Outrage expressed over Iran

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Gay activists will hold a protest against recent executions in Iran this weekend.

The demonstration, outside the Iranian Embassy in London, will highlight human rights abuses inside the dictatorship.

It comes after reports that a man was executed in Iran for being gay.

News agency Iran In Focus said the man, Shahab Darvishi, was found guilty of sodomy. Last year two teenagers, Mahmoud Asgari, 15, and Ayaz Marhoni, 17, were publicly executed because according to the regime they were rapists, however gay campaigners insist the boys were killed under Sharia law for the crime of homosexuality.

Outrage’s Peter Tatchell is leading the demonstration. Earlier this week he called on the United Nations to stop the execution of 11 men found guilty of bombing an oil installation.

He said: “The 11 men were found guilty of bombing oil installations in 2005. But no material evidence of their guilt was offered at their trial. All the evidence points to their innocence.

“Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have repeatedly expressed serious concerns about the fairness of trials involving Ahwazi Arabs and the safety of their convictions.

Mr Tatchell’s Arab Muslim colleague, Ali Hilli, Middle East Affairs spokesperson for the gay human rights group OutRage!, added: “These flawed trials and barbaric executions of Arabs by the Islamist dictatorship in Tehran are a perversion of Islam. The regime is without mercy and compassion. It is racist against fellow Muslims because of their ethnic origins.

“These death sentences are part of a pattern of gross human rights abuses. Iran also executes Muslims who turn away from their faith, unchaste women and gay people.”

The demo starts at 1300 GMT outside the Iranian Embassy in London tomorrow.