Executions, There Is Hope For Gays in Iran
When we ask people to support and
join our actions and when we ourselves responded to the international appeal
of the British gay group
Outrage!, we also have the obligation to provide
you with some follow up and further investigation into what happened. Here
now we offer you the testimony of our contacts inside
For their own safety, we will not
publish their photo or contact details. But if you want to send a message to
them please e-mail to
email@example.com and we will forward your message to
We will transfer everything to our contacts in Iran. After that they will be able to include all the information concerning support in the next issue of their electronic magazine. It will show to local Iranian gays and lesbians that they are not alone as they do not have much information from other sources! Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We conducted the interview with the
publishers and distributors of MAHA,
GayRussia: Can you tell us a bit
about the situation in
MAHA: Last year, the Persian
Internet operator company shut down 15 gay websites in
After 8 months of hard work, 8
issues and 4 supplements appeared, covering issues such as gay and family,
depression among GLBT, a report about lesbians in
PGLO (Persian gays and lesbians
organisation) is an Iranian GLBT organisation working from abroad. They
publish a PDF format magazine and most important they send a weekly radio
program by email to people inside
G.R.: Do you have any further details on what happened on July 19th except what was published in the international media?
MAHA: Unfortunately not much. The authorities try to give as little information as possible about issues which may cause international reaction. And as you may know there is already a worldwide reaction and protests against the execution of the two boys.
We know that the two boys (with the
names of Mohammad Askari and Ayad Marhuni) belonged to
We also know that the authorities have been giving conflicting messages. Some are denying that the boys were persecuted because of being gays and they put more emphasize on the boy’s crime (allegedly they have raped a 13 years old boy), but according to the boys lawyer the boys had said that they did not know that such acts (sexual relations with the person of the same sex) were punished by execution. It shows that the boys were executed because of having same-sex intercourse.
The problem in
G.R.: Do you see a possible link with the killing and the result of the recent presidential elections?
MAHA: It’s hard to say and it’s too
early to see such a link. We know that the newly elected president is a
conservative hardliner, we know that while he was a mayor of
G.R.: Was this execution event
reported in the media in
MAHA: Yes, it was reputed and even some of international reaction to the event was reported but as you can guess the media is controlled by the regime to a large extent.
G.R.: What is the situation of gays
MAHA: The GLBT situation in
You may remember the Soviet days,
there was not much info about homosexuality in your country, families and
the society could not accept it and the regime did not allow GLBT to have
their organisations or to spread info about the issue. The situation is
pretty much the same in
In the recent elections there was a candidate who put “RESPECT FOR DIFFERENT LIFE STYLES” in his program. And it was something new. We do not know if he really meant gay life but we know that his front is not anti gay. In addition there is a famous political person, Mr. Akbar Ganji, who also openly talks about RESPECT FOR DIFFERENT LIFESTYLES. Add to that GLBT which is still in the beginning of its journey but it is young and determined to fight for GLBT rights. There are also opposition political groups in exile and some of them voiced their support for GLBT rights in their program.
So, on the whole, we are optimistic
about the future as
G.R.: How do Iranian gays live knowing that they fear death penalty in their motherland and that in other countries same sex marriages are already allowed?
MAHA: Life is not easy, it is mixed with fear, uncertainty and self oppression. The biggest problem we are facing is that GLBT do not have info about their sexual desire. They simply can not find explanation to it. Why they feel as they feel (feeling for persons of the same sex), they do not know what it is. What it’s called etc. but when they get the knowledge, then it is becoming much easier. Not all Iranians have access to the Internet, there are no gay bars or clubs, so creating a network of GLBT is very difficult. Bear in mind that after 8 months of publishing MAHA, still a great number of GLBT people have not got the news.
Many GLBT people are living with denial of their own sexuality, or they get married in hope to disguise and hide their deep homosexual desire or in hope to be cured of it.
G.R.: What can we do from abroad to help you?
MAHA: You have already done too much
for us and we are very thankful for it.
G.R.: Thank you very much for your answers in such a difficult time. We are here to support you and please do not hesitate to ask for any help you might need.
GayRussia.Ru, interview conducted by Nikolai Alekseev
© 2005 GayRussia.ru
UK GAY NEWS COVERAGE
13:00 (UK) July 21: Iran Executes Two Gay Teens In Public Hanging (UK Gay News)
July 21 update from PageOneQ.com
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 Teens. Shirin 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 GayRussia.ru, about life in their country in the wake of the horrific execution of two gay teens last week. [This is a "reposting" of the GayRussia.ru originally published yesterday]
15:00 (UK) July 27: Iran and USA Account for 78% of World’s Child Executions. The use of the death penalty against child offenders – people under 18 at the time of the crime – is prohibited under international law, yet a handful of countries still persist with child executions, says Amnesty International.
15:00 (UK) July 28: Flaws In Blade Report of 'Gay' Executions in Iran, Outrage! Says. News reports in the US Washington Blade and New York Blade newspapers on the execution of two teens in Iran are flawed, according to the British LGBT human rights group OutRage!, which helped break the story to the international media and human rights groups.
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.