Controversial MP George Galloway raised eyebrows this week while discussing the ongoing Mehdi Kazemi drama.
For those of you not paying attention, Kazemi left his native Iran in 2002 to study in Britain. Though Kazemi claims intended to return, but went on the run after hearing that the Iranian government executed his boyfriend, a common fate for gay folk. Kazemi’s been trying to find a safe haven for many months and now seems closer now than ever before, as the British government reconsiders his appeal.
The case has garnered loads of press, of course, and even more controversy, as Galloway learned this week. While speaking on The Wright Stuff, Galloway says the Iranian government didn’t execute Kazemi’s beau for being gay, but because of “sex crimes,” the government’s usual explanation for such deaths.
Gay activists are now accusing Galloway of perpetuating Iranian propaganda. Brett Lock of gay activists group Outrage! released the following statement:
We are calling on George Galloway to explain the source of his claim that Mehdi Kazemi’s boyfriend had committed sex crimes and this was the reason he was executed.
Neither OutRage! nor any other human rights group has seen anY evidence to suggest that Mr Kazemi’s partner was a rapist or sex-abuser.
George Galloway has made this claim. He should now produce the evidence.
This looks like the Iranian propaganda. The homophobic tyrants in Tehran frequently defame political, religious, and sexual dissidents with false claims of rape, alcoholism, drug-taking and hooliganism. But in this case, not even the Iranian authorities have made these
allegations against Mehdi Kazemi’s boyfriend.
Furthermore, Mr Galloway’s claim that gay people are not executed in Iran is refuted by every reputable human rights body, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Iran has the death penalty for homosexuality and gay people are often tortured to make confessions. They are hanged in public by the barbaric slow strangulation method which is deliberately designed to maximize and prolong the suffering of the victim.
Meanwhile, young Mehdi penned an international “thank you” for everyone’s support. What a well mannered refugee!