Iran hangs gay teenager with ‘no access to a lawyer’

by WorldTribune Staff, August 5, 2016

Iran has executed a gay teenager who was convicted as a juvenile of “forced male-to-male anal intercourse,” Amnesty International reported.

Hassan Afshar, 19, was hanged in Arak Prison in Iran’s Markazi Province on July 18.

A demonstration against Iran's violation of gay rights during the Christopher Street Day gay pride parade in Berlin. /Johannes Eisele/AFP/File
A demonstration against Iran’s violation of gay rights during the Christopher Street Day gay pride parade in Berlin.   /AFP/File

Amnesty said Iranian authorities received a complaint accusing Afshar and two other adolescents of forcing a teenage boy to have sex. Afshar, who was 17 when he was arrested in December 2014,  said that the same-sex relations were consensual and the accuser had freely engaged in prior homosexual relations.

“He had no access to a lawyer and the judiciary rushed through the investigation and prosecution, convicting and sentencing him to death within two months of his arrest as though they could not execute him quickly enough,” Amnesty’s Magdalena Mughrabi said.

Stefan Schaden, a LGBT rights activist and spokesman for the European “STOP THE BOMB” campaign, told The Jerusalem Post on Aug. 4 that “consensual homosexual conduct remains illegal under Iran’s Sharia law and is punished with public flogging or even execution. While the Islamic State throws gays from rooftops, the Islamic Republic [of Iran] hangs them.”

Schaden added: “Iran’s Islamist regime proves again with its actions that it is anything but ‘moderate’. While the U.S. administration and the European Union promote trade with Iran as if they were the regime’s chamber of commerce, they willingly ignore the latest mass executions, arrest waves, the financing of terror and the horrible human rights situation. Iran’s barbaric henchmen promote and enact deadly homophobia and force homosexuals to flee the country. “

Volker Beck, a gay German Green Party member of parliament and international activist to stop the persecution of LGBTs, told the Post, “Iran is a signatory to a UN treaty that does not completely ban the death penalty but limits capital punishment to severe crimes and outlaws the execution of juveniles.”

Beck added: “In the court case Toonen vs Australia,  Geneva [United Nations Human Rights Committee] determined that the criminal prosecution of homosexuality violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Iran violates, with this execution, in three ways, its human rights obligations. Our foreign policy should strongly address the human rights situations in Iran and Saudi Arabia.”

Saudi Arabia, like Iran, prescribes the death penalty for gays.

According to a 2008 British WikiLeaks dispatch, Iran executed between 4,000 to 6,000 gays and lesbians between the start of the Islamic Revolution in 1979 to 2008.