Iran executions: London protest

August 12, 2005

Protest against execution of teenagers in Iran - Photo Brett Lock. � 2005 OutRage! News Service
LONDON — One hundred people protested outside the Iranian Embassy in London today, 11 August 2005, coinciding with simultaneous US and European protests against Iran's tyrannical, homophobic, misogynistic and fundamentalist regime..

'We condemn the execution of two teenage boys in Iran on charges involving homosexual acts. One of them was a minor at the time of his execution; both were minors when they committed their offences. OutRage! urges an end to the death penalty. We express our solidarity with Iranians campaigning for democracy and human rights,' said protester Aaron Saeed, Muslim affairs spokesperson of the LGBT human rights group OutRage!, which coordinated today's demo.

'The London protest was one of five simultaneous international demonstrations. The others were in Dublin, San Francisco, Paris and Montpelier. These protests were against Iran's use of the death penalty and its persecution of lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

'Among the London protesters were members of LGBT, socialist and human rights groups, and Iranian left-wingers, exiles and asylum seekers; including an Iranian woman whose 16 year old brother was executed and his body dragged through the streets,' said Mr Saeed. Mahmoud Asgari (16) and Ayaz Marhoni (18) were hanged in Edalat (Justice) Square in the city of Mashhad, in north east Iran, on 19 July 2005.

'Some reports say the youths were hanged for gay sex. The Iranian government claims they were hanged for the rape of a 13 year old boy,' reports Ramzi Isalam of the LGBT human rights group OutRage!.

Fact: Iran executes lesbians and gays. The Iranian government has executed 4,000 homosexuals since 1979, according to estimates in the mid-1990s by the exiled Iranian gay rights group, Homan.

Fact: The Iranian government often pins false charges on the victims of its murderous policies in order to discredit them and discourage public protests.

'We are not prepared to give the violently homophobic Iranian government the benefit of the doubt. It has previously lied to justify public executions. In any case, the death penalty is a disproportionate punishment. It is barbaric and should be abolished,' added Mr Isalam. – OUTRAGE !

Related stories
Nobel Peace Laureate denounces Iranian executions of gay teenagers [29/07/2005]



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