dire straights

Will Iran Execute 18-Year-Old Hetero Ebrahim Hamidi On Trumped Up Sodomy Charges?

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Saeed Kamali Dehghan, for guardian.co.uk on Saturday 7th August 2010 23.29 UTC

An 18-year-old Iranian is facing imminent execution on charges of homosexuality, even though he has no legal representation. Ebrahim Hamidi, who is not gay, was sentenced to death for lavat, or sodomy, on the basis of “judge’s knowledge”, a legal loophole that allows for subjective judicial rulings where there is no conclusive evidence.

Hamidi had been represented by human rights lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei, who has since been forced to flee Iran after bringing to international attention the case of another of his clients, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a 43-year-old Iranian mother of two who has been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery. Mostafaei was due to arrive in Norway yesterday to begin a life in exile while continuing his campaigns on behalf of his clients, including Hamidi.

At the same time, human rights activist Peter Tatchell has written to the foreign secretary, William Hague, urging him to contact the chief justice of Iran and ask that the execution be halted.

“Ebrahim’s case is evidence that innocent heterosexual people can be sentenced to death on false charges of homosexuality [in Iran],” said Tatchell, co-founder of the London-based gay rights group OutRage.

Hamidi was arrested two years ago in the suburbs of the western city of Tabriz in the East Azerbaijan province after a fight with members of another family. Three of his friends were also involved in the incident and were subsequently arrested. Later, the four were accused of homosexual assault on a man and of attempting to abuse him sexually.

A person convicted of homosexuality in Iran can be lashed, hanged or stoned to death. The law includes a variety of penalties for different acts: 99 lashes if two unrelated males sleep “unnecessarily” under the same blanket – even without any sexual contact. A boy raped by an adult man would also be lashed if the court decided that he had “enjoyed” the experience.

After three days in detention, Hamidi confessed to the crime, allegedly under torture. The other three were cleared of all charges when promised by officials that they would be freed if they testified against Hamidi.

However, last month Hamidi’s alleged victim admitted that he had been under pressure from his parents to make false accusations. Nevertheless the local judiciary has insisted that Hamidi should be executed.

Mostafaei initially wrote an open letter about Hamidi’s case to highlight the execution of juvenile offenders. But two weeks ago Mostafaei’s wife, Fereshteh Halimi, was arrested and had been kept in solitary confinement in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison without charge until late last night, when the Observer understood that she was released.

Mostafaei fled to Turkey, where he was promptly arrested for entering the country illegally. On Friday, however, the Turkish authorities released him after EU diplomats intervened on his behalf. As he left, Mostafaei had repeated his fears for his wife’s safety. “They’ve taken her in as a hostage; it’s kidnapping,” he told the Observer. “Just look at what is happening to my wife and realise the flaws and failings of the Iranian legal system, especially towards Ebrahim Hamidi and Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who are awaiting execution on basis of false accusations,” he added.

Mostafaei, whose office in Tehran is now sealed off, is credited with saving at least 50 people from execution during his career, among them many juvenile offenders. A recent client, Ali Mahin-Torabi, 21, was released in July after Mostafaei’s efforts commuted his death sentence. With Mostafaei exiled, activists are worried for Hamidi. “It’s shocking that although Hamidi’s accuser admitted in a recorded testimony that he had lied, he is still facing execution,” Mostafaei said.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010

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    Considering what that vile nation of filthy scumbags did to these two Gay teens who were 14 and 16 when arrested for being Gay, hung after two years of torture. I wouldn’t hold out hope for this kid……………

  • Miles

    @PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS: Anyone who can see this and not cry, not get passionate about gay civil rights and not demand equality is not human. And for the vile sickening filth that govern that country, hope your karma finds you sooner than later.

  • hf2hvit

    There are a great many Christians in this country who would have no problem with this happening in the US. GET INFORMED!

  • Dawson

    @hf2hvit: “Great many” is a GREAT EXAGGERATION. If you base the whole belief of the people on the will of the lunatic fringe, then you wouldn’t feel sorry for citizens of Iran (gay or straight) that are put to death because at least it keeps them from killing us.

  • hf2hvit

    “No. 4 · Dawson
    @hf2hvit: “Great many” is a GREAT EXAGGERATION. If you base the whole belief of the people on the will of the lunatic fringe, then you wouldn’t feel sorry for citizens of Iran (gay or straight) that are put to death because at least it keeps them from killing us”

    What the hell was that supposed to mean? I guess the noose was already tightening when you wrote that. Hopefully, that’s over.

  • Shade

    Mmmmmm…. Iran is a slime pit. I hope any ‘mos or suspected mo’s are able to receive asylum.

  • Andrew B.

    Of course they will kill him it isn’t the first time they murder people and lie about the facts.


    Iran is a prime example that a nation guided by religion leads to tyranny. Faith and force go hand in hand since there is no way to appeal to reason when you are arguing over the arbitrary claims.

    Anyone leaving there deserves asylum in a civilized nation. All people deserve to live their lives free from the malevolent whims of their neighbors.

  • adman

    We really need to listen and respect the moderate voices in these communities, people. I mean they only want to MURDER us, but what the hey? It’s all just religion right? Benevolent sky pixies will save you if you agree to die for them. FUCK RELIGION!!!!

  • Andy

    Am I the only one who thinks it’s tasteless to post humiliating pictures of someone’s darkest hour when they have been unjustly killed? Show some respect for the dead instead of posting pictures some rude, evil person took as a token of victory over these poor boys. Would you want someone posting pictures of you terrified out of your mind and hanging dead for all the world to see? I didn’t think so.


    @Andy: Sorry Andy you are 100% wrong…..It is very important to show and view these pictures to show just what a vile bunch of scumbags those fundamentelistic islamic countries are. I want everyone to see the terror in those poor boys faces as they were murdered. Learn the backstory on how they were tortured for 2 years prior to this with series of whippings. Once that was done and they were about to be released suddenly new crimes “were discovered” and they were sentenced to death. They were driven to a public square where thousands of cheering savages were enjoying the spectacle like it was sporting event. They were put on a flatbed truck, the blindfolds were taken off so they could see each other (they were lovers)and the cheering mobs. Then instead of the “humane method” of hanging where a trap door opens and the neck is broken causing instant death, the truck was slowly driven forward ensuring a slow torturous death by strangulation. Imagine watching your lover die in front of you and a cheering mob.


  • Bill Perdue

    @PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS: Last year hundreds of thousands of GLBT folks, students and youth, women and trade unionists took to the streets to try to overthrow the mad ayatollahs.

    How do they fit into your racist decsription of a “vile nation of filthy scumbags”.

    The days of the ayatollahs are numbered and when they come crashing down I hope our brothers and sisters in Iran repay them tenfold for their crimes.

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