Campaigners condemn gay hangings

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To mark the first anniversary of Iran’s hanging of two gay teenagers, Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, in the city of Mashhad, Labour MP Chris Bryant hosted a public meeting at the House of Commons last night.

Speakers included Chris Bryant MP and Azar Majedi, Chair of the Organisation for Women’s Liberation in Iran. Simon Forbes and Peter Tatchell of OutRage! revealed new information exposing the Iranian regime’s “lies and propaganda” about the execution of Mahmoud and Ayaz.

Mr Bryant announced that an early day motion condemning the executions of lesbian, gay, bisexual. transgender people, women and other vulnerable groups – especially, minors – in Iran had been signed by 100 MPs.

“We mourn the many lesbian and gay victims of Iran’s homophobic regime, and express our solidarity with all Iranians who are working for social justice, democracy and human rights,” said Ramzi Isalam of OutRage!, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender human rights group, which coordinated the House of Commons meeting.

“We stand united with our gay brothers and sisters in Iran who face the threat of arrest, imprisonment, flogging, torture and execution.

“OutRage! urges the British government to give a public undertaking to halt the deportation of Iranian asylum seekers who have fled persecution. Deportation is a potential death sentence,” said Mr Isalam, who is a gay Muslim refugee from Algeria.

The House of Commons meeting was one of 25 protests against Iran’s execution of gay people and children, which were held in cities around the world on 19 July.