International groups dispute claims over gay teen executions in Iran

According to an article on Express Gay News, international watchdog groups are disputing claims made about the execution of two Iranian teenagers (see earlier blog post, “Two tid-bits”).

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch claim that the two teenagers were convicted and executed for sexually assaulting a 13 year old male, not for having consensual gay sex.

The Human Rights Campaign sent a letter last week to Madame Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asking her to condemn the executions. The executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission welcomed the HRC’s work on international gay-rights abuses but noted that this was “the wrong case” on which to take action.

The Human Rights Campaign stands by their original request for a condemnation of the executions. The HRC is not willing to give Iran, a country full of LGBT-rights abuses, the benefit of the doubt and believes that the charges were trumped up.

Although Madame Secretary of State Rice did not condemn the executions, the US State Department did release the following statement on the Iranian judicial systeM:

“We remain concerned about Iran’s judicial process. Defendants are not receiving due process of law, and trials lack procedural safeguards.

“As noted in our country reports on human rights practices, the judge and the prosecutor are the same person, trials are frequently held in closed sessions without access to a lawyer and the right of appeal is not often honored.

“We call upon the government of Iran to vigorously pursue prison reform, cooperate with international investigations of human rights cases and respect international human rights law and practice.”

Although the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch have decided that the teens were not excuted for having consensual homosexual sex, they are still alarmed and concerned about Iran’s execution of teenagers.

Other high ranking officials around the world have either condemned the executions on the grounds that teenagers should not be executed or on the grounds of the belief that the teens were executed for having gay sex.

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