4 gay men sentenced to be executed in Iran

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Four Iranian men have been sentenced to hang for their alleged violation of the country’s anti-sodomy laws. Saadat Arefi, Vahid Akbari, Javid Akbari and Houshmand Akbari are all due to be executed after the recent verdict by a high court judge was delivered, according to a report from the Human Rights Activist News Agency in Iran. More than 4,000 people have been executed for violating the anti-sodomy law since the Ayatollah’s seized power in 1979, according to the HRANA.

The men are from the town of Choram, in the Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province of Iran. Although being gay is not a crime based on Iranian law, the Sharia law-based system bans all same-gender sex activity, including sodomy.

London based Iranian Human Rights Lawyer, Mehri Jafari told Pink News: “I am horrified and saddened to have heard the news about these four men. Not only with regards to the execution which is about to take place, but the fact that is beyond our control.

“There are two important issues in this case; the location of the alleged occurrence and the interpretation of the Sharia law that a Hodud (strict Sharia punishment) is eminent. Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad is one of the most undeveloped provinces in Iran and it is obvious that a lack of access to lawyers and fair trial can be considered a serious issue in this case. After this announcement it is very likely that the execution will be carried out soon, and the remote location makes it difficult to exert any influence on the process.”

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