Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Iranian execution, part 93

Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2007 11:59:51 +0000
From: Peter Tatchell
Subject: Iran - execution for sodomy

Iran to hang man for sodomy
Despite witnesses withdrawing their allegations
"Confession" secured after ill-treatment in prison
Amnesty International calls for URGENT ACTION

London - 14 November 2007

"Sentencing Makwan Moloudzadeh to death violates Iranian law and international human rights conventions," said gay human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell of the UK LGBT rights group, OutRage!

"Executing a person for an offence they allegedly committed when they were a minor, below the age of criminal responsibility, is particularly heinous and barbaric.

"Makwan is the latest victim of Tehran's on-going homophobic campaign of imprisonment, torture, flogging and hanging," he said.

Makwan Moloudzadeh, a 21 year old an Iranian Kurd, has been sentenced to death in the city of Paveh, following his conviction for an act of sodomy that he committed while still a minor, aged 13, with another minor, also aged 13, according to Amnesty International.

See the Amnesty International briefing below and here:

"Under Iranian law, same-sex acts are illegal and punishable by death. The Iran penal code also stipulates that the age of criminal responsibility is 15 lunar years and offenders under this age are exempt from criminal punishment," added Mr Tatchell.

"At worst, according to Iranian law, Makwan should have received up to 74 lashes, not a sentence of death. Males under 15 are classified as minors and are usually not subject to criminal sanctions, especially not the death penalty.

"Makwan was 13 at the time of the offence. His partner was also 13.

"The Iranian authorities allege that Makwan raped the other boy but the offence of male rape does not exist in the Iranian penal code. Moreover, no one involved in the case accused Makwan of rape, according to research by the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission.

"As in the UK and the US, in Iran all sex involving children is automatically deemed sexual assault - even if it takes place with consent between partners of the same age.

"Following alleged physical ill-treatment in prison, Makwan is said to have made a confession under interrogation. At his trial, however, he reportedly protested his innocence. Several people who made allegations against Makwan have since withdrawn their claims.

"Under these circumstances, it is particularly reprehensible that Iran intends to proceed with this execution.

"OutRage! urges everyone - gay and straight - to support the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission's campaign to save Makwan's life. We also call on our friends and supporters to write appeals for clemency to their local Iranian Ambassador," said Mr Tatchell.

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