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NEW YORK – With new reports from Iran that two young men who were hung in public this week may have been executed by the government because of their sexual orientation, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission renewed its call today for UN human rights experts to investigate such cases and demanded that Iran’s government be held accountable for any violation of human rights laws.
Reports of these recent public executions follow a separate report of a young man being hanged in northern Iran last week. IGLHRC is also following up on information circulating that a total of 92 hangings and death sentences have taken place in that country within the past four and a half months alone.
“We are alarmed at these latest hangings and call for an immediate investigation by the UN and national human rights monitors,” stated Paula Ettelbrick, executive director of IGLHRC. “It’s clear that a pattern is emerging in which young men are executed as couples and that the crimes they allegedly committed always involve some form of sexual assault of another male.”
Public executions, in and of themselves, are considered to be cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment under international law. IGLHRC has long documented specific conditions in Iran involving clear violations of human rights law.
“When the first reported executions came to our attention in July, it was nearly impossible to determine whether the two men were executed because of their sexual orientation,” continued Ettelbrick. “But this pattern that we have identified, along with the extraordinary increase of public death sentences being carried out under this new government, require a response not just from the global LGBT community but from all human rights advocates.”
IGLHRC is joining with Al-Fatiha, the international LGBT Muslim organization, in its call for European governments and to seek further details on these recent executions and in its support for a resolution from Canada introduced in the UN expressing concerns over human rights violations in Iran.
IGLHRC will also continue to strategize with Al-Fatiha, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the International Lesbian and Gay Association, and other human rights groups on how to move world and opinion leaders and international human rights experts to demand of Iran that it honor its commitments under international law to suspend use of the death penalty.
IGLHRC is the only human rights organization solely devoted to improving the rights of people around the world who are targeted for imprisonment, abuse or murder because of their sexuality, gender identity or HIV status. IGLHRC addresses human rights violations by partnering with and supporting activists on the ground in countries around the world, by monitoring and documenting abuses, by engaging offending governments, and by educating international human rights officials. A US-based non-profit, non-governmental organization, IGLHRC is based in New York, with offices in San Francisco and Buenos Aires. For more information: http://www.iglhrc.org.