very isolated they are in their arrogance. News that is common knowledge among gay people comes as a complete surprise to str8 people (when they bother to learn of it at all.) And then they routinely use their own ignorance as evidence to support the notion that there is no discrimination, there is no oppression, and never has been.

As horrible as the truth occasionally is, is it really too horrible to be believed? And if it IS so horrible, how is it that the str8 people manage to perpetrate such horrors year after year after year?
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Re: Iran
« Reply #3 on: Thu, Apr 27, 2006, 09:26 »

Thanks, Ron.

Peter Tatchell has also contributed a short article to Guardian. Amazingly, the article is highly controversially discussed - some people are accusing Mr. Tatchell being a pro-war this and that. Whereas it is clear that Mr. Tatchell is treating the issue of the persecuted Ahwazi Arab minority mostly because he is (rightfully) targeting the Teheran regime, the facts seem to be confirmed by the UNCHR and AI. The discussion resembles the debates about the story of hanging the two Iranian youth: all mainstream media were doubting the truthfullness of the reports. Similiar to the first-hand-witnes of the Shoah survivors, the truth is sometimes too horrible to be easily believed - although people sould know better.
"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right!" Salvor Hardin

Feral

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Re: Iran
« Reply #2 on: Thu, Apr 27, 2006, 07:09 »

IRAN HACKS WEB SITES TO BURY ANTI-GAY POGROM

Doug Ireland's report is much longer than these excerpts, and is worth reading.

Quote
Websites of gay Iranian organizations and of groups that support and advocate for gay Iranians were sabotaged and driven off-line last week by hackers for the Tehran regime, and are still off-line. The goal of the hack attack was to bury news of, and stifle protest about, the Islamic Republic of Iran's massive anti-gay pogrom. Among those sites shut down is the multilingual website of the Persian Gay and Lesbian Organization -- PGLO, Iran’s largest gay group, with 29,000  people on its e-mail list and secretariats in four countries. The PGLO website has sections in Persian, English, French, and German, and contains a raft of documentation of the horrors the Islamic Republic of Iran is perpetrating against its gay citizens, including photos of its torture victims and their wounds. The website also includes access to a monthly gay magazine in Persian, Cheragh, and Persian-language streaming radio web-casts aimed at Iranian gays.

Quote
Also sabotaged at the beginning of last week and driven off-line was the website of the militant British gay rights group OutRage, which has been prominent in mobilizing global protest against Iran’s reign of terror against gay people -- and which had just announced that it was about to release an important new report on Iran’s lethal anti-gay pogrom. This carefully documented and footnoted report, written for OutRage by Simon Forbes after a nine-month investigation, is based on public and press reports, official documents, interviews, and translations from the Persian; the reporting of Gay City News on the repression of gays in Iran is cited at several points in the report.

Quote
WEDNESDAY NIGHT 11:00 PM EST-- PGLO WEBSITE BACK ON-LINE I have just received word that the PGLO has succeeded in getting its website back on-line, but at a new Internet address, at http://www.pglo.net/ ; at this hour, however, the OutRage website is still down.

Quote
To get around the hack attack, the first part of the OutRage report on Iran has been posted on the  personal website of OutRage founder Peter Tatchell.

This is the same report that was referenced in my earlier post. Those who go to Doug Ireland's site should be advised that there is a new picture of Mahmoud and Ayaz, the two boys who were hung for homosexuality in Iran. They are clearly swinging from their ropes. While some might prefer to avoid such images, I think they are an important reminder of just what "all of this" is about.

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Feral

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Iran
« Reply #1 on: Sun, Apr 23, 2006, 08:47 »

While the ongoing situation for gays in Iran is hardly new, a British report aimed at changing the UK's policies on refugees from Iran is.

Gay lynching continuing in Iran, report claims


Quote
The Iranian government is executing gay and bisexual men under the cover of rape and kidnapping charges, according to a major new investigation by Simon Forbes of the UK-based gay and lesbian human rights group OutRage!

Mr Forbes’s nine-month investigation, published this week by OutRage!, is based on information gathered from sources inside Iran.

His research reveals lynching by Iran's security forces, and 'honour killings' by families in the south western province of Khuzestan, secret hangings in prison, internet entrapment of gay Iranians using foreign-based online gay dating agencies, and a pattern of framing gay people on charges of kidnap, rape and paedophilia.



Stonewall was a riot.
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