Tuesday, November 29, 2005

News (Iran): "Euro MP slams Iranian gay hangings" - Gay.com

http://uk.gay.com/headlines/9315

Euro MP slams Iranian gay hangings

GAY.COM

Tuesday 29 November, 2005

Pressure is growing on Iran, after reports of the hanging of more gay men.

MEP and gay activists Michael Cashman has written to Iran’s President to protest the killing of two men earlier this month.

Mokhtar N and Ali A were publicly hung for the “crime” of being gay, according to reports in the Iranian Daily Kayhan newspaper.

Their deaths follow the killing of two teenagers this summer, who were accused of having sex with each other.

Theses earlier hangings sparked international protests, with campaigners urging Iran to drop its anti-gay stance.

“It is hard to believe that in the 21st century, authorities can sanction the public murder of people for being gay. I totally and utterly condemn these terrible actions and I call upon President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to put a stop to these murderous practices,” Cashman said today.

The Labour MEP’s letter to President Ahmadinejad said the killings were “barbaric”.

“This inhumane and barbaric treatment of two consenting adults consists of a gross violation of their fundamental rights as recognised in International treaties,” Cashman wrote.

“Amongst many others these rights which have been violated include the right to life, the right to a private life, the right to a fair trial, and the right to non-discrimination.”

His comments were echoed by civil rights campaigners Human Rights Watch, which said the killing of gay men is an “outrage”.

“The Iranian government’s persecution of gay men flouts international human rights standards,” said Jessica Stern, researcher with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program at HRW.

“These abuses have created an atmosphere of terror for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people throughout Iran,” said Stern. “But arrest, torture and execution are not limited to gays and lesbians.”

However, she warned that arrests and punishments were not limited to gay people.

“Any group of people deemed ‘immoral’ becomes subject to state-sanctioned persecution and even murder,” Stern said.

The public execution of two teenagers earlier this year caused widespread protests across the UK and Europe.

The case was given a high profile after photos of the hangings were circulated on the internet, sparking support for the campaign to rid Iran of its anti-gay laws from a range of celebrities and LGBT people.

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