[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon Nov 21 22:42:03 CST 2005
Iran: 2 More Executions for Homosexual Conduct
Iran's execution of 2 men last week for homosexual conduct highlights a
pattern of persecution of gay men that stands in stark violation of the
rights to life and privacy, Human Rights Watch said today.
On Sunday, November 13, the semi-official Tehran daily Kayhan reported
that the Iranian government publicly hung 2 men, Mokhtar N. (24 years old)
and Ali A. (25 years old), in the Shahid Bahonar Square of the northern
town of Gorgan.
The government reportedly executed the two men for the crime of "lavat."
Iran's shari`a-based penal code defines lavat as penetrative and
non-penetrative sexual acts between men. Iranian law punishes all
penetrative sexual acts between adult men with the death penalty.
Non-penetrative sexual acts between men are punished with lashes until the
4th offense, when they are punished with death. Sexual acts between women,
which are defined differently, are punished with lashes until the 4th
offense, when they are also punished with death.
"The execution of two men for consensual sexual activity is an outrage,"
said Jessica Stern, researcher with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch. "The Iranian
government's persecution of gay men flouts international human rights
In addition to the 2 executions last week, there have been other cases of
persecution and execution of gay men in Iran in recent years.
- In September 2003, police arrested a group of men at a private gathering
in one of their homes in Shiraz and held them in detention for several
days. According to Amir, one of the men arrested, police tortured the men
to obtain confessions. The judiciary charged five of the defendants with
"participation in a corrupt gathering" and fined them.
- In June 2004, undercover police agents in Shiraz arranged meetings with
men through Internet chatrooms and then arrested them. Police held Amir, a
21-year-old, in detention for a week, during which time they repeatedly
tortured him. The judicial authorities in Shiraz sentenced him to 175
lashes, 100 of which were administered immediately. Following his arrest,
security officials subjected Amir to regular surveillance and periodic
arrests. From July 2005 until he fled the country later in the year,
police threatened Amir with imminent execution.
- On March 15, 2005, the daily newspaper Etemaad reported that the Tehran
Criminal Court sentenced 2 men to death following the discovery of a video
showing them engaged in homosexual acts. According to the paper, one of
the men confessed that he had shot the video as a precaution in case his
partner withdrew the financial support he had been providing in return for
sex. In response to the man's confession, his partner was summoned to the
authorities and both men were sentenced to death. As the death penalty was
pronounced against both men, it appears to have been based on their sexual
"These abuses have created an atmosphere of terror for lesbians, gays,
bisexuals and transgender people throughout Iran," said Stern. "But
arrest, torture and execution are not limited to gays and lesbians. Any
group of people deemed 'immoral' becomes subject to state-sanctioned
persecution and even murder."
In Iran, executions and lashings are regular means of punishment for a
broad range of crimes, not merely same-sex acts. Judges often accept
coerced confessions, and security officials routinely deny defendants
access to counsel. Late last year, the Iranian judiciary, which has been
at the center of many reported human rights violations, formed the Special
Protection Division, a new institution that empowers volunteers to police
moral crimes in neighborhoods, mosques, offices and any place where people
gather. The Special Protection Division is an intrusive mechanism of
surveillance that promotes prosecution of citizens for behavior in their
Human Rights Watch called upon the Iranian government to decriminalize
homosexuality and reminded Iran of its obligations under Toonen v.
Australia (1994), the Human Rights Committee's authoritative
interpretation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights, to which Iran is party. Toonen v. Australia extends recognition of
the right to privacy and the right to freedom from discrimination on the
grounds of sexual orientation throughout human rights law.
Furthermore, Human Rights Watch urged Iran to reform its judiciary in
accordance with principles for fair trials enshrined in both the Iranian
constitution and international human rights law. Finally, Human Rights
Watch called upon Iran to cease implementation of capital punishment in
all circumstances because of its inherent cruelty, irreversibility, and
potential for discriminatory application.
To view this document on the Human Rights Watch web site, please visit:
(source: Human Rights Watch)
Prosecution seeks death penalty in Borivli case
Death by hanging - that's what the prosecution has sought as punishment
for 2 accused Ashish Waravane (20) and Clint Fernandes (19) in the Borivli
double murder case. For the third accused, Wilfred Dias (19), the
prosecution has sought 10 years' rigorous imprisonment.
Additional sessions judge R B Malik has already held Ashish and Clint
guilty of brutally murdering Leticia Mendes (54) and her 1-year-old
grandson Dylan Lobo, besides injuring her daughter Glenda Lobo on November
On Monday, the prosecution argued regarding the nature of their sentences.
Additional public prosecutor A V Patil contended that the 2 murders should
be considered the "rarest of rare case" and urged the court to award the
youths the death penalty.
Defence advocate Majeed Memon, however, made a strong plea for leniency
towards the accused considering their age. "They are college going boys
from respectable families and not hardened criminals," said Memon.
He refuted the police theory that this was a premeditated murder. "It was
a robbery attempt and there was no motivation or intention to kill on the
part of the boys.
It happened on the spur of the moment, when the victims resisted the
robbery and the boys thought that they may be caught," said the advocate.
Memon also contended that the youths had not taken any weapons to the
house and this proved that they had no intention to kill.
The prosecution however blasted this theory. "It was a premeditated murder
as the Mendes family and the families of the accused were acquaintances.
The accused knew that they would be identified," said Patil.
The prosecution produced photographs taken at the scene of the murder to
bolster their case. The accused had repeatedly stabbed Glenda and then
hanged Dylan from the ceiling fan with a telephone cable wire.
The prosecution's main eyewitness was Dylan's mother Glenda Lobo, who was
also seriously injured in the attack. During her testimony, Glenda broke
down and cried. "I don't want the boys to go scot free," she said. The
sessions court has reserved judgment for Friday.
(source: Times of India)
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