I bought The Independent today (nothing unusual about that) and this was the front page story.
According to the Home Office there is not a systematic repression of gay men and lesbians. When I read this in the paper this afternoon I had to laugh. If Iran is not an example of a country where there is a systematic repression of gay men and lesbians then, what exactly is? Is it not enough that the country’s president openly declares there are no homosexuals in Iran and that the Criminal Law punishes acts of homosexuality with death by hanging (although it’s more like death by strangulation?)
Over the past couple of years there have been some rather high profile cases from within Iran where people have been hanged for Sodomy. In November 2005 two men were publicly hanged in the northern town of Gorgan for homosexual acts and two youths were hanged for homosexuality in north-eastern Iran in June 2006. In December came the most controversial case. This was the execution of a 20 year old Kurdish Iranian who allegedly raped three boys when he was 13 years old. Iran still hanged him despite the ordering of a Judicial Review, his accusers withdrawing their statements (according to Human Rights Watch) and Mr Mouladzadeh had also withdrawn his confession (which would almost certainly have been given under torture).
This country is getting worse every day. Once again, targets and statistics take precedence over humanity, decency and common sense!
Oh and just as a side note, the same guidelines that claim there is no systematic repression of gay men and lesbian sin Iran also state that gay activists who come to the attention of authorities should be granted asylum. Talk about contradictions and double standards!