Iran Reportedly Executes Three Men for Sodomy


Disturbing reports say that Iran executed six men over the weekend, three of whom were charged with sodomy. Beyond the obvious, this is noteworthy because it is rare for Iranian prosecutors to pursue specific sodomy charges, instead preferring to punish offenses related to homosexuality under rape or sexual assault which allows them then to deny the country executes gay people.

The news was first distributed through a semi-official news agency, the Iranian Student News Agency, who said the men were put to death by hanging on Sunday. The other three men were killed for crimes relating to drug-dealing, rape and robbery.

This story was then picked up by Iran Human Rights who reported:

The state run Iranian news agency ISNA reported that three of those executed were sentenced to death by the Ahvaz revolution court, convicted of “unlawful” acts and acts against Sharia, based on the articles 108 and 110 of the Iranian Islamic penal code. Articles 108 and 110 of the Iranian Islamic Penal code are part of the chapter covering the punishment of “Hadd” for “sodomy”. Article 108 says: “Sodomy (or Lavat) is sexual intercourse between men”, and article 110 says:”Punishment for sodomy is killing; the Sharia judge decides on how to carry out the killing”.

The men were identified as: “M. T.”, “T. T.” and “M. Ch.” (age not mentioned for any of them) and besides being convicted of sodomy, had also committed other offences such as kidnapping and robbery, said the report.
Condemning the executions, the spokesperson of Iran Human Rights (IHR), Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, said:

“Yesterday’s executions for sodomy might be among the rare cases were the Iranian authorities admit to having executed men convicted of homosexual acts”. He added: “Iranian authorities normally present such cases as rape, but rape has not been mentioned in this case”.

Iran Human Rights, who said it was investigating these claims, appears to be satisfied as to the authenticity of this report, repeating that three of those killed on Sunday were indeed punished under sodomy charges. This comes as the group reports four more executions carried out Tuesday, though these were not related to sodomy charges.

Iran has previously denied the existence of homosexuals within its borders with President Ahmadinejad infamously saying during a New York visit: “In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like you do in your country. This does not exist in our country.” Later reports have Ahmadinejad saying that homosexuality is present in Iran but he believes it is a Western import.

More on the unusual nature of these charges comes from The Independent:

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, a researcher at Iran Human Rights who is investigating the executions, told The Independent: “Iranian authorities have previously presented such cases as rape, in order to make the execution more acceptable and to avoid too much international attention, but this time the news is not presented as rape.”

He added: “This case is the only one in recent years where the only basis for the death sentence has been a sexual relationship between two men, with reference to the articles 108 and 110 of the Islamic Penal Code. These articles are very clear.”


In 2005 Iran received widespread condemnation for the execution of two teenagers Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, who were publicly hanged from a crane in a square at the centre of the city of Mashad. Gay rights groups claimed that the pair were murdered by the state for consensual sex but the charges against them were actually described as “lavat beh onf” against a 13-year-old boy. Although a number of human rights groups disagreed with gay rights groups over why the two boys were executed they nonetheless condemned the killings as a breach of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which Iran is a signatory to.

It is estimated that around 180 people have been executed in Iran so far this year for various crimes, an increased rate that has drawn fire from international human rights groups.

It should be noted that independently confirming cases of executions in Iran is notoriously difficult, especially when it comes to charges relating to homosexuality, and so the exact details of this case may never be revealed. However the widespread nature of these reports suggests at least some authenticity. As always in cases like this though, it is important to be aware that this story is open to clarification should new information emerge. We will continue to watch this story for further developments.

Related Reading:

Human Rights Groups Denounce Iran’s Rising Execution Rate

Kristin Chenoweth: Being Gay is Not A Sin. Period.

UN: 750,000 Somalis Could Soon Die of Famine


Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to vambo25.


William Y.
William Y6 years ago

@ MEE T. They should be killing innocent men or women.

MEE Techy
MEE Techy6 years ago

glad to know they are not only killing innocent women for a change.

Maria Cristina A.
Maria Cristina A6 years ago

This is a regrettable thing, to say the least. Unfortunately all over the world there are too many other "powers that be" who persistently persecute people for their personal lifestyle and/or their sense of who they are.
@ Amir F. For what you wrote, I think you are refreshingly young. But unfortunately I believe you have to rethink your solution to this problem because I'm afraid you didn't take into account the full extent of the Iranian government's powers over Iran...

Sonny Honrado
Sonny Honrado6 years ago

So sad.

Donna B.
Donna B6 years ago

Once again, what happens when you have a mental case as The President, right?!?! I just do NOT see why anybodys' sexual preference is the business of anyone else!!

Donna B.
Donna B6 years ago

SO sad... SO sad..

nancy r.
Nan R6 years ago

So sad.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari L6 years ago

Ahmadinejad is said to have done the following cruel animal test. If you don't like vivid descriptions of animal cruelty I urge you not to read any further!
It is said he once at a University taught the students something he had discovered.
"Take a frog and place it in front of you, call it to have it approach you. When done, put it back in its previous position and cut one leg off. Then call it over again". While talking, Ahmadinejad cuts the leg off and calls the frog to come to him. The frog makes it over and Ahmadinejad cuts off another leg. "See, now he's still coming to me when I call, even if it's harder for him". Ahmadinejad then proceeds to cut a third leg off and calls the frog again. The poor frog crawls towards the President. Finally, the forth leg is cut off and Ahmadinejad calls for the frog to approach him and nothing happens. "See", he says, "If you cut off all four legs on a frog, it goes deaf!"

Gloria Morotti
Gloria Morotti6 years ago

When will they ever learn............

Anna B.
Anna Bouillon6 years ago

It is sad that this happened but it doesn't mean that I should change my views on homosexuality. However, probably the reason why certain countries behave in this manor is because all they see is the flamboyant homosexuals in America and elsewhere. It also add's to the fear of being a non-comformist. They are used as a sort of scape goat to put fear into the people that if they go against the extremist they will be subject to the same fate.