Reporter Doug Ireland has the story
on his blog:
Two gay Iranian teenagers -- one 18, the other believed to be 16 or 17, were executed this week for the "crime" of homosexuality, on July 19. The two youths -- identified only by their initials as M.A. and A.M., were hanged on July 19 in Edalat (Justice) Square in the city of Mashhad in north-eastern Iran, on the orders of Court No. 19. The hanging of the teens was also reported by the National Council of Resistance of Iran.
I am utterly aghast. These boys are so young. With the ropes around their necks, they still seem so nonchalant, but the second photograph makes apparent the depth of their grief.
The links at Ireland's site have stories that report that the executions were sufficiently horrifying even to people in Iran that the executioners had to hide their identities with masks.
This is a crime against humanity. We cannot bring these boys back to life. The injustice against them is complete, total, and irrevocable. But in the memory of them, please take a moment to write a letter of protest, send an e-mail that communicates your disgust, launch a fax against the horror perpetrated by these murderers against such young people.
The Interest Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the United States has a web site. They provide email@example.com as an e-mail address.
You can write and fax:
Interest Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran
2209 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20007
Tel: (202) 965-4990
Fax: (202) 965-1073
You may write, telephone, or fax the Iranian ambassador in Canada:
Ambassador Seyed Mouhammad Ali Moosavi, Embassy of Iran, 245 Metcalfe St., Ottawa, Ontario .K2P 2K2 Canada Telephone (OO1-613- 235-4726, 233-4726; Fax, 233-5712
Maryscott O'Connor has some other suggestions for action over at her new blog.
[Update] slw0606 reports below in the thread, "One little known fact is these boys were 'accused' of raping a 13-year-old boy at knifepoint." I agree with slw06006 who writes, "However, I have my doubts about their actual crime. They may have been having consensual sex with this 13-year-old boy, if they did anything with him, and one can debate if that is a crime." Indeed, it seems odd that no one who has read the reports in Farsi has reported that detail of the story.
Let's imagine that the worst is true, something that may be impossible to know given conditions in Iran. Two boys 14 and 16 rape a 13-year-old at knifepoint. Even in the most blood thirsty states in our country, they would not get the death penalty. But this cover is way too easy. Consider these facts:
1. OutRage reports that Iran has killed more than 4,000 gay men and women since 1979.
2. Pictures finally leak out and horrify the world.
3. Guess what, out of the 4,000 they have killed, these two boys were malicious rapists.
The story is just too convenient. Indeed, as Doug Ireland suggests in the above linked blog, "The Iranian authorities are putting out a cover story that the two boys had participated in the rape of a 13-year-old, but OutRage affirms from its sources that this accusation is a smokescreen for inhuman conduct and is without foundation."
[Further Update] One more note, and another reason that this story is important. OutRage reports: Three other young gay Iranians are being hunted by the police, but they have gone into hiding and cannot be found. If caught, they will also face execution.