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Public execution of two teenagers in Iran

in IRAN, ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF, 25/07/2005

COC: ‘Netherlands must strongly condemn Iran, and must call for European sanctions’

ILGA publishes press releases and statements as submitted by its members. Conflicting information has been circulated around this information: it is argued the two boys were hung for having raped a 13 years old boy. The main French LGBT-community magazine "Têtu" has reported that according to the lawyer of the two Iranian boys recently executed in Iran, the boys did not know that homosexual relations and alcohol consumption were illegal. "Homosexuality is a crime in Iran, but the death penalty is usually reserved for cases of rape, armed robbery, adultery, drug trafficking, and renouncing Islam." A third boy, 13 years old, who was with them, was not prosecuted because Iranian law does not consider that a person of that age can consent to sexual acts. This means that any type of sexual contact with a 13 year old is considered rape, and it is for this reason that the two boys were executed.

"The judiciary has trampled its own laws," one of the boys' lawyer, Rohollah Razez Zadeh, was quoted as saying to Irin (a UN news agency), explaining that Iranian courts were supposed to commute death sentences handed to children to five years in jail, but the country's Supreme Court allowed the hangings to proceed.

On this case, apart from this interview below, please also read the statement from other ILGA members IGLHRC, Outrage and COC.

After the execution of two young homosexuals earlier this week COC Netherlands calls upon Minister Bot of Foreign Affairs to strongly condemn Iran and to declare European sanctions. Besides, COC Netherlands requests to adjust the country report on Iran, which was published last April.

“We react with revolt on these executions and hope that Ben Bot as Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs will react upon these horrible murders. Killing two teenagers, only because of their sexual orientation, is unacceptable! It is barbarian and medieval. Neither political conviction or religion may justify these actions”, says Frank van Dalen, chairman of COC Netherlands. “The Netherlands and other European countries should heavily condemn the Iranian legal system and the Iranian leaders for ratifying these murders!”

More murders in the future!
Currently Iran is still hunting for three other young Iranian homosexuals. Since 1979 more than 4.000 homosexuals would have been killed, just because they are who they are, Iranian Human Rights organisations report. “The Netherlands has to strife to stop similar murders in the future,” COC Netherlands says. The lesbian, gay and bisexual organisation will also send a letter to the Iranian consulate in The Hague to express its revolt. European Sanctions Chairman Van Dalen emphasizes that words alone are not enough. “Especially now a conservative president came to power in Iran it is of the utmost importance that Europe gives a strong signal saying that these Human Rights violations can not count on any understanding.

We call upon the Netherlands to take the initiative for European sanctions towards Iran.”

Adjusting the country report on Iran
The country report on Iran, as it was published by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs last April, describes the position of homosexuals in the Islamic Republic. The given message is a sad one, though it is said that in practice prosecution does not take place. Considering these latest executions, the report is proven to be outdated. COC Netherlands calls upon Minister Bot to adjust the country report on this point. COC chairman Van Dalen: “A country report is used in asylum cases.

Now it is irrefutable being proven that people in Iran get killed because of their sexual orientation, there is enough reason to accept homosexuality as a valid ground for those asking for asylum.”

Also COC calls upon Minister Bot to discuss this issue with countries such as Belgium, Great Britain and Denmark, which are acknowledging the return of asylum seekers that are rejected upon ‘procedural reasons’. “A harsh attitude, considering two teenagers have been hanged only because they are gay,” says Van Dalen.
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