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Iranian Gay Group Backs July 19 Worldwide Protests


PGLO rejects view that hanged teens were rapists and says HR groups were “hoodwinked”




■  Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, the two Iranian teenage gay lovers are prepared for execution.  The photograph was released by the Iranian Student News Agency on July 20, 2005.

LONDON, July 9, 2006  –  Support for the five demands proposed by London-based gay human rights group Outrage! for the worldwide day of protest against Iran on Wednesday July 19 has come from Iran’s leading gay group, the Persian Gay and Lesbian Organisation (PGLO).

July 19 has been chosen at it is the first anniversary of the execution of the two gay teens who were hanged in Edalat (Justice) Square in the city of Mashhad, in north east Iran.  At the time of their public execution, the two youths were only identified by their initials – AM and MA.

Outrage! is one of only a few human rights groups who have spoken out following the execution.  It was Outrage! who first “broke” the story.

First reports of the execution came on July 21, 2005 from Outrage! following extensive accuracy checks and translations from Persian of internet reports.  Outrage! reported that the two had been sentenced to death in the Shia Court No 19 for the crime of homosexuality.  Later that day, official statements from the Iranian government said that the pair had been executed for the rape of a 13 years-old boy.

The PGLO refutes this, saying that the two, who were named as Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, were in fact lovers.

“The Persian Gay and Lesbian Organisation endorses the worldwide July19 protests and condemns the Iranian regime’s persecution of its gay and lesbian citizens,” said Arsham Parsi, Secretary of the Human Rights Commission of Iran’s leading gay organisation, the PGLO in a letter to Outrage!.

“We urge cities all over the world to show solidarity with our freedom struggle.  Your solidarity is tremendously important and effective.

“It is very distressing to witness the way some leading human rights groups have been hood-winked by the homophobic culture both inside and outside Iran,” wrote Arsham Parsi who has recently been given asylum in Canada.

“[Human rights groups] have chosen to believe the propaganda waged against gay human rights, rather than gay victims and gay groups like PGLO.

“We feel great pain when we see human rights advocates ignoring the evidence and failing to speak out against the torture and execution of gay people in our country.

“We know first-hand, from the violent abuse of our members and supporters, that the jailing, flogging and hanging of gay people is official state law and policy.

“Sources in Iran have confirmed that the two youths executed in Mashhad last July were lovers, not child rapists.  We are convinced they were hanged because they were gay.

“We are very disappointed that some people prefer to believe the story of Iranian officials about these two teens that is geared towards defaming the character of the murdered boys.

“PGLO supports OutRage!'s five demands to ensure justice for gay Iranians,” said Mr. Parsi.

OutRage! has proposed five demands for the July 19 protests.  These demands, which have been endorsed by the PGLO, are:

■  End all executions in Iran, especially the execution of minors.

■  Stop the arrest, torture and imprisonment of Iranian lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and repeal the Iranian penal code's criminalisation of same-sex relationships.

■  Halt the deportation to Iran of LGBT asylum seekers and other victims of Tehran's persecution.

■  Support Iranians struggling for democracy, social justice and human rights.

■  Oppose foreign military intervention in Iran; regime change must come from within – by and for the Iranian people themselves.


Iran Executes Two Gay Teens In Public Hanging 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. [This is the first report from UK Gay News on July 21, 2005.  The page contains links to other coverage]

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


  website.  English and Persian language options

Peter Tatchell website.  The Outrage! website is unavailable.


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Posted: 9 July 2006 at 17.00 (UK time)