According to unconfirmed reports, a 14-year-old boy was murdered after the mullah at an Islamic boys’ camp accused him of being gay.
Amir Taheri, a former editor of Iran’s main newspaper Kayhan, first Tweeted the story of Akbar Zargarzadeh’s hanging yesterday:
ISFAHAN- 14 year old Akbar Zargarzadeh hanged from tree in Islamic boys’ camp after camp’s mullah accused him of being gay deserving death.
— Amir Taheri (@AmirTaheri4) July 16, 2015
GayStarNews notes they have been unable to confirm the story independently, and have found no mention of it in the Farsi press or among Iranian LGBT networks.
But that hasn’t stopped others from responding to the accusation.
Benjamin Weinthal, the European Affairs correspondent for The Jerusalem Post, has urged the European Union to weigh in on the alleged murder.
“Lethal homophobia under self-described moderate [Iranian President Hassan] Rouhani,” Weinthal Tweeted.
Hasan Sari, a journalist based in the Middle East, asked: “How is this different from what ISIS does?”
It is currently illegal to be gay in Iran, where punishment can range from imprisonment to execution. However, the Iranian government claims it does not execute people for being gay, but rather over charges of rape or murder.
In 2005, 16-year-old Mahmoud Asgari and 18-year-old Ayaz Marhoni (pictured) were publicly hanged for being gay.