Iran reportedly hangs gay man (JERUSALEM POST) By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL, JPOST CORRESPONDENT 04/29/12)
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BERLIN – The Islamic Republic´s campaign to execute gay Iranians is
believed to have resulted in the public hanging this month of a man
identified only as “CH. M.”
According to an online report last week in Europe’s largest gay news
service, Pink News, Iran’s judiciary imposed the death penalty on Ch.
M. in Marvdasht, Fars province, on April 19 “for allegedly engaging
in ‘sodomy’ with another man.”
Iran has ramped up over the years its persecution of the country’s
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community.
The British Guardian earlier this month translated remarks from Grand
Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi-Amoli, who said, “Even animals... dogs and
pigs don’t engage in this disgusting act [homosexuality], but yet
they [Western politicians] pass laws in favor of them in their
Stuart Appelbaum, a leading US gay activist and head of a large trade
union, wrote to The Jerusalem Post by email on Saturday: “The fact
that Iran promotes and tolerates this kind of action removes itself
from the community of civilized nations. The entire world – gay and
straight – should be appalled.”
Appelbaum added, “If members of the LGBT community speak out about
the Middle East and yet remain silent about the horrific acts and
statements coming out of Iran, they are culpable as well.”
Appelbaum is president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store
Union, UFCW, and president of the Jewish Labor Committee.
Pink News reported that Gholamhossein Chamansara, the attorney-
general of Marvdasht, told the government-controlled Iranian Fars
News Agency that a man (Ch. M.) was sentenced to death because of
his “despicable/heinous act that contradicted Shari’a Muslim laws.”
Yoav Sivan, an Israeli journalist who served on the boards of Aguda –
the Israeli Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Association and
the Jerusalem Open House and the Israeli board of the World Jewish
Congress, wrote to the Post on Saturday: “Unfortunately, we have
become inured to hearing such homophobic expressions coming from top
Iranians. We should note that the expression is not just homophobic
but just as much anti-Western by describing tolerance toward a
minority as a shortcoming of Western politics. So Ayatollah Abdollah
Javadi-Amoli teaches two lessons. One homophobic directed primarily
at his audience at home, and one anti- Western that should be heard
primarily among us in the West.”
Gay sex is punishable by death under Iranian ”so long as both the
active and passive partners are mature, of sound mind, and have acted
of free will.”
According to Pink News, “the Iranian Human Rights Activists News
Agency (HRAN) stated that the reference to ‘despicable/ heinous act’
indicates that the death penalty was carried due to same-sex acts.
However the judiciary regulatory office in Fars Province was
unwilling to give more precise information about the case and the
type of sexual activities of the executed man.”
In an interview last week with the Die Welt am Sonntag, Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu commented on Iran’s human rights record.
“After all they stone women, they hang gays – this is a backward,
dark medieval regime that imposes its tyranny on its own people.
Shoots them on the sidewalk, goes into their homes, culls the
Internet, takes people away at night,” he said.
Human rights activists, gay journalists, and LGBT publications
criticized Human Rights Watch for failing to focus on the rise of
persecution of gays in the Islamic Republic.
The online publication Queerty wrote an article titled, “Disgraced
Human Rights Watch Director Scott Long Quits...” back in the summer
of 2010. Long had failed to publish a study documenting intense
repression of Iran´s LGBT community.
Writing on his blog “A Paper Bird” in February, Long, whom critics
also accuse of fanning anti-Israel sentiments, continued to downplay
violent repression of Iran’s LGBTs, saying that Iran has “a unique
genocide, the first genocide in world history with no demonstrable
After Long’s departure, HRW issued a respected study in 2011 on the
persecution faced by Iran’s LGBT community.
Long has praised anti-Israel advocates such as Sarah Schulman, who
claimed that Israel is mounting a “pinkwashing” campaign to promotes
its gay rights record to blunt criticism of the Jewish state. (© 1995-
2011, The Jerusalem Post 04/29/12)
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