Iran: IGLHRC News Advisory on the Public Execution for Sodomy in Iran

On November 14, 2006, the Iranian state-run news agency, IRNA, published the following news story on its website about the public execution of an Iranian citizen in the city of Kermanshah, in western Iran.

Iran Executed another person for same-sex relationship
IRNA: Tuesday, Nov 14, 2006

A Delinquent Person was Executed in Kermanshah

Shahab Darvishsi, a delinquent person was executed in the Azadi Square of Kermanshah on Tuesday evening. According to the Communications Department of the Justice Department of the Kermanshah Province, the above-mentioned was found guilty [by the court of law] of forming a coterie of corruption rings, physical assaults, and the despicable act of sodomy. According to this report, his death sentence was issued by the Second Court of the town of Sahneh. The verdict was upheld by the Second Appeal Court of Kermanshah and the Twenty Seventh Branch of the Supreme Court. Hundreds of Kermanshah's residents were present at the scene of the execution. They were supportive of the Judicial System's decision and called for adopting a tough stance against criminals and disturbing elements.

The report, published only in Persian, was translated by Hossein Alizadeh, Communications Coordinator at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC). A few hours later, the semi-independent Iran's Student News Agency (ISNA) confirmed the news, without elaborating on details.

In response to this report, Paula Ettelbrick, Executive Director of IGLHRC said, “Killing citizens for running a prostitution ring or engaging in same-sex conduct should draw condemnation from the entire international community. Tragically, though, when the victims are charged with crimes having to do with their sexuality or gender, all too many remain silent. These reports must be fully investigated and, if true, Iran must be held accountable in the world community for such gross human rights violations.”

IGLHRC has been working closely with Iranian gay activist, Arsham Parsi, the Secretary General of the Iranian Queer Organization – IRQO (formerly known as Persian Gay and Lesbian Organization – PGLO).

Parsi says, "Similar to the Mashhad incident last year, it may be extremely difficult to firmly establish why this man was hanged, or whether the charges were fabricated. Whatever the truth is, the Iranian government must be stopped from killing people for sex-related crimes. We want an immediate end to these inhumane practices and laws.”

IGLHRC will continue to work closely with IRQO to uncover more about the circumstances under which the recent execution took place.