Global protest to target anti-gay death penalty July 08, 2006 4:31 PM
Global protest to target anti-gay death penalty
Christopher Curtis, PlanetOut Network
Friday, July 7, 2006 / 12:15 PM
SUMMARY: Twenty-one anti-death penalty vigils around the world are planned July 19 to commemorate last year's public hanging in Iran of two young men.
Twenty-one anti-death penalty vigils around the world are planned for July 19 to commemorate last year's public hanging in Iran of two young men accused of homosexuality.
Before Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni were executed in Edalat ("Justice") Square in Mashhad, they were held in prison for 14 months and lashed 228 times.
While the teenagers were accused of raping a 13-year-old boy, several human rights groups believe they were really executed for admitting to having had gay sex and that the rape charge was merely trumped up.
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission asserts that over the next several months, a pattern emerged in which other young men were publicly executed in Iran as couples and/or the crimes they allegedly committed involved some form of sexual assault of another male.
Iran enforces Islamic Sharia law, which demands the death penalty for gay sex. Under the Iranian penal code, girls as young as nine and boys as young as 15 can be executed.
"Around the world, the death penalty and other brutal forms of punishment are used to destroy and promote fear in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people," the global rights group said in a written statement. "Many gay men, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people around the world . . . have lost their lives because of who they are."
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission will join the Persian Gay and Lesbian Organization and many other LGBT and human rights organizations for a vigil in New York outside the Permanent Mission of The Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations.
Other vigils will take place in Washington, D.C.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.,; Provincetown, Mass.; San Diego; San Francisco; Sacramento, Calif.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Tehran, Iran; Vancouver; Toronto; Amsterdam; London; Stockholm; Marseilles; Moscow; Brussels; Mexico City; Warsaw; Frankfort; Berlin; and Vienna.
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