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A gay man has been executed in Iran on charges of “sodomy”, one of ten inmates killed in a wave of executions across the Islamic republic. According to Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Iman Safari-rad was hanged on 29 June.

Speaking from his home in Germany, exiled Iranian activist Kazim Moussavi explained that the charge of “sodomy” was used by the Iranian regime to prosecute and impose the death penalty on gay men. Writing on Twitter, Moussavi urged the German government to put pressure on the Tehran, saying “German federal government must absolutely resist the execution machinery of the mullahs.”

A second man, Mehdi Khalgoldi, was executed on a charge of “rape”, but Moussaka believes that Khalgoldi was gay, explaining that the charge was phrased in a “religious-judicial [manner] that suggests Khalgoldi is also presumably homosexual. The regime conceals executions of homosexuals to prevent international protests.”

The human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell told The Jerusalem Post, “Yet again another man has been executed on a charge of sodomy, which he may or may not have committed, with or without consent. What is certain is that this man almost certainly did not receive a fair trial under the notoriously biased Iranian judicial system. 

“Defendants are routinely denied access to lawyers and defence witnesses. They can be sentenced after brief ‘trials’ lasting as little as 20 minutes, with lawyers provided only shortly before the court hearing starts. People can be found guilty without corroborating evidence. This execution is consistent with Iran’s state policy of the death penalty for same-sex relations.”

Tatchell continued, “The world must make relations with Iran contingent on Tehran’s observance of international human rights law, including a prohibition on the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and respect for the human rights of LGBTs, women, non-believers and religious and ethnic minorities.” 

The executions follow the hanging in January 2022 of two other gay men, Mehrdad Karimpour and Farid Mohammadi, both on charges of sodomy. 

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