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 Star Support for London Demo Against Brutal Iranian Treatment of Gays


Report and photos of the protest


Petition to be Handed In





Matt Lucas (left) and Simon Callow are two of the stars supporting the axm/Outrage! protest in London.
(photos courtesy axm magazine

LONDON, October 3  –   A number of stars have backed tomorrow’s demonstration at the Iranian Embassy in London and the international petition organised by the monthly UK gay magazine axm.

The magazine has joined forces with Outrage!, the UK gay human rights organisation, to organise the “Homophobia Kills” protest against the homophobic atrocities in Iran outside the country’s Embassy at 1pm tomorrow (Tuesday October 4).

“How can we possibly hope for world peace when acts of this nature are allowed to take place,” asked Andy Bell of the group Erasure?

“Although I won’t be in the country on Tuesday, I wanted to express my solidarity with the axm protesters – and have signed the petition.  Isn’t there enough suffering in the world already without having to resort to this kind of barbarism and taking the lives of two innocent youths who were merely expressing their love? […]  Good luck with the demo on Tuesday, I will be there in spirit.”

And Simon Callow was equally forthright.  “I unreservedly condemn this savage and barbaric treatment of homosexual men in Iran.  It is inconceivable that we should have diplomatic relations with a country which betrays its citizens in this way,” he said, adding that he was filming all day and would be unable to be at the protest.  .

But Actor Jeremy Sheffield and comedian Scott Cappurro are set to attend.

Also supporting the axm/Outrage! protest is Matt Lucas, who stars in the hit BBC comedy series Little Britain.

“Recently in Iran two teenagers were executed for being gay – just one example of the constant persecution of gay and lesbian people by the Iranian government,” he said.  “I support efforts to put pressure on the Iranian government to stop this persecution.

“While gay visibility has grown in Britain in recent years we cannot forget the plight of those in more hostile parts of the world who live with the daily risk of jail, torture and execution for no other reason than their sexuality.”

The response to the online petition was described this evening as “fantastic” by axm editor Matthew Miles.

“The protest and petition has snowballed and shows that the gay community in Britain cares,” he said.

He said that thousands had already signed the online petition.  “We are now on the final call – the petition will be online until 9am tomorrow [Tuesday October 4 – 4am Eastern time in the USA].  And we hope that anyone who is in London and has a hour to spare will come and join us.”

To sign the online petition, click HERE

■  The Iranian Embassy is at 16 Prince’s Gate, London, SW7 1PT  Getting there: The Embassy is near the Royal Albert Hall, by the junction of Kensington Road and Exhibition Road.  Nearest underground stations are South Kensington and Gloucester Road.

■  This week, Bay Windows, the gay weekly for the Boston area, has joined New York’s Gay City News in asking why American gay organizations are do relatively little about the worrying state of affairs in Iran.

“More than likely, the inaction on the ongoing anti-gay human rights abuses in Iran stems from plain old apathy,” writes Laura Kiritsy in Bay Windows under the headline: Death of activism – Where’s the outrage over Iran's treatment of gaysShe takes a similar line to that of Doug Ireland in asking why aren’t the Amercan gay human rights groups outraged and doing something (IGLHRC’s Failure to Stand Up to Anti-Gay Iran).

■ Simon Callow's latest film, Rag Trade, opens in the UK this week.


axm website
Outrage! website
Persian Gay and Lesbian Organization website





Recent Articles

October 01: 
New Iran Protest Over Treatment of Gays at London Embassy A new protest outside the Iranian Embassy in London is to be staged next week.  UK gay human rights group Outrage!, which last July broke the news to the world of the execution of two gay teenagers, has joined forces with UK gay lifestyle monthly axm to spearhead a further demonstration at the Embassy on Tuesday (October 4).

September 29: 
“Please do not leave us alone,” Iranian Gays Urgently Appeal to World, by Doug Ireland.  The Persian Gay and Lesbian Organization (PGLO) has appealed to North American activists for help in mobilizing support for their campaign against the vicious, lethal, anti-gay crackdown taking place in the Islamic Republic of Iran.  The anti-gay pogrom in Iran includes arrests and torture of gay people, executions of gay Iranians on trumped up charges, and a well-organized Internet entrapment campaign by Iran's religious sex police that is ensnaring gay Iranians daily.

UK:  Anti-Gay Christian Voice Director on BBC’s Question Time.  Stephen Green, the national director of the vehemently anti-gay Christian fundamentalist Christian Voice, is one of the panellists on tonight’s Question Time (BBC1 at 10.35pm), which comes live from Brighton at the end of the Labour Party conference.

September 28: 
OutRage! Condemns Police Brutality Against Gays in Nepal.  The UK LGBT human rights group OutRage! has today condemned the police assaults of gay metis last weekend in Kathmandu, Nepal (see UK Gay News report of yesterday).

Turkey:  Gay Rights Violated by Turkey, Says Human Rights Watch.  The threat by Turkish officials to close down an organization defending lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people’s rights violates basic freedoms of association and expression, Human Rights Watch said last night.

Belarus/Sweden/UK:  European Push to Help Belarus Gays.  Concerns are growing over human rights of gays in Belarus, dubbed by activists as “Europe’s last dictatorship”.

UK (England and Wales):  Your Rights Section:  Employment in the Gay Community and the Law

September 27: 
HIV Victim Beaten As Police Taunt Gays In Nepal.  A Nepalese meti afflicted with HIV, the virus that can lead to AIDS, was savagely beaten by police and detained in a Kathmandu police station for a day before being released on payment of what was effectively a bribe.

September 26: 
Moldova: Discrimination Against Gays, Lesbians Is Inadmissible, Says Council of Europe.  Moldova must guarantee the fundamental rights of gays and lesbians, a report from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) says.

September 24:
Cashman Pledges Support for Moscow Gay Pride.  Michael Cashman, the out-gay Member of the European Parliament, has invited the Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov to Strasbourg for a “summit” on gay pride events and of LGBT rights to expression, demonstrations and meetings.

September 23: 
Holding Iran Accountable for Violating Gay Human Rights, by Paula Ettelbrick.  The president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, joined the largest gathering ever of world leaders last week at the United Nations without one question being asked about his country’s continued violations of international human rights law. Iran has signed both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Both forbid the execution of any person under the age of 18 for any crime. Yet there has been a rash of public executions in Iran that have involved youth or were related to sexuality and gender identity.

Posted: 3 October2005 at 18:00 (UK time)