Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni

از دانشنامه همجنس‌گرایان
پرش به: ناوبری، جستجو
Mahmoodaskari ayazmarhooni 1.jpg

Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni were hanged in public

مقاله فارسی

محمود عسگری و ایاز مرهونی

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IRAN FOCUS: Iran hangs under-18 adolescent in public - 19 JULY 2005


Iran hangs under-18 adolescent in public

Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Jul. 19 - A young man and a minor were hanged in public on Tuesday in Iran’s second largest city, a government-funded news agency reported.

The two, only identified by their initials M.A and A.M., were convicted of sexual assault on a 13-year-old boy by the Islamic Tribunal of Mashad, according to ISNA news agency.

Ruhollah Rezazadeh, the lawyer for one of the two hanged men, said that his client was under the age of 18.

Each of the men was lashed 228 times before being hanged at 10 am (local time) in Edalat (Justice) Square in downtown Mashad.

Under the penal code, girls as young as nine and boys as young as 15 can be executed.

The Times: Public execution for the teenagers convicted of rape - 22 july 2005

From The Times

July 22, 2005

Public execution for the teenagers convicted of rape

By Our Foreign Staff

IRAN has publicly hanged two male teenagers convicted of raping a 13-year-old boy at knifepoint. After the Supreme Court upheld the verdict of child rape, they were executed on Tuesday in Edalat (Justice) Square in the city of Mashhad. The British gay rights group Outrage! has accused Iran of torturing the two into confessing that they had homosexual sex. It believes that the assault charges were a smokescreen to justify killing homosexuals.

Pictures of the hangings, on the ISNA student news agency website, showed the terrified young men crying as they were interviewed by state media in a lorry on the way to the gallows. Another picture showed hangmen in balaclavas tightening the nooses around their necks.

Iran’s religiously conservative judiciary decided that the pair had raped the 13-year-old at knifepoint while he was out cycling in the northeast province of Khorassan. The young men’s ages were not released but Ruhollah Rezazadeh, the lawyer for one of them, told ISNA that he was under 18, yet the judiciary had refused to spare him for being too young. The other accused was said to be 18 years old.

Iranian newspapers reported that the two were also given more than 200 lashes for theft and drinking alcohol. The press carried conflicting reports about the fate of three other men accused of involvement in the sexual assault. Qods newspaper said that they were still on the run, although the Mardomsalari daily reported that they had been jailed.

Mr Rezazadeh defended the two, saying they had not understood that gay relations and drinking were forbidden. Homosexuality is a crime in Iran, but the death penalty is normally reserved for murder, rape, armed robbery, adultery, drug trafficking and apostasy.

Many newspapers said that the pair were originally from the restive southwest province of Khuzestan, home to Iran’s Arab minority and the lion’s share of the Islamic republic’s oil wealth.

Peter Tatchell, an Outrage! spokesman, said that Britain should reconsider its relations with Iran because of its victimisation of homosexuals. “We urge the international community to treat Iran as a pariah state, break off diplomatic relations and impose trade sanctions,” he said.

Britain follows a policy of constructive engagement with Iran, alongside France and Germany, mainly directed at resolving an international dispute over whether Tehran is seeking nuclear arms.

The European Union has been pursuing a human rights dialogue with Iran, but last year the American pressure group Human Rights Watch said that abuses had risen since 2000.

Amnesty International said that Iran executed 159 people last year, a figure exceeded only by China. Under Iran’s religious law, the age of criminal culpability is defined as puberty, which most judges put at 15 for boys and nine for girls.

Iran has already drawn fire from international rights groups for executing minors. Last summer a 16-year-old girl, Atefeh Rajabi, was hanged in the Caspian port of Neka for sex before marriage. Medical reports, not allowed in court, had suggested that she was mentally ill.

The clerical judiciary has repeatedly said that it is preparing to overhaul its approach to juvenile crime and would institute a minimum age of 18 for long prison or death sentences. But human rights lawyers are not convinced that the reforms will be implemented soon.


Since 1990 11 child offenders reported executed

Jan 2004 Mohammad Mohammadzadeh, 21, executed for an alleged murder

June 2004 Ali, 16, sentenced to die for killing fellow high school student

Aug 2004 Atefeh Rajabi, 16, hanged for sex before marriage

Nov 2004 Vahid, 16, sentenced to death for murder of a friend said to have tried to abuse him

Jan 2005 30 under 18 detained and thought to be facing death sentence

Source: Amnesty International

BBC: Iran must stop youth executions - 28 july 2005

Last Updated: Thursday, 28 July 2005, 18:39 GMT 19:39 UK

Iran must stop youth executions

By Steven Eke

BBC News

A US-based human rights organisation has called on Iran to end the execution of juvenile offenders.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Iran was in breach of international agreements it had signed up to.

The call follows last week's public hanging of two youths convicted of still unclear sexual offences.

Iran insists the youths were convicted of raping a younger boy. However gay rights organisations say the youths were executed for being homosexual.

Inhumane punishment

The case has had considerable global resonance.

Leading European and US gay organisations and publications have already launched letter-writing protest campaigns, and plan to hold demonstrations outside Iranian embassies over the coming weeks.

In a statement issued on Thursday, HRW said Iran was one of only five countries to continue executing juveniles and called for an end to what it called an inhumane punishment.

The Iranian judiciary has reacted angrily to the international outrage surrounding the public hanging of Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, whom rights activists claim were aged 16 and 18.

Officials said they had been sentenced to whipping and hanging for rape, drinking alcohol and disturbing public order, and deserved the punishment they got.

Rare, close-up pictures of the execution were rapidly published on the internet. In them, officials can be seen placing nooses around the necks of the two obviously distressed, young men.

Public executions are not unusual in Iran but the execution of juveniles often attracts international opprobrium.

The case has been adopted as a cause celebre by gay rights groups.

They say the majority of media reports suggest the official charges were fabricated to reduce any public sympathy for the youths and that the real reason was the youths' sexual orientation.

Homosexuality is illegal in almost all Muslim countries, and punishable by death in many of them.

But gay and human rights groups say Iran's record is particularly shocking, having executed possibly thousands of gay men since the Islamic revolution.

The Nation: Witnesses to an Execution by Richard Kim

Richard Kim Witnesses to an Execution

The Washington Post: Pictures From An Execution Come Into Focus

وب سایت منبع

By Philip Kennicott

Washington Post Staff Writer

Thursday, July 20, 2006; Page C01

Not since they confronted snapshots of a slightly built young man named Matthew Shepard and the fence where he was left for dead in 1998 by two drug-addled no-hopers in Laramie, Wyo., have gay people been so agitated by a set of photographic images. Protesters brought black-and-white reproductions of the pictures -- which show the public execution last year of two teenage boys in Iran -- to a rally in Dupont Circle yesterday afternoon. The images were also used in other protests, at least 26 in countries around the world, according to bloggers involved in organizing them, and the images are displayed in the windows of Lambda Rising bookstore, near Dupont Circle.

The pictures show a dismally sad drama: Two young men, identified by the Associated Press as aged 16 and 18, are seen shackled in a prison van, sobbing; one of them is then seen being led to a scaffold; other shots show the boys together with dark-hooded men placing nooses around the boys' necks; and two final images show their bodies hanging from ropes, in a large public square, as a crowd watches from a distance.

The hanging images, taken in the large northeastern city of Mashhad, raced across the Internet after the July 19, 2005, execution was reported by the Iranian Student News Association. There was a brief burst of very angry reaction among gay rights leaders, politicians in Europe and some human rights groups in the United States and abroad. Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian woman who won the Nobel Peace Prize for her human rights work, protested the execution of minors. The two boys quickly became gay martyrs, killed, said activists, only because they desired each other and acted on that desire.

But as human rights groups looked into the initial Iranian accounts, the waters muddied. The boys, identified as Ayaz Marhoni and Mahmoud Asgari, were said to have been convicted not for homosexual conduct but for raping a 13-year-old boy. Gay journalists, writing on blogs, cited sources in Iran who said that claim was a smoke screen used by the Iranian government to deflect outrage over the execution. One account, again based on unnamed sources in Iran, suggested that a group of boys had been involved in consensual sexual activity and that the youngest of them (or members of his family) may have claimed he was coerced to avoid trouble for himself. In a country where an accusation of homosexuality is certain to bring harassment, often brings brings prison and torture, and occasionally brings death (by stoning, hanging, bisection with a sword or being dropped from a height, say gay rights groups), that scenario is plausible.

Scott Long of Human Rights Watch says that even a year later international groups know "very little" about what happened. The images are horrifying enough, he says, even if the boys were guilty of rape. And his group has documented plenty of "horror stories," including executions, that have been visited on people caught in same-sex activity in Iran. But can his group say anything about the rape charges?

"Nobody should trust the Iranian government on its face, but we can't document that," he says by phone from his office in New York.

Perhaps the saddest thing about these pictures is that no major news organization outside Iran has tracked down what really happened. The final indignity of these boys' short lives was that they didn't matter enough to spark a serious investigation. And yet, even with the particular facts of the alleged crimes in dispute, the images have haunted gay people in the West and become part of a larger debate about the political alignment of gay rights groups. Should Western activists engage with gay rights issues across cultural and religious borders? And do they risk being dragged into a crude anti-Islamic fervor popular among some fundamentalist Christians (who are no friends to gay people) and right-wing political groups?

Rob Anderson, 23, organized the Dupont Circle protest of about 40 people. He is a researcher and reporter for the New Republic, and he describes himself as part of a "network of lefty friends" who have no interest in the idea of war with Iran. But when the images of the hangings went up last year on the Internet, he printed them out and put them up near his desk. He says that all the friends he's shown the pictures to have had "a shift in consciousness," a realization that they live sheltered lives, that evil exists in the world and that despite the vast cultural difference between Iran and the United States, there have to be moral absolutes. And killing children for homosexuality is one thing that is absolutely wrong.

Over the past year, the ambiguity about why the boys were hanged has mostly faded from discussions on gay Web sites. Gay conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan, who organized a protest in Provincetown, Mass., yesterday, referred to the boys recently as "two gay teenage lovers." A Romeo and Juliet glow has come upon them, two young people killed because of the cruelty and ignorance of an unjust world. As the two boys have taken on iconic status, the cultural difference between them and the rest of the gay world has evaporated. When Anderson looks at the pictures, he feels a powerful connection with the young men.

"For gay people, I think all of us have a fear of being killed, and of being killed for who we are," he says. What he sees is two young men being "executed for something you see in yourself."

The force of the images, for many gay people, has cut through any doubt about their particular meaning. Even if these boys were guilty of rape, there is no doubt that others have been killed simply for being gay. So the pictures are not so much forensic documents as they are dramatizations of something that almost certainly exists. And their power is undeniable.

Images of people who are about to die tell us little about what we really want to know: What is death? How do you pass into it? Is it fearful? And so, unable to learn about death, we query the photograph itself, down to its most mundane details. Looking at these boys, you wonder who brought them the clean white shirts in which they were killed. It seems the sort of thing a mother might attend to. And what of the man, said to be a journalist, who is interviewing them in the police wagon as they cry? Does he sleep at night? And the sandal that has fallen from one boy's foot as he swings on the rope -- did anyone collect it afterward?

Although they have circulated widely on the Internet and were printed in some European newspapers, as well as the New York Times, the images have not been seen in most newspapers here. There is nothing in the pictures taken before the execution that contains blood, or explicit violence, or nudity, the usual taboos of imagery in the United States. And yet something about them is so deeply disturbing that they have had little mainstream circulation.

It is, perhaps, the very blunt and painful confrontation with homophobia that they force upon any viewer who chooses to believe that these are, indeed, images of youth executed merely for being gay. Rarely is the hatred of homosexuals, which flourishes within many of the world's fundamentalist religions, seen so starkly. If the Old Testament, a font of three of the world's major faiths, is the inerrant Word of God, then why should these images trouble you? For God, in Leviticus, says that the killing of homosexuals is justice and pleasing to him.

But if the images trouble the conscience nonetheless, then the viewer finds himself in exactly the position of every gay person who has wrestled with traditional morality and its often harsh absolutes. You find within yourself a moral consciousness that is wider than the wellspring of ancient religion. It is a dizzying sensation of liberation, and its power pulses through every line written by Walt Whitman. But it is, for many, a terrifying thought, and so images are suppressed. And the wasted lives of two young men are ignored by all except those who, through the strange ether of the Internet, feel a powerful kinship with them.

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