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Eighty gay men arrested in Iran

Tue 15 May 2007 In: International News

Eighty members of the Iranian gay community have been arrested by the security personnel in Isfahan, Iranian Queer Organisation IRQO reports. “Close to 10 pm on May 10th, security forces raided Farhad's birthday party, brutally assaulted the host, his parents, and all the guests. Everyone at the party were arrested on the spot,” says the IRQO website. “Police used batons to beat those arrested before taking them into custody. Farhad's family who were present at the party have been also arrested. The first report put the number of those arrested at eighty; yet more recent reports have raised the number to eighty seven.” A guest named Peyman described the scene: “I went to buy a gift for Farhad and so I arrived late for the party. As soon as I turned in to their street, I saw police cars parked everywhere; all my friends were arrested while seven or eight policeman beat them with batons. Fearing the usual punishments for attending a party, two had jumped from the second-floor window and were in a bad condition. Farhad's family were also arrested. Everyone was transported into a big car and taken into custody. All their cell phones are off and we have no information about the situation inside the jail.” Another guest, Kia, reported: “Guests had come from Shiraz, Tehran, Shahin Shahr to Isfahan for Farhad's birthday. When they were coming out of the house followed by the police, their clothes were ripped, their faces and bodies were covered in blood. They were beaten up badly.” The next morning all those arrested were taken to court, and later to jail says IRQO. The court is not permitting the families of those arrested to visit their children, and is not accepting bail for their temporary release. Farzin said: “A few girls were among the guest and were also arrested but were released the next day. All the gay men and at the party are now in jail. I am extremely worried for their wellbeing and I fear that those of us who were not in the party, will be arrested next.” On Sunday May 13, IRQO received news that “the arrestees were under severe tortures and in bad conditions in the jail in Isfahan. Their lives are in danger. “We suspect that preventing family visits is partly due to the physical conditions and also part of their torture. We ask for prompt request for their release as any day might be too late. “Such arrests in the past had resulted in wider arrests and naming names, which has created disasters in the years before.” Homosexuality is a capital crime under Sharia, or Islamic, law in Iran. Some international gay rights groups believe that more than 4,000 lesbians and gay men have been executed since the Ayatollahs seized power in 1979.     Ref: IRQO, (m)

Credit: News Staff

First published: Tuesday, 15th May 2007 - 12:00pm

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