August 17, 2005
IRAN'S DEADLY ANTI-GAY CRACKDOWN--WITH TWO MORE EXECUTIONS SCHEDULED, THE PACE OF REPRESSION STEPS UP
I wrote the following article for Gay City News -- New York's largest weekly for gays and lesbians -- in whose new edition it will appear tomorrow:
:The latest dismal news about the Islamic Republic of Iran’s campaign of repression against homosexuality comes from the city of Arak, where two homosexual men are scheduled to be executed at the end of the month, probably on August 27( although some sources claim the executions are set for the following day.) Photo left: two gay Iranian teens on the gallows in the city of Mashad, July 19 -- click on photo for enlarged version.
Arak -- some 150 miles southwest of Tehran -- is a city under the strictest possible conservative religious, political, and military rule because it is the site of Iran’s heavy water plant -- heavy water is used in the production of fissionable nuclear material and is crucial to Iran’s attempts to develop a deliverable nuclear weapon. (Cartoon at right courtesy of In These Times). The two condemned men, both 27 -- whose names may be transliterated as Farad Mostar and Ahmed Choka -- were sentenced by an Arak court for sexual assault with homosexual acts, or, in other words, rape. Mostar and Choka, who are said to be intimate friends and business partners in a music store, were accused of having sequestered and sexually violated a 22 year old man.
All this is according to the editors of an underground publication for Iranian gays who, out of fear, asked that their names and that of their publication not be used (as did all sources within Iran); they refer to the two men as “gays,” and add that that most of their information comes from a gay man within Arak. This source says that the man Mostar and Choka were accused of assaulting -- known as Ali, an attractive student at Arak University -- was known to be bisexual, and had been having difficulties with his family over his manner of dressing and his hairstyle, which did not conform to conservative religious standards. Ali’s father is said to be a high-ranking army officer with the title of sarhang, or colonel.
According to this same source, Ali told his father of the assault -- and the father then took Ali to a physician to be examined for evidence of the rape and, subsequently, lodged a complaint against Mostar and Choka with the police. The two men were unable to pay the lawyer they had hired, and this same source asserts their legal defense suffered greatly from this fact.
Farshad Hoseini of the Netherlands secretariat of the International Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR) told me by telephone that the IFIR this week hired a prominent attorney to represent the two condemned men and file an appeal of their death sentence to the Iranian Supreme Court.
At press time, the new defense attorney was said to be trying to ascertain what grounds there are for appeal. It is not known with certainty at this time what the position is of the two men regarding the crime with which they were charged, as the families of the two men have refused to speak with anyone outside the country. While the gay source in Arak cited above claimed the charge “seems to be true.,” the Iranian gay publication’s editors who cited this source also warned that “the courts [in the Islamic Republic] always add to gays’ so-called crimes.”
An Iranian scholar who has spent considerable time studying sexuality in Iran told me, “In Iranian society, where even dating between men and women is not allowed under the Islamic Republic, rape is a daily occurrence, so great is the level of male sexual frustration. It is quite likely that the two men from Arak under death sentence did not even consider whatever they did to the third man ‘rape.’” Multiple sources, including this scholar and other Iranians, both in exile and in Iran, say that prosecution of men for raping women is relatively rare compared to the number of actual rapes of women which take place. Moreover, rape is quite frequently used as a form of punishment and humiliation against males in prison by prison authorities, guards, and even clerics, particularly when the prisoners have been charged with or convicted of sexual crimes.
According to multiple Iranian gay sources -- both exiles I spoke to in France, Sweden, and the Netherlands who have been in touch with their friends in Iran, and some in Iran who have communicated directly by e-mail -- there is an enormously heightened climate of repression and surveillance of same-sexers and homosexual activity in the wake of the hangings of two gay Iranian teens in the city of Mashad on July 19, previously reported in GCN. Even gay Iranians outside Iran are afraid of having their names used for fear of reprisals against their families and friends. As someone who made frequent reporting trips to Eastern Europe before the fall of Communism, I can say that the fear I have encountered reporting the Iran story these last weeks surpasses by far anything I encountered covering dissident movements behind the Iron Curtain.
As worldwide protests against the hangings of the two Mashad youths grew in both intensity and number, these Iranian sources suggest, the Islamic Republic -- under its new, recently-elected, ultra-nationalist president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (right) -- has decided to show that it will not bend or knuckle under to foreign pressure on behalf of Iranian gays by stepping up its legal actions against same-sexers, including more executions. Iranian scholars who followed the presidential campaign tell me that the Western press failed to grasp the degree to which Ahmadinejad”s “morality” crusade -- which included denunciations of imported Western “decadences,” like homosexuality -- was just as crucial to his electoral victory as his populist economic appeals.
In related developments, the Netherlands has now joined Sweden in freezing all deportations of gay Iranians who’ve been refused asylum as a result of the hangings of the Mashad youths. Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pierre Pettigrew (left), has issued a statement condemning the “deterioration” of the human rights situation in Iran, in which he specifically referred to the hangings of the Mashad gay youths, saying, “We condemn the recent hanging of two teenagers and encourage Iran to respect its obligations as a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,” and he criticized the “persecution of minorities in Iran.”
On August 16, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution entitled, "Resolution urging the United States Department of State to condemn the Islamic Republica of Iran's execution of two teenagers and the impending execution of two young men, for conducting homosexual acts allegedly charged as 'rape.'" The resolution -- spearheaded by openly gay Supervisor Bevan Duffy, and one of whose prime movers, Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi (left), is of Iranian descent -- also “deplores the persecution and execution of all Iranians who are denied the due process of the law and are, or are perceived to be, of the LGBT community;“ and “urges the U.S. State Department and its European partners to issue a strong condemnation against the Islamic Republic of Iran for their national practice of civil rights abuses and executions of homosexuals, and demand the cessation of further executions and denial of due process of law.”
Scott Long, director of Human Rights Watch's gay and lesbian affairs division, told me that HRW has referred the case of the two men under death sentence in Arak to the Special Rapporteur for Extra-Judicial Executions for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights ( the UNHCHR is currently former Canadian judge Louise Arbour, right), but that HRW had been encountering the same difficulties as this reporter in obtaining information from inside Iran, and does not feel it possesses sufficient hard information to take stronger action. Long confirmed the accuracy of my impression, saying that gay Iranians “are really scared” by the new hardline-conservative Ahmadinejad government and what it may do. “It’s absolute fear, no question,” Long added.
Finally, it is necessary to re-emphasize that there is always a problem of terminology when dealing with same-sex relations in Iran. As the noted gay historian Jonathan Katz remarked in his 2003 book, “Love Stories. Sex Between Men Before Homosexuality,” referring “to early nineteenth-century men's acts or desires as gay or straight, homosexual, heterosexual, or bisexual" places "their behaviors and lusts within our sexual system, not theirs." That is precisely the case with Iran today, where “gay identity” in the Western sense exists only among a tiny, well-educated element largely located in Tehran and a few other urban centers, despite a centuries-old literary and cultural tradition of same-sex love that has been entirely erased from consciousness in modern Iran. The extensive crackdown on domestic gay websites and the blocking of foreign ones by the Islamic Republic is designed to stop the spread of this Western sense of gay identity.
ON THE SAME SUBJECT: If you missed my report and commentary in Gay City News last week, "Iranian Sources Question Rape Charges in Teen Executions," check it out by clicking here.
Posted by Direland at 06:03 PM | Permalink
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference IRAN'S DEADLY ANTI-GAY CRACKDOWN--WITH TWO MORE EXECUTIONS SCHEDULED, THE PACE OF REPRESSION STEPS UP:
» Compassion for Iranian Gay Teens Lost to Religious Insanity from Queer Visions
Two gay teenagers, Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, were publicly executed in Iran on 19 July 2005 for the 'crime' of homosexuality. Iran enforces Is... [Read More]
Tracked on Aug 18, 2005 7:08:36 PM
» New information about the pending executions in Iran from Lysis
Finally, Doug Ireland has gathered some further information about the two Iranian men who are scheduled to be hanged on August 27: The two condemned men, both 27 — whose names may be transliterated as Farad Mostar and Ahmed Choka — were ... [Read More]
Tracked on Aug 18, 2005 11:59:17 PM
» When you see a behavior pattern you don't like... from StealthBadger.net
First you separate through labeling, then you divide through propaganda, then those you've convinced weaken the isolated group through the grey area where society, economy, and law meet, then you destroy. Anyone who's seen wolves or a band of chimps... [Read More]
Tracked on Aug 20, 2005 4:06:37 PM
» Iranian Teenagers Hanged for Alleged Gay Relationship from ...Or Does It Explode?
The Iranian regime has stepped up its campaign targeting gays. On July 19, two teenage boys were hanged in the city of Meshad (see photo). And just a few days ago (August 27), two men - Farbod Mostaar and Ahmad Chooka - were allegedly executed for hom... [Read More]
Tracked on Sep 5, 2005 8:27:27 PM
» Freedom is on the mothafuckin' march from To Be Determined
"The latest dismal news about the Islamic Republic of Iran's campaign of repression against homosexuality comes from the city of Arak, where two homosexual men are scheduled to be executed at... [Read More]
Tracked on Oct 5, 2005 3:55:26 PM
Tracked on Jun 7, 2006 11:15:57 AM
Tracked on Jun 10, 2006 3:07:30 PM
Tracked on Jun 12, 2006 12:54:22 PM
» Understanding How MFAs (Made For AdSense) Get on Your Sites from 101 at WebmasterWorld
your Google AdSense ads. The thread creator explains eCPM, how eCPM is calculated... [Read More]
Tracked on Jun 12, 2006 9:28:34 PM
Tracked on Jun 17, 2006 2:28:42 AM
» Immigration debate snags Calif. budget talks
from said on Thursday
said on Thursday he expects lawmakers to pass a budget by month's end instead of meeting a June 15 deadline because of disagreements [Read More]
Tracked on Jun 17, 2006 9:48:23 PM
Tracked on Jun 18, 2006 11:24:34 AM
» Iran Appeals to International Leaders for Support - Washington Post from Express -
Leaders for Support Washington Post- 11 hours ago SHANGHAI, June 15 -- Overshadowing a regional summit, Iranian President Mahmoud [Read More]
Tracked on Jun 18, 2006 5:35:21 PM
» Internet May Be the Way to Send Youth Health Messages from age or ethnicity.
regardless of their school status, gender, age or ethnicity. The study is one of six articles about teens published today in a special issue [Read More]
Tracked on Jun 18, 2006 7:38:53 PM
Tracked on Jun 21, 2006 1:34:45 AM
» IPG steps up laser capacity with Veeco kit from laser system
base with the purchase of an MBE reactor from Veeco. Veeco Instruments has sold a cluster MBE tool to fiber laser specialist IPG Photonics. [Read More]
Tracked on Jun 28, 2006 6:51:35 PM
Tracked on Jun 30, 2006 3:56:56 AM
Tracked on Aug 2, 2006 5:03:21 AM
» 9 Critical Patches Among Microsoft's Dirty Dozen from -- nine critical
ranging from Windows XP to Windows Server 2003. All but one of the flaws can be used to remotely execute code; the remaining vulnerability can be [Read More]
Tracked on Aug 11, 2006 5:12:01 AM
http://www.batteryfast.com/acer/travelmate-330t.htm acer travelmate 330t battery,
Posted by: laptop battery | Oct 12, 2008 10:41:55 PM
enormous cock girls thick
Posted by: cocks thick enormous cock | Jun 7, 2008 11:58:29 AM
Fioricet pain relief drug is the combination of acetaminophen, butalbital, and caffeine is used to relieve tension headaches. Order generic fioricet online - http://www.drugs-generic.info/index.php?prod=Fioricet
Wellbutrin antidepressant drug (Bupropion) is used to treat depression. Bupropion is used to help people stop smoking. This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information. Order generic wellbutrin bupropion online - http://www.drugs-generic.info/index.php?prod=Wellbutrin
Diflucan Flucanazole medication is an antifungal agent used to treat infections in certain areas of the body caused by yeast and yeast-like organisms. Generic Diflucan works best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Do this by taking the medication at evenly spaced intervals. Take as directed since different conditions require different methods of use. This drug is usually taken once daily. Another dosing method involves taking the drug for one week per month until treatment is completed. Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished even if symptoms disappear after a few days. Stopping the medication too early may allow the yeast to continue to grow resulting in a relapse of the infection. Order generic diflucan online - http://www.drugs-generic.info/index.php?prod=Diflucan
Posted by: Drug store without prescription | May 6, 2008 2:42:05 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.