Friday, July 21, 2006

Yesterday's Protests Against Iranian Treatment of Gay People

Because all of the protests were in Western countries, and I didn't want to spend my night online (time zones work like that), I'm writing about this a day late. But it'll be worth it! (wink, wink)

All in all, the protests seemed mildly successful. I don't really think the Iranian government cares about the protests, and due to the crises in the world, they never really made it out of gay media. I couldn't find one mention of the protests in Arab media (I don't read Farsi). Still, almost ant showing of gay solidarity is a good thing, and even the smallest amount of progress still makes the road to freedom shorter.

There are tons of article and posts about the protests, but I'm going to quote IRINNews, an offshoot of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. IRINNews always has great, unbiased pieces, and this one especially focuses on the perpective of Iranian gay people, rather than just the protesters in foregin countries. A quote:

Arsham Parsi, secretary of human rights affairs for the Persian Gay and Lesbian Organization (PGLO), said the situation left gay men with no option but to hide.

"There is no room for rights as their mere life is threatened by law," he said from Canada.

"They can not report the abuse because they will have to state that they're gay, and that calls for harsh punishments and death."

In a letter to the United Nations, PGLO said that under Islamic law the penalty for sexual relations between two men was death, with a judge deciding the method of execution. The options included stoning, hanging, hurling from a height or death by sword.

"This brutality occurs within the Islamic regime of Iran, while the agreement of social and political rights of the world organisation [the UN] has banned torture and execution punishments for consensual relations between adults," the letter read.

It added that under Islamic law there was no boundary between "sexual abuse" and "homosexual relations", warning: "What we are highly concerned with and urgently ask from you is that a ban be placed on the execution of homosexuals and legal protection be provided to them in Iran." ...

Homan, a non-profit support organisation for the Los Angeles Iranian lesbian, gay, and bisexual community, believes that up to 4,000 lesbians and gay men may have been executed since the Iranian revolution in 1979.

According to various right[s] groups, an estimated 100,000 Iranians have been put to death during the past 27 years of clerical rule including women who had sex outside of marriage and political opponents of the government.
There are scores of good posts on the protests in many blogs, and I'm just going to list them. I'm working hard on my next post, which is important to me (not that Iran isn't). Besides, I've said almost all I can say about the events in Iran here, here, here, here, here, and here, among other. I like the post on the protests on Towleroad.


Anonymous Mike Tidmus said...

Hello Al-Fil!

Thank you for your post on the 19 July vigils and demonstrations. I helped organize the one in Amsterdam, and I just sent a link to your site to the other organziers.

I'm sure a lot of these people are, or will be, curious about how you and other gay people are faring in Lebanon, given the current state of things.

Stay well and safe!


July 22, 2006 11:43 AM  

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