Iran Executes Two Gay Teens In Public Hanging




LONDON, July 21  –  Two gay teenagers were publicly executed in Iran on 19 July 2005 for the ‘crime’ of homosexuality.  The youths were hanged in Edalat (Justice) Square in the city of Mashhad, in north east Iran.  They were sentenced to death by Court No. 19.

Iran enforces Islamic Sharia law, which dictates the death penalty for gay sex.

One youth was aged 18 and the other was a minor under the age of 18.  They were only identified by their initials, M.A. and A.M.

They admitted – probably under torture, London-based gay human rights group Outrage! suggests – to having gay sex  but claimed in their defence that most young boys had sex with each other and that they were not aware that homosexuality was punishable by death.

Prior to their execution, the teenagers were held in prison for 14 months and severely beaten with 228 lashes.

Their length of detention suggests that they committed the so-called offences more than a year earlier, when they were possibly around the age of 16.

Ruhollah Rezazadeh, the lawyer of the youngest boy (under 18), had appealed that he was too young to be executed and that the court should take into account his young age (believed to be 16 or 17).  But the Supreme Court in Tehran ordered him to be hanged.

Under the Iranian penal code, girls as young as nine and boys as young as 15 can be hanged.

Three other young gay Iranians are being hunted by the police, but they have gone into hiding and cannot be found.  If caught, they will also face execution.

News of the two executions was reported by ISNA (Iranian Students News Agency) on 19 July.

A later news story by Iran In Focus, allegedly based on this original ISNA report, claimed the youths were executed for sexually assaulting a 13 year old boy.  But the ISNA report does not mention any sexual assault.

A report of the executions on the website of the respected democratic opposition movement, The National Council of Resistance Of Iran, also makes no reference to a sexual assault.

The allegation of sexual assault may either be a trumped up charge to undermine public sympathy for the youths, a frequent tactic by the Islamist regime in Iran.

Or, Outrage! suggests, it may be that the 13 year old was a willing participant but that Iranian law (like UK law) deems that no person of that age is capable of sexual consent and that therefore any sexual contact is automatically deemed in law to be a sex assault.

If the 13 year old was sexually assaulted, why was he not identified and also put on trial (under Iranian law both the victims and perpetrators of sexual crimes are punished)?

Full story in Persian from ISNA, with three photographs can be seen at

“This is just the latest barbarity by the Islamo-fascists in Iran,” said Peter Tatchell of the London-based gay human rights group OutRage!

“The entire country is a gigantic prison, with Islamic rule sustained by detention without trial, torture and state-sanctioned murder.

“According to Iranian human rights campaigners, over 4,000 lesbians and gay men have been executed since the Ayatollahs seized power in 1979.

“Altogether, an estimated 100,000 Iranians have been put to death over the last 26 years of clerical rule. The victims include women who have sex outside of marriage and political opponents of the Islamist government.

“Last August, a 16 year old girl, Atefeh Rajabi, was hanged for ‘acts incompatible with chasity.’

“Britain’s Labour government is pursuing friendly relations with this murderous regime, including aid and trade. We urge the international community to treat Iran as a pariah state, break off diplomatic relations, impose trade sanctions and give practical support to the democratic and left opposition inside Iran,” said Tatchell.

Outrage! Is calling for world-wide urgent action and asks that you protest to the Iranian Ambassador at the Embassy in your country.   In addition, Outrage! asks that you also press your government to take urgent action against Iran.

■ Last week in Nigeria, Yusuf Kabir (40) and 18-year-old Usman Sani appeared before Judge Mustapha Sani Saulawa at Katsina’s Sharia Court Number Three charged with committing sodomy.  The hearing was adjourned until early August.  If convicted, the pair could face death by stoning.

Earlier this month, Reuters reported from Nigeria that a 50 years-old man had been sentenced to death by stoning after admitting to a judge that he had had homosexual sex.  This was immediately after the court had found him not guilty of having sex with a teenage boy.


Iran Focus:  Iran Majlis Deputies Endorse Execution of Minor.  (In English)
Iran Executes 2 Gay Teenagers, by Doug Ireland.
Two Boys Executed in Iran for Sexual Crimes, by Michael Rogers (PageOneQ)
Outrage! website

22:00 (UK) update from
Iranian Government-In-Exile Condemns Executions of Boys The Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran issued the following statement regarding the execution of the tw young men in Iran: In Iran mullahs' henchmen publicly hanged two young boys in Edalat (Justice) Square in MashhadIn shocking crime, mullahs’ henchmen hang an 18-year-old, and a juvenile 18 years of age Iranian Resistance urges EU to cut off all dialogue with the religious fascism ruling Iran.

22:00 (UK) July 22:  Condoleezza Rice Urged to Condemn Execution of Gay Iranian Teens.  The Human Rights Campaign sent a letter today to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asking her to condemn the recent execution of two gay teens in Iran as well as other horrific human rights abuses against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people across the globe.

19:45 (UK) July 23:  Following Gay Executions, Putin Asked to Stop Diplomatic and Trade Relations With Iran.  Russian gay leaders have sent a letter to the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, asking him to condemn executions of teenage gays in Iran on July 19.

20:30 (UK) July 23:  Nobel Peace Prize Winner Condemns Execution of Gay Iranian TeensShirin Ebadi, the 2003 winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace, has condemned the execution of two teenagers in Iran earlier this week.

18:00 (UK) July 26:  Activists Condemn Execution of Gay Teens.  Human rights groups the world over have strongly condemned the recent execution of two gay teenagers in northeastern Iran.

23:00 (UK) July 26:  Despite Executions, There Is Hope For Gays in Iran Gay Iranians speak from inside Iran to Nikolai Alekseev, head of, about life in their country in the wake of the horrific execution of two gay teens last week.  [This is a "reposting" of the originally published yesterday]

11:00 (UK) July 27: Executed Gay Iranian Teens: London Embassy Protest Set A London protest over the execution of two gay teenagers in Iran has been arranged by gay human rights group Outrage! for Thursday August 11 outside the Iranian Embassy in Prince’s Gate, SW7.  Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni were publicly executed by hanging last week in Mashhad, north east Iran on, July 19.

19:00 (UK) August 1: Gay Media's Failure to Accurately Report Adds to Growing Hatred Towards Islamic World.  Op-Ed by Faisal Alam.  In the wake of the recent London bombings, the Western world has been propelled into another vicious cycle of revenge against Muslims and the Islamic world.  While mainstream media around the world have more accurately represented the outpouring of condemnation by Muslim organizations and institutions against the attacks in London, the gay and lesbian media in the U.S. has unfortunately succumbed once again to the false belief that Islam condones acts of violence including suicide bombings, executions of civilians and even the killing of homosexuals.

21 July 2005