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August 12, 2005

TWO NEW GAY EXECUTIONS SCHEDULED IN IRAN, SAYS IRANIAN EXILE GROUP

In the last 24 hours I've been in touch with Farhad Hoseini of the International Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR), who reports that two gay men -- Farbod Mostaar and Ahmad Chooka -- have been tried and sentenced to be executed for homosexuality on August 28, in the Iranian city of Arak.  (A message from the International Gay and Lesbian Association 's Roberto Rodriguez in Brussels, based on an e-mail from an Iranian, gives the spelling of the first name of the first man as "Farid.") As soon as i got the first e-mail alerting me to this new set of Iexecutions, I called Hoseini, who is with the IFIR secretariat in The Netherland. He told me that he and the IFIR had received the information about these scheduled new gay executions from members of the families of the two men whose death at the hands of the Islamic Republic of Iran has been programmed. Hoseini asserted that the men were to be killed for consensual homosexual acts with each other -- such acts are punishable by death in the Islamic Republic. But he had very little other information -- he promised to get me more within the next 48 hours through expected contacts.

As I noted in my latest article for New York City's Gay City News on the hangings of the two gay Iranian teens in the city of Mashad on July 19, the climate of repression and surveillance of gays in in Iran the wake of those hangings has increased tremendously since the news of these barbaric executions went global and elicited world-wide protests. Hoseini confirmed that the IFIR's contacts inside Iran also are reporting this crackdown --  and he said everyone is afraid to talk about State anti-gay repression, including the families of the two men now Iis a left-wing organization that has existed since 1990, and is opposed to both the Islamist regine and to the Pahlevi monarchy -- but Iranian scholarly sources I contacted told me that, whatever differences they may have had over stategy and tactics with the IFIR (which urged a boycott of the last presidential election), they would be reliable on this issue.

As soon as I heard from Hoseini, I immediately informed Scott Long, head of the gay and lesbian department at Human Rights Watch -- which had not yet heard of these new scheduled executions -- of what I had learned. HRW has yet to react officially to this report. I just spoke to Long, and he's awaiting further confirmation.

I've also just received an e-mail from Nicolas Alexeyev of the website GayRussia, telling me they've received a similar report from "the Persian Gay and Lesbian Organization." But no one I know in either the Iranian exile community or among gay international human rights professionals has ever been able to say just what this organization is or who it's run by.

As soon as I can get more information on these scheduled executions, I'll post it on this blog -- so stay tuned.... UPDATE AUGUST 17: For the latest on the condemned men, and more on the wave of anti-gay repression in Iran, click here:

Posted by Direland at 04:46 PM | Permalink

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