■ "Hanging" outside
Embassy this afternoon during the
"Homophobia Kills" protest.
■ Peter Tatchell is
American Q Television
■ axm editor Matt
Miles gives a radio
LONDON, October 4 – TV soap and
film actor Jeremy Sheffield, gay rap star Q Boy, comedian Scott Cappurro,
Big Brother contestant Josh Rafter, out gay Labour MP Chris Bryant and human
rights campaigner Peter Tatchell today joined a 50-strong protest outside
the Iranian Embassy in London.
The protest – organised by the gay
magazine axm and gay human rights group OutRage! – was part of an
on-going series of global demonstrations against the Iranian government’s
arrest, imprisonment, whipping and execution of gay men.
“We are here to condemn Iran’s
execution and torture of gay men, and to demand international action against
the tyrannical Iranian regime” said protest co-organiser Peter Tatchell of
the LGBT human rights group OutRage!.
“The international community should
issue an ultimatum to Iran: either respect human rights, or face economic
sanctions. There can be no normal relations with an abnormal regime that
executes gay people, unchaste women, Muslims who renounce their faith, and
political, religious and ethnic minorities.
“Two teenagers were hanged in the
Iranian city of Mashhad on 19 July, on charges involving homosexual acts. A
22 year old gay man, Amir, recently fled Iraq after being given 100 lashes.
He was lashed for merely being gay, not for having gay sex. The lashes
left his back covered in open bloody wounds. The police warned him that if
they caught him again he would be executed like the teenagers in Mashhad.
“Iranian agents, posing as gay men,
have been arranging dates in gay chat rooms, luring respondents to
rendezvous, and then arresting, beating and torturing them. This is part of
a sustained witch-hunt of gay people by the Islamic fundamentalist regime in
“We express our solidarity with
lesbian and gay Iranians, and with all the people of Iran who are struggling
for democracy and human rights. The Ayatollah’s clerical fascist regime is
the problem. There can be no freedom for any Iranian – gay or straight –
while the Islamists remain in power and enforce the barbarism of Sharia law.
OutRage! supports the efforts of Iranian democrats, socialists, communists,
trade unionists, students, feminists and gays to overthrow the Iranian
theocracy,” said Peter Tatchell.
As well as the celebrity speakers,
the protest was addressed by Iranian exiles, representing pro-gay opposition
groups that are battling against the butchers in Tehran.
These speakers included Maryam
Kousha of the Iran Civil Rights Committee, Maziar Razi of the Iranian
Workers Solidarity Network, and Bahram Soroush of the Worker’s Communist
Party of Iran. These groups have backed the LGBT freedom struggle in Iran,
assisting OutRage! in the translation of messages and smuggling out of Iran
information about the persecution of LGBT people.
Thousands of readers have signed
the axm online ‘Homophobia Kills’ petition which condemning the
But the Iranian Embassy refused to
accept the petition.
Instead, the petition will be
delivered by openly gay Labour MP Chris Bryant to the UK Foreign Secretary,
Jack Straw MP, with a request that he calls on the Iranian government to
halt its persecution of the LGBT community in Iran.
Two gay teenagers were publicly
executed in Iran on 19 July 2005. 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 at the time of execution.
They admitted to having gay sex
(probably under torture) but claimed in their defence 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
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 or 17.
“Although the Iranian government
claims the youths were executed for the rape of a 13 year old boy,
underground gay groups inside Iran tell us that the two teenagers were
lovers,” said Peter Tatchell of OutRage!
“They say the Iranian government
routinely makes up false allegations – such as rape, drug-taking and spying
– to discredit the people it executes and to discourage public protests,” Mr
While the images of the two teens
immediately prior to their execution shocked the world in July, a far more
graphic photograph was released today by Outrage!. It shows the executed
teenagers with the rope still around their necks and the crowd in Edalat
The photograph, slightly out of
focus, has “ISNA” burned at the bottom. ISNA is the Iranian Student News
Agency, the source of the earlier images.
This photograph is VERY GRAPHIC and might well cause
HERE to view
Gay Executions and Torture: Does Protesting Really
Help? Yes, Says Iranian Exile. Commentary. We often wonder whether protests
outside Embassies have any effect. It might make us feel good as we wave a
banner condemning some atrocity or another, as was the case outside the
Iranian Embassy in London today when gay rights in Iran – or the complete
lack of them – took centre stage.
Iran Civil Rights Committee website
Persian Gay and Lesbian Organization
Support for London Demo Against Brutal Iranian Treatment of Gays.
A number of stars have backed tomorrow’s demonstration at the Iranian
Embassy in London and the international petition organised by the monthly UK
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).
Call to Intervene to Help Release Five
Imprisoned Gay Metis in Nepal, by Sunil Pant in Kathmandu.
Five metis were arrested last
night about 10pm in Kantipath while they were on their way to the Thamel
area of the Nepali capitol. [Reports from Nepal earlier today said that
there were three metis arrested]. They were Suntali Lama (age about 22 years), Neema
Lama (age 22), Kanchhi Lama (age 25), Bipasa Rai (aged about 19) and
Deepa (age 22).
Three More Gay Metis
Arrested and Beaten by Nepali Police. Reports are coming in of the arrest
of another three metis in Nepal. A meti is a M-to-F transgendered
person. “The police are becoming more and
more brutal,” said a spokesperson at the Blue Diamond Society (BDS), Nepal’s
LGBT human rights and HIV/AIDS organisation.
in Vilnius, by Juris
Lavrikovs. Around 50 people gathered on the Europe Square in the
Lithuanian capital of Vilnius on Friday to protest against
possible gay pride march and ‘spread’ of homosexuality in Lithuania. All
major Christian denominations expressed their support for this
UK/Iran: 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).
“Please do not leave us
alone,” Iranian Gays Urgently
Appeal to World,
by Doug Ireland.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.