Gay Activists in Moscow Protest Persecution of Iranian Gays




This article is only available in English on this site.  For online instant translation in selected languages, see below.



A gay asylum seeker who was deported to Iran in 2004 has been describing how he managed to escape from custody and make his way back to the UK.  In this three-part series, the BBC News Website follows Shahin Portofeh's story, from deportation and alleged torture in Iran, to his escape and flight to the UK in an arduous and dangerous journey across Turkey, Greece and ItalyBy Russell Joslin

Part One: 'How I Escaped From Torture in Iran'

Part Two:  An Asylum Seeker's Escape

Part Three:  An Asylum Seeker's Escape




Out in Iran:
Inside Iran's Secret Gay World

He is followed by secret police. His friends are routinely whipped. Some are executed. His name is Mani Zaniar and he is the leader of Iran’s secret gay rights movement.

It is the most dangerous civil rights movement in the world. And for the first time ever, Mani, and many others, risked their lives to come on camera and tell their story.

In this startling and unique Canadian Broadcasting Corporation documentary, Out in Iran, you go to Iran and get the world’s first look at life inside Iran’s persecuted gay community. We meet an astonishing group of courageous people with heartbreaking stories.

Originally shown on March 4
(duration: 22 minutes)

" isn't unusual to see corpses, including those of young gay men, swinging from gallows and cranes in public places [In Iran]."  Columnist Joan Smith, The Independent (UK). April 9, 2007.



■ Protesters outside the Iranian Embassy in Moscow today.
photo: Нуара и Жени

MOSCOW, July 19, 2007 (  –  About two dozen gay and political activists demonstrated today in front of the Iranian Embassy in Moscow, protesting the execution and discrimination of gay people in Iran.

This is the second year that gays and lesbians have rallied in front of Iranian embassy in Moscow.

Last year LGBT and political activists also rallied on July 19 against execution of gay people in Iran.  On that occasion, several extremists attempted to assault the demonstrators.

But today, the situation in front of Iranian embassy was very calm.  It was at the end of the demonstration that a group of nationalists and religious believers appeared.  They were stopped by the police and moved on.

One of Moscow Pride organizers and participant of the rally, Nikolai Baev, said that this year during the rally there was no danger for LGBT activists.

“It seems that even homophobic activists start to understand that gays and lesbians may rally and protest freely in Moscow, and walk on streets with their flags and slogans”, he said

“This is also a clear result of our policy that we started with Gay Pride movement in Russia.”

Today’s rally was organised and supported by Russia’s leading gay rights advocacy group Project GayRussia.Ru together with 'LGBT Rights', 'Free Radicals Libertarian Movement' and activistsof 'Transnational Radical Party'.

However, traditionnal human rights organisations ignored the protest and did not attend.

Demonstrators held slogans in support of human and gay rights.  They also unveiled rainbow flags.

Slogans of the rally were: “Iran! Maintain human rights!”, “Iran! Hands off gays!”, “No death penalty!”.

Today’s rally was authorised by Moscow authorities as there was no mention of “gay rights” in their application.

■  Click HERE for more photos by 'Нуара и Жени' from the Moscow demonstration outside the Iranian Embassy

  IRQO website


Posted: 19 July 2007 at 18:00 UK time


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