August 3, 2016 at 10:45 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Report: Iranian man convicted of sodomy executed

Iran, gay news, Washington Blade

Amnesty International says Iranian authorities have executed a 19-year-old man who was convicted of sodomy in 2015. (Image public domain)

An international human rights organization on Wednesday said that Iranian authorities have executed a man who was convicted of sodomy.

Amnesty International said Hassan Afshar, 19, was hanged in a prison southwest of the Iranian capital of Tehran on July 18.

The organization’s press release says authorities arrested Afshar in late 2014 after receiving a complaint that he and two others raped a teenage boy.

Afshar, who was a 17-year-old high school student when he was arrested, was convicted of what Amnesty International described as “forced male to male anal intercourse” in 2015. The organization said that Iranian officials executed Afshar, even though they told his family that they would review his case next month.

“He had no access to a lawyer and the judiciary rushed through the investigation and prosecution, convicting and sentencing him to death within two months of his arrest as though they could not execute him quickly enough,” said Amnesty International Deputy Middle East and North Africa Program Director Magdalena Mughrabi in the press release.

Iran is among the handful of countries in which homosexuality remains punishable by death.

The Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees, a Toronto-based organization that helps Iranians who have fled their homeland because of anti-LGBT seek asylum in Canada and other countries, said Afshar’s execution took place nearly 11 years to the day before authorities hanged Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni in a square in the city of Mashhad.

A court convicted the two teenagers of raping a 13-year-old boy. Arsham Parsi, founder of the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees who grew up in the city of Shiraz and has lived in Canada since 2006, told the Washington Blade in a previous interview that authorities executed Asgari and Marhoni because of their homosexuality.

“We strongly condemn these inhuman and unfair punishments,” said the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees on Tuesday after Amnesty International reported Afshar’s execution. “We believe there are many more LGBT Iranians who are on death row and most of them like Hassan are not even aware of their execution.”

Log Cabin Republicans President Gregory T. Angelo in on Wednesday blasted Iran over Afshar’s reported execution. He also criticized the White House — and Secretary of State John Kerry and Hillary Clinton specifically — over the deal the U.S. and five other countries reached with the Iranian government over its nuclear program last July.

“This goes beyond mere human rights abuses; this is genocide against the gay community in Iran,” Angelo told the Blade in a statement, referring to Afshar’s reported execution. “It is simply unconscionable that the targeting of gays for government-sanctioned death was not even on the table when Secretary Clinton, Secretary Kerry, and the Obama administration cobbled together their disastrous nuclear deal with Iran.”

“Log Cabin Republicans remains opposed to the ‘Iran Deal,’ and send our condolences to the families grieving their loved ones eradicated by a hateful state,” added Angelo.

News of Afshar’s execution broke on the same day that reports emerged the Obama administration gave $400 million to the Iranian government in January. The reports indicate an airplane with the money landed in Tehran on the same day the Iranian government released Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and four other Americans who had been imprisoned in the country were released.

State Department spokesperson Mark Toner on Thursday condemned Afshar’s reported execution.

“We have seen reports that he was executed in Iran on July 18 without access to lawyers or other fair trial guarantees to which he was entitled under Iranian law and international obligations,” said Toner in a statement the State Department sent to the Blade. “This execution is contrary to Iran’s international obligations as State Party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which prohibit execution of individuals for crimes, committed my persons below eighteen years of age. There are serious concerns with the fairness of the trial and the circumstances surrounding this case.”

“We remain deeply concerned about reports of serious violations of Iran’s international obligations in it use of the death penalty, including continued reports of executions of individuals for crimes committed as juveniles, or for crimes that do not meet requirement that it be imposed only for of the most serious crimes, as well as denial of procedural safeguards and fair trial guarantees within Iran’s court system,”added Toner. “We join our voice with those who call on Iran to respect its international obligations to respect and ensure to all persons in Iran the human rights to which they are entitled under Iran’s own laws and its international obligations and commitments.”

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

  • I swear, if I hear one more LGBT person talking about how islam is the “religion of peace”, I dunno what I’m going to do or say to him.

  • And Obama is proud of his achievements dealing with these savages?

  • We should not be surprised about this and until the Clerics are either overthrown by their own people or and preferably voted out of office we cannot expect much change to their ignoramus views .
    I have still not gotten over the horrors of the two teenage boys they executed simply because they said that they loved each other.
    It was not that long ago that the President of Iran proudly proclaimed that Iran had no gay people in it (probably because he had most of them murdered by the State) and that being gay was a disease of western culture.

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