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TORONTO, May 14, 2007 – More than
eighty members, thought to be from the Iranian gay community are reported to have been
arrested by security personnel in Isfahan, the Toronto-based IRanian Queer
Organization revealed this morning.
The arrests are said to have been
made at 10pm on May 10 when police raided the birthday party of ‘Farhad’.
They are said to have brutally assaulted the host, his parents and their
Reports received in Toronto say
that everyone at the party was arrested on the spot.
Police are said to have used batons
to beat those at the party before taking them into custody.
Farhad’s family who were present at
the party have been also arrested.
Initial reports put the number of
those arrested at eighty; but subsequent reports now suggest the number to
be eighty seven.
“I went to buy a gift for Farhad
and so I arrived late for the party,” ‘Peyman’ said by telephone to the
IRanian Queer Organization.
“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,” he reported.
Another contact, ‘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 following morning all those
arrested were taken to court, and later taken to the jail. The court is not
permitting the families of those arrested to visit their children, and is
not accepting bail for their temporary release.
“A few girls were among the guest
and were also arrested but were released the next day, ‘Farzin’ reported.
“All the gay men 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
Yesterday (May 13), IRanian Queer
Organization also received news that those arrested were under severe
tortures and in bad conditions in the jail in Isfahan, the group’s executive
director Arsham Parsi said today.
“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 release as any day might be too late.”
Mr. Parsi added that in the past
such arrests have resulted in further arrests and naming names, which, he
said, “has created disasters in previous years”.
■ This news was reported to
IRanian Queer Organization by colleagues in Shiraz and Isfahan. The
Toronto-based group have received many emails expressing concern for the
wellbeing of those arrested and the treatment that they might have received.
Gay Writer and Activist Seeking Refugee Status Returned to Iran by Turkish
Police. An urgent appeal on behalf of a courageous Iranian
gay activist and writer who was deported back to Iran from Turkey two weeks
ago was made last night by the Canadian-based IRanian Queer Organization (IRQO).
(UK Gay News, April 19, 2007)
Iranian Gays Abandoned. By Mehdi.
This article was written by a 19-years-old gay Iranian
who tells how, while he was a student in London, his
boyfriend back home was executed for being gay. Mehdi says he was
scared of returning home and meeting the same fate when his student visa
expired last year – and of his asylum application to the Home Office.
(UK Gay News, April 18, 2007)
Posted: 14 May 2007 at
13:00 (UK time)