Archive for July 19

19 July 2005 – Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni

Posted in Death penalty, Hanged with tags , , , , , on July 19 by Last Writes

Mahmoud Asgari & Ayaz Marhoni

Mahmoud Asgari & Ayaz Marhoni

Disturbingly, an Iranian child aged 16 was strung up today in 2005 next to his 18-year-old mate. Their ages as with their crimes however remain controversial even to this day.

The official stance is that Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni were found guilty of raping a minor – an even younger child of just 13. But this may also be a cover story for the real reason – that the boys were gay.

Worryingly, some interpret Islamic (Shari’a) law as grounds for executing homosexuals, says Wikipedia, however there are laws protecting children from the death penalty.

Controversy

Human Rights Watch has been vocal in its criticism of the hangings, not least because Iran is said to be one of five remaining countries which still allow juvenile hangings.

However, Iran refuted the criticism, branding the punishment just and in return for the boys’ crimes, which are said to have been rape, alcohol consumption and public breach of the peace, according to the BBC. Indeed, Iranians apparently deem that 15-year-olds are adults by law.

Yet, some sources add further fuel to the controversy by saying the boys were just 14 and 16 at the time of their deaths.

Mystery

The obvious mystery surrounding this case has led to harsh criticism from the gay and human rights camps, who continue to decry the general treatment of homosexuals in the Middle East.

Whatever their supposed ‘crimes’, the two boys were strung up today and the last few minutes of their short lives were poignantly captured for the world to see – there exists both photographic and video footage of the boys’ dying minutes as they were hanged publicly on this day in 2005 in Mashhad.

The last word goes to HRW’s Scott Long who says, ‘If we want to challenge Iran’s government, we need facts. There is enough proof of torture and repression that we can do without claims of ‘pogroms’’.

Also on this day

19 July 1911 – William Palmer

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