Archive for the ‘Execution’ Category
EveryOne Group, together with the Non Violent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty and Nessuno Tocchi Caino association, is making an urgent appeal to the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, the Italian Foreign Office and the Dutch authorities to stop the 19 y.o. iranan homosexual Mehdi Kazemi being handed over to the British authorities who, according to a bureaucratic procedure that is difficult to modify, would immediately expel him to Iran, where he would be put to death for his homosexuality. In Iran in 2006, Mehdi’s former partner, Parham, was executed after being tortured, and after revealing the names of the boys he had had sexual relations with.
“We are asking for the application of the European Parliament Directive 2004/83/CE on the recognition of refugee status for people in need of international protection, which must be applied by all the Member States of the European Union” said Roberto Malini, Matteo Pegoraro and Dario Picciau, the leaders of EveryOne Group. “We’re also going to ask today for a urgent appointment with the Dutch Embassador in Italy, together with the Radical Party and Nessuno Tocchi Caino, to ask him to put pressures on the Dutch Government, so that Mehdi can stay in The Netherlands and obtain his refugee status and the asylum as soon as possibile”.
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ROME, February 12 – An urgent meeting with Abolfazl Zohrevand, the Iranian Ambassador to Italy to discuss the case of the two young men sentenced to death in Iran for being homosexual. This is the request EveryOne Group has forwarded in a letter to the Iranian diplomat. An initiative shared by the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty together with the Nessuno Tocchi Caino (Hands off Cain) association.
In a note by the Radicals we read, “the international mobilization to save the lives of the two boys sentenced to death in Iran for being homosexual continues. In just a few days over 12,500 people have signed the petition (www.petitiononline.com/irangay) addressed to the Iranian authorities in an attempt to save the lives of Hamzeh Chavi and Loghman Hamzehpour. The two boys, aged 18 and 19, were arrested at Sardasht, in Iranian Azerbaijan, last January 23rd, and accused of “mohareb” (being enemies of Allah) and “lavat” (sodomy). After confessing, under torture, to being in love, the boys now risk capital punishment.
The Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty, along with Nessuno Tocchi Cainom, has subscribed to the initiative begun by EveryOne who have sent a letter to Abolfazi Zohrevand, the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Italy, requesting an urgent meeting to discuss the case of the two young man, a case that has caused an outcry throughout the world and serious preoccupation about the violation of human rights taking place in the country.”
“The European Parliament (after a resolution put forward by the People’s Party, Socialists, Liberal Democrats and the moderate Right (UEN) and approved on January 31st ) has taken up the request to intervene presented by EveryOne Group in the petition www.petitiononline.com/irangay : a clear condemnation of the executions, repression, ethnic and religious discrimination being carried out in Iran, “particularly since the presidential elections of June 2005 “Without progress in these areas”, warns the European Parliament – that expressed ‘deep concern’ – “it will not be possible to reach an agreement of cooperation with the European Union”. The EU Parliament asked the Iranian authorities to honour their international obligations in this matter, by guaranteeing all citizens their civil rights and political freedom, and stopping capital punishment, torture and executions – particularly those carried out against minors. On January 30th we received news that the Minister of Justice in Iran, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi (the EveryOne petition is also addressed to him) established through a decree that executions in Iran will no longer be carried out in public. The decree also foresees a ban on the publication of photos and the broadcasting of scenes of the executions. This is a clear symptom of the embarrassment the Iranian Government is feeling in the face of the indignation aroused in the international community, but it is also the demonstration that the majority of Iranians are against the horrors of capital punishment and stoning, and that only a few extremists consider torture and flogging admissible methods.
On February 4th, EveryOne submitted a request to Javier Solana, the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, asking for Europe to take a further courageous step and ask Amadhinejad for Hamzeh and Loghman’s release. The Italian PSE (PES – Party of European Socialists) delegation http://www.delegazionepse.it) has officially supported the request with an intervention from the European MP, Donata Gottardi, which we are publishing here.
Intervention by Donata Gottardi, European PES MP.
Yesterday EveryOne Group launched an appeal to Mr Javier Solana, the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, to ask the Iranian President Amadhinejad for the immediate release of Hamzeh Chavi and Loghman Hamzehpour, the two young men of 18 and 19 arrested last January 23rd in Sardasht, Iranian Azerbaijan, and accused of “mohareb” (enemies of Allah) and “lavat” (sodomy), crimes punishable by hanging.
“We appreciated the report that Mr Solana presented to the European Parliament a few days ago on relations with Iran. As in the resolution we approved we firmly condemned the death sentences and executions, I ask Mr Solana to support EveryOne’s request, and ask the Iranian President to release the two boys.”
“If the Iranian President grants this request, Iran will give a fine signal of wishing to communicate with Europe and respect the resolution adopted by the United Nations for a moratorium on all executions. Sparing the lives of Hamzeh and Loghman could be the first step for doing away with all forms of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment that a country like Iran does not deserve to see as part of its legal system.”
Press Office – Andrea Ambrogetti
Italian Delegation – Pse (Pes) Group – European Parliament
tel 0032 2 284 2813
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Iran: Two young men to be thrown off cliff (punishment reserved to homosexuals)
Iran-Resist : The last flight of Tayab and Yazdan
2 january 08
“According to the daily Quds, two youths will be thrown into a precipice in the vicinity of the city of Shiraz. The sentencing of the two youths was confirmed on January 2 by the Supreme Court and the Regional Justice is preparing the execution.
Tayab and Yazdan will be enclosed in a bag before being thrown into the ravine at the top of a cliff. This unimaginable penalty is reserved for homosexuals according to the laws “full of love and light” of the Shariah. According to the Shariah, if both men survive this fall, they will be hanged…”
By 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
(Baghdad) The Iraq government is considering the release of some 5,000 prisoners but a spokesperson said it would not include terrorists or homosexuals.
The Iraqi government has about 20,000 people in custody, while the U.S. military holds about 25,000.
Homosexuality itself is not illegal in Iraq, but police regularly arrest gays on other charges often trumped up.
The amnesty bill drafted by the Shiite-dominated government falls far short of Sunni demands. About the only thing on which the two sides agree is that imprisoned gays not be freed.
The amnesty would cover less than a quarter of the total number of people held in Iraqi prisons, and none of those held by the American military.
Sunni parliamentarians have criticized the bill for its limited scope. They have argued that most prisoners are charged with terrorist crimes, rendering it ineffective. Some also fear referring the bill to Iraq’s gridlocked parliament will actually delay prisoner releases.
The total number of gays being held is not known. And, they may be the lucky ones, according to some LGBT activists.
Death squads imposing strict Islamic law are reportedly responsible for the murders of hundreds of gay men across Iraq.
Last year the leader of an exiled Iraqi LGBT rights group told a London conference on homophobia that that militias blamed for the murders of hundreds of gay men and women are sanctioned by the government and the US-led coalition is doing little to stop the killings. (story)
Ali Hili said that the Badr and Sadr militias – the armed wings of the two main Shia parties that control the government of Iraq – are routinely rounding up men and women, primarily in Baghdad, suspected of being gay. The men and women are never heard from again.
Five members of Hili’s own group were taken away in November of 2006. About a dozen members of Rainbow For Life, another Iraqi LGBT group also have been seized and are presumed dead.
Another 70 have been threatened with kidnapping Rainbow For Life has said.
In 2006 the Iraq government strongly criticized a U.N. report on human rights that put its civilian death toll in 2006 at 34,452, saying it is “superficial” because it included people such as homosexuals.
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What does it mean when your very existence is criminalized? When you can be sentenced to death or prison just for being yourself? When stepping outside your house makes you a target for violence or for being picked up by police? While these scenarios might initially seem to be the stuff of Kafkaesque fantasy, in many parts of the world they constitute the daily reality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people—a reality that is brutal and relentless—and worthy of attention on this International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2007.
Many of us responded with disbelief last September when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed that there were no gay people in his country. But the Iranian President’s words betray a twisted truth. While there are plenty of LGBT Iranians, there is no public, visible gay presence in Iran. Because the penalty for same-sex conduct between men in Iran is death, gay life in Iran remains hidden, under threat of extermination. The execution just last week of Makvan Mouloodzadeh, a 21-year-old Iranian man accused of having sex with other young boys when he was 13 years old makes this point excruciatingly clear.
In other words, when your existence is criminalized, your human rights are compromised. Your rights to life, liberty and security of the person are eviscerated. Your privacy is a chimera. You don’t count.
And of course, this doesn’t just happen in Iran. More than 75 countries worldwide—from Afganistan to Zimbabwe, and from Sri Lanka to the Solomon Islands—still criminalize consensual same-sex relationships. Many of these laws are vestiges of colonial attempts to “civilize the savages.” In all countries, these laws are strictly oppositional to modern standards of human rights and respect for individual choice with regard to family, sexuality and relationships.
In Nigeria, homosexual acts can be punished by 14 years of imprisonment. And the situation for LGBT people in that country is grim. An activist living in northwest Nigeria says that she has “worked on a case of a transgender person who was picked up by police simply for being transgender… [and] helped a girl who was perceived by the community to be gay. She was beaten, raped and left unconscious.” In Nigeria, being gay means contending with a stark choice: hide who you are or become a target for violence and abuse.
Cameroon is another country where LGBT individuals experience consistent and severe human rights violations. Here more than 13 people have recently been detained under an article of the penal code that prohibits consensual same-sex sexual relationships between adults. On International Human Rights Day, various human rights organizations will stage demonstrations outside Cameroonian embassies in Paris, Pretoria and Washington, D.C., to protest that country’s treatment of LGBT citizens and those who stand in solidarity with them.
When your existence is criminalized, it is important that others stand in solidarity with you—both to protest injustice and to fight for a better world, one where people are treated with dignity, not distain.
International Human Rights Day marks the day in 1948 that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This central global human rights principle states that, “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” This year, International Human Rights Day also marks the start of Dignity and Justice for All, a yearlong United Nations campaign designed to emphasize the universality of human rights—a universality that has often felt lacking to LGBT communities.
Dignity and respect for LGBT people must start with each country abolishing laws that criminalize consensual relations between two men or two women. Without freedom from criminalization, all other freedoms for LGBT people are compromised. We must call on each nation to show their belief in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by repealing laws that are so clearly an affront to dignity and respect.
Iran: Young Man Executed for Alleged Sex Crime
For Immediate Release
Contact: Hossein Alizadeh, IGLHRC Communications Coordinator, 212-430-6016
(New York, Wednesday December 5, 2007) – The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has learned today that despite an order by the Iranian Chief Justice to nullify his death sentence, Mr. Makvan Mouloodzadeh was executed in Kermanshah Central Prison at 5 a.m. this morning, Iranian time. Neither Mr. Mouloodzadeh’s family or his lawyer were told about the execution until after it occurred. IGLHRC is still investigating the facts in this case.
“This is a shameful and outrageous travesty of justice and international human rights law,” said Paula Ettelbrick, IGLHRC’s executive director. “How many more young Iranians have to die before the international community takes action?”
Mr. Mouloodzadeh was a 21-year-old Iranian citizen who was accused of committing anal rape (ighab) with other young boys when he was 13 years old. However, at Mr. Mouloodzadeh’s trial, all the witnesses retracted their pre-trial testimonies, claiming to have lied to the authorities under duress. Makvan also told the court that his confession was made under coercion and pleaded not guilty. On June 7, 2007, the Seventh District Criminal Court of Kermanshah in Western Iran found him guilty and sentenced him to death. Despite his lawyer’s appeal, the Supreme Court upheld his death sentence on August 1, 2007. The case caused an international uproar, and prompted a letter writing campaign by IGLHRC and similar actions by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Outrage! and Everyone Group.
In response to mounting public pressure, and following a detailed petition submitted to the Iranian Chief Justice by Mr. Mouloodzadeh’s lawyer, the Iranian Chief Justice, Ayatollah Seyed Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi, nullified the impending death sentence of Mr. Mouloodzadeh. In his November 10, 2007 opinion (1/86/8607), the Iranian Chief Justice described the death sentence to be in violation of Islamic teachings, the religious decrees of high-ranking Shiite clerics, and the law of the land.
In accordance with Iranian legal procedure, Mr. Mouloodzadeh’s case was sent to the Special Supervision Bureau of the Iranian Justice Department, a designated group of judges who are responsible for reviewing and ordering retrials of flawed cases flagged by the Iranian Chief Justice. However, in defiance of the Chief Justice, the judges decided to ratify the original court’s ruling and ordered the local authorities to carry out the execution.
Mr. Mouloodzadeh’s execution came days after a panel at the UN General Assembly passed a resolution calling for a moratorium on the death penalty.
You can read IGLHRC’s action alert on our website:
Our Letter to the Iranian authorities is also posted on our website in both English and Persian:
Iran: State Murder For Sex at 13
The Tragic Case of Makwan Moloudzadeh by Doug Ireland
IRQO: Abolish Capital Punishment in Iran – Stop execution of Makwan Moloudzadeh
(Toronto – October 30, 2007) Makwan Moloudzadeh, a 21 year old Iranian now faces the threat of execution. His crime is his sexuality, which is illegal under the Law of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Many have been executed for sexual crimes such as extramarital and homosexual sex acts. Due to the legal processes and procedures of the Judicial system of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its complete lack of transparency, it is extremely difficult to access the documents, witnesses, testimonies, and other facts pertinent to the files of those accused, as a result of which it is almost impossible to verify the confessions, complaints, evidence, and verdicts.
In recent years numerous individuals have been executed because of their sexual and private relations in Mashhad, Gorgan, Arak, Kermanshah, and Tehran, many of whom were under the legal age. Despite the current circumstances under which the Iranian Queer Organization, due to inaccessibility of evidence and testimonies regarding these cases, cannot prove homosexuality of those executed beyond a doubt, we believe that the true crime in these executions was sexual relationship (which is not confirmed by the Iranian government). The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran punishes those with different sexual orientation and sexual relations by death.
According to the Penal Code of the Islamic Republic, four witnesses are required in order to prove the perpetration of lavat (sodomy) which is punishable by death. Western states reject asylum claims of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Iranians due to their assumption that it is almost impossible to have four witnesses. The truth is that when private spaces of LGBT Iranians are raided by the police, there are four clerics and video cameras already present. Moreover, a judge can use his own knowledge to rule on a case regarding lavat; the alleged perpetrators may confess to lavat under torture; and medical examinations can prove whether an individual has had anal penetration.
In Makwan Moloudzadeh case, the judge has ruled based on his own knowledge that Makwan Moloudzadeh had committed lavat in accordance with article 120 of the Iranian Penal Code. This is despite the fact that even internal rulings of Iranian authorities, including the fatwa of Ayatollah Sane’i and other clerics who are source of emulation state that a judge’s knowledge cannot be used as a basis to prove crimes punishable by hadd usually capital punishment. Through carrying out such executions, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran not only violates the most basic international human rights standards, it also undermines the rulings and fatwas of Islamic clerics and sources of emulation who are recognized by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The Iranian Queer Organization demands the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to abolish death penalty and punish the accused and perpetrators according to minimum international human rights standards.
“The following comes from a fellow in the U.K. whom I’ve been trying modestly to assist in fighting the deportation of his Iranian partner, who has repeatedly been denied asylum in the U.K. as a sexual refugee from persecution.”
Comment: Stop deporting gay refugees back to Iran, Pink News, 22nd October 2007, Omar Kuddus
Detention centres stand as monuments to Britain’s attitude to human rights, incarcerating behind razor wire, asylum seekers awaiting deportation. They are the last stop for those who have failed to make a successful asylum claim, a key tool in the British governments attempt to “manage migration” and hold an average 25,000 immigrants every year.
Tony McNulty stated “removing those who have no right to remain in the UK is an integral part of our balanced approach to asylum and immigration, helping us to cut abuse of the system and ensure an effective end-to-end process.”
Much of the debate around immigration to the UK focuses on the legitimacy of Asylum claims. In order for campaigners aiming to prevent the deportation of specific individuals to stand any chance of victory, they have to focus on the individual’s legitimate claim to refugee status, and can be effective for securing a future by razing public questioning about the draconian nature of the immigration policy.
It is time to recognize that the global system of population control creates and maintains injustices and inequalities.
Sexual minorities in the UK have every right to exercise and celebrate their own hard won rights; however the time has still not come to take things for granted, despite the government passing the Sexual Orientation Regulations, which guaranteed sexual minorities protection against discrimination on the grounds of their sexuality.
The stance of Britain on homosexuals seeking asylum on the grounds of their sexual orientation is worrying. Arguably Britain should exercise caution when letting people into the country, but also should be reasonable.
One has to ask, would you want to send a gay Iranian back to Iran, only for him to face public execution? For just being gay!
Human sexuality is as much a fundamental right as the right to free speech or the right to freedom and no one, least of all a government, elected by the people, has the right to interfere with that right.
Most Judges are dismissing homosexual’s claims to asylum and destroying their credibility, with all the evidence confirming that they are being used as a soft target (to bring down the asylum figures). Peter Tatchell recently stated “it is designed to fail as many applicants as possible in order to meet government targets to cut asylum numbers”. Homosexuality does not form a social group within the 1951, United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the Home Office systematically refuse asylum on the grounds that it does not recognize homophobic persecution as a legitimate and valid ground for asylum (under the 1952 Refugee Convention).
The Home Offices recent refusal of 35 year old gay Iranian, Saeed Faraji, on the grounds that he could not prove that homosexuals are subjected to “torture, inhumane or degrading treatment” in Iran, despite his sworn statement, further establishes this.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has denied that any homosexuals live in his country (to an audience at Columbia University in New York).
“In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country,” he said. “In Iran we do not have this phenomenon; I don’t know who has told you that we have it.”
This is despite according to Iranian human rights campaigners Iran has executed an estimated 4000 gay men since the Ayatollahs came to power in 1979. According to the gay rights group Outrage! ”the Islamic Republic of Iran is qualitatively more homophobic than 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”
The Islamic Sharia law followed in Iran makes gay sex illegal with penalty of death, for offenders as young as 14 years old.
The BIA (Home Office Border and Immigration Agency) is choosing to send people back and just hope that things go well and that they are not executed. This pheromone is extremely worrying as they are willing to ignore the advice of the Human rights watch and signs of danger in Iran.
Several failed asylum seekers, been refused asylum (by the home Office) have committed suicide, rather than face the barbaric persecution, torture and punishment awaiting them in Iran, having publicly admitted their sexuality (to the home office).
The newly formed EHRC (Equality and Human Rights Commission) is about building a fairer, more confident and united Britain, and provide practical guidance including to individuals. (Its Chair, Trevor Philips, said” We will continue to support meritorious and significant individual cases” with Ben Summerskill (Chief Executive Stonewall and one of the 14 commissioners adding) “This is hugely important…because people will have a public body required to defend them for the very first time”. The challenge is to make it work.
Thus giving the gay community finally a voice, to ask for the end of deportation of gay asylum seekers, who do not have the luxury of being themselves as we do.
The home Offices refusal to accept failed asylum seekers can have a profound effect. I should know. The person I fell in love with and want to form a civil partnership with happens to fall within this category and despite being British myself I have for the past three years lived a life of uncertainty, despair and fear that he will be deported and returned back to Iran, where he is certain to face the gallows, along with myself as I have no intentions of being parted from him. Just for being gay.
Saudi protest over torture of gays – 7,000 lashes for ‘sodomy’ could kill
Demo at Saudi Embassy in London
London – 19 October 2007
Fifty people picketed the Saudi Arabian Embassy in London today, 19
October, in protest at the flogging and execution of gay people.
To download free use photos of the protest, click here:
On the 2 October, two young men in the Saudi Arabian city of Al-Bahah were convicted of ‘sodomy’ and sentenced to 7,000 lashes. In Saudi Arabia same-sex relations are illegal and the maximum penalty is death.
“7,000 lashes is a form of torture, calculated to cause maximum, prolonged suffering,” said protester Peter Tatchell of the gay human rights group OutRage!
“So many lashes can be fatal, depending on how many are delivered at any one time,” he said.
The London protest was organised by the National Union of Students (NUS) LGBT campaign, with the support of OutRage!
The protest came just over a week ahead of the State Visit to the UK of the Saudi tyrant, King Abdullah bin Abdul Azaz al Saud.
“As well as flogging and executing gay people, the Saudi leaders are guilty of detention without trial, torture and the public beheading women who have sex outside of marriage,” said Peter Tatchell.
“The Saudis import migrant workers to do menial tasks. They are treated like de facto slaves, frequently abused and with few rights. The media is heavily censored. Trade unions, political parties and non-Muslim religions are banned. The country is a theocratic police state.
“The British and US governments support the despotic, corrupt Saudi regime. Labour sells the Saudi leaders arms and honours them with state visits. It refuses asylum to gay Saudis who flee persecution and seek refuge in the UK,” he said.
“The Saudi leaders should be shunned until they stop their homophobic persecution and their many other human rights abuses,” said fellow OutRage! protester, Brett Lock.
“Next week’s State Visit by King Abdullah should be cancelled. Gordon Brown and The Queen should not be welcoming to Britain the head of a corrupt, tyrannical regime.
“We urge international solidarity to support the Saudi people’s struggle for democracy and human rights, in the same way that the world mobilised to support the struggle against apartheid in South Africa,” said Mr Lock.
This view was echoed by NUS protest organiser, Scott Cuthbertson:
“We call on individuals and groups, LGBT or otherwise, to protest against the continued criminalisation, imprisonment, torture and murder of LGBT people in Saudi Arabia,” he said.
“We handed in a letter of protest to the Saudi Ambassador, HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf, calling on his Government to respect the human rights of its own LGBT citizens. Please join us in the struggle for Love without Borders – LGBT rights around the world – and make your views known to the Saudi Ambassador,” he added.
“This year NUS LGBT Campaign is campaigning for ‘Love without Borders'”, said Claire Anderson, the NUS LGBT Officer and co-organiser of the protest.
“Around the world, LGBT people are persecuted, imprisoned and even murdered in state-sponsored homophobia. We live in a global community and no longer can we stand by while LGBT people are persecuted. Now is the time to use our freedom to fight for the rights of others across the globe. When abuses of human rights take place we must not be silent,” she said.
Contact phone number:
Claire Anderson NUS 07845 605152
Peter Tatchell OutRage! 020 7403 1790
Read also: Saudi Arabia: 7,000 Lashes for Sodomy