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Homophobia, Torture and Execution in Iran

Tue 22 Apr 2008 In: Comment View at Wayback View at NDHA

These two men escaped Iran after their 'lashing' punishment for being homosexual I really must congratulate Australia's DNA magazine for Clive Simmons' Children of the Revolution, which deals with the horrific torture and execution of several Iranian teenagers. In case you haven't read this excellent piece of gay journalism, here's a summary. Fundamentalist Shia Islamism isn't gay affirmative. That said, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's conservative regime is even less likely to reform Iran's grim legislation that sees judicially sanctioned torture, flogging and execution, which has presided over the application of the death penalty to four thousand lesbian and gay Iranians. This worsened in 2004-2005. In DNA 99 (April 2008), Simmons has written a bone-chilling article about Iran's persecution, torture and capital punishment as applied to its lesbian and gay inhabitants. Rather like eighteenth century Britain, the Sepah Pasdaran (Revolutionary Guard) have a division entitled the "Office for Promotion of Virtue and Prohibition of Vice". In Shiraz, Foad Farjami was flogged, beaten and tortured twice, and the secret police tried to recruit him as a secret policeman. Rather than do so, Foad escaped to Tehran, got a bus ticket to Turkey, and was mercifully granted asylum in Canada, where he currently lives. Makwan Moaloodzadeh's case has attracted international condemnation. Simmons' article does not make it clear if Makwan was even gay or not. However, he was an Iranian Kurd, and questions must be raised about the existence of racism within Iranian criminal justice policies as a result. Makwan did not even have to engage in actual gay sex, for his malicious cousin Payman lied about Makwan and his brother Foad, alleging that Makwan had raped Payman. Thus, on the basis of hearsay and without any pretence of substantive evidence, Makwan was assaulted, brutally tortured, dragged behind a vehicle, given risible 'legal counsel' and then sentenced to death, despite even the intervention of Ayatollah Shahroudi, Iran's Chief Justice, who described the case as "against the principles of Islam." Despite this, Hatami, an official who presided over Makwan's torture and death, has not been brought to account for his barbaric activities. Mercifully, his brother Foad escaped, although he is now a fugitive. Since Makwan's execution, four other Iranian gay teenagers have either been tried and sentenced to death, or executed. Strongly Recommended: Clive Simmons: "Children of the Revolution" DNA 99 (April 2008): 50-54. Craig Young - 22nd April 2008    

Credit: Craig Young

First published: Tuesday, 22nd April 2008 - 7:32pm

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