The Supreme Court of Iran has sentenced four gay men to death as “enemies of Allah,” according to the Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA). Vahid Akbari, Sahadat Arefi, Javid Akbari and Hushmand Akbari are to be executed by hanging for committing sodomy in accordance with strict Sharia’ law.
Human-rights lawyer Mehri Jafari told Gold Star News that he was “horrified and saddened” by the sentence and said the alleged crime’s location is an important factor:
“Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad [province] is one of the most undeveloped provinces in Iran and it is obvious that a lack of access to lawyers and fair trial can be considered a serious issue in this case. After this announcement it is very likely that the execution will be carried out soon, and the remote location makes it difficult to exert any influence on the process.”
Meanwhile, the human-rights organization EveryOne is calling on Navanethem Pillay, the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights, and Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights—as well as the Organization for Islamic Cooperation and the Islamic Human Rights Commission—to step in and save these men’s lives.