MEP Michael Cashman says he’s working to stop Iranian gay executions

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Gay Labour MEP Michael Cashman has said he is working to stop the planned executions of two young men for alleged homosexuality offences.

The two men, named only as Ayub, 21, and Mosleh, 20, were arrested by agents of the Iranian regime in the Kurdistan city of Piranshahr in northwest Iran after mobile phone footage was discovered of them having sex.

It has been claimed that the video included them having sex with a 17-year-old who told religious police that the pair raped him in exchange for sparing his own life.

Homosexuality is illegal in Iran.

Mr Cashman tweeted yesterday: “Working to stop the execution of Ayoub and Mosleh in Iran.” understands he has alerted EU Foreign Minister Cathy Ashton about the men’s plight, while MPs Chris Bryant and Caroline Lucas have written to the Foreign Secretary to highlight the case.

The US State Department has also been asked to intervene by gay rights campaigners.

The date of the execution was originally reported as today (January 21st) although this is now unclear.

Gay rights activist Paul Canning, who wrote for about the case this week, said: “This case has been difficult to write about because of the dangers for sources of information in Iran, changing or limited information and because of the obvious politics which surround any such case.

“However this does not mean we can stand by and do nothing. Previous cases, in particular that of the woman sentenced to stoning for adultery, now changed to imprisonment, show that sometimes international pressure works.

“I am delighted that pressure does now appear to be being applied.”