Will Iran Cancel the Death Sentences of 3 ‘Homosexual Conduct’ Criminals?

Iran’s Mehdi P., from Tabriz; Moshen G., from Shiraz; and Nemat Safavi, from Ardebil, are all awaiting execution for allegedly having gay sex — when they were under 18. Guilty of “lavat” (i.e. sexual conduct between two men, regardless of penetration), the three boys do not yet have dates set for their state-sponsored murders, but one attorney fears it could happen any day, according to Human Rights Watch. Lavat is “punishable by death so long as both the active and passive partners are mature, of sound mind, and have acted of free will” — something that not only conflicts with the boys’ age at the time of the alleged “offenses,” but also a gross violation of international law, which forbids, under any circumstance, the executive of juvenile offenders. Meanwhile: “In 2008, the Deputy Attorney General of Iran announced that Iranian judicial authorities would ban the juvenile death penalty for non-murder-related offenses, effective immediately, pending parliamentary approval.”