Iran believed to have executed a 'gangster' for engaging in gay sexual activities

Published: April 26, 2012

A young man described as a ‘gangster’ who is known only by the initials CH M was hanged publicly in Marwdasht, Fars Province, Iran, for allegedly engaging in ‘sodomy’ with another man.
 
Speaking with the Iranian Fars News Agency, Gholamhossein Chamansara, the Attorney General of Marwdasht, reported that the death penalty was given to the man – whose exact age is not known – due to his ‘despicable/heinous act’ that contradicted Sharia Muslim laws.
 
Chamansara also added that the man was a gangster and performed the type of ‘unlawful activities’ for which the death penalty is usually applied.

He was executed on 19 April.
 
The Iranian Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRAN) stated that the reference to ‘despicable/heinous act’ indicates that the death penalty was carried due to same-sex acts. However the judiciary regulatory office in Fars Province was unwilling to give more precise information about the case and the type of sexual activities of the executed man.
 
Commenting on the case, Hossein Alizadeh, of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) said: ‘None of the media sources that we have seen indicates that the person executed was gay.
 
‘The state media have conflicting reports, noting that the person was involved in rape, sodomy and 10 other counts of criminal activities, including kidnapping and blackmailing.
 
‘Even the initials of the person’s name is reported differently in different sources. All sources so far have mentioned the person had a history of criminal activity and have described him as a gangster.
 
‘At this point, all we have are three media reports by three state-run sources. Given the lack of transparency in the Iranian legal system, it is not possible for us to verify any of the information.’
 
Gorji Marzban chairperson of the Austrian-based Oriental Queer Organization (ORQOA) commented: ‘In Iran any kind of sexual activities beyond the category of marriage can be punished by death.
 
‘Gay sex, adultery and in some cases rape are offences potentially punishable by the death penalty. In this case I did not see any statements given by judiciary bodies about adultery or rape, so to me it is seems very likely that “CH M” was hanged for gay sex.
 
‘At the same time the government claims that there are no homosexuals in Iran and homosexuality, and if existing at all, is a curable “condition”. Sexuality is basic human right and the person’s dignity and right to sexuality must be respected as long it involves adult consensual activity.’

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