Iran must stop executing its gay citizens

This week was the first anniversary of the executions of Mahmoud Asgari, 16, and Ayaz Marhoni, 18, who were both publicly hanged on 19 July last year in Mashad, provincial capital of Iran's Khorasan province, on charges of homosexuality.

Human rights activists around the world marked the anniversary of the teenagers' execution by calling for Iran to abolish capital punishment in general and for homosexuality in particular.

It is believed that believe that up to 4,000 lesbians and gay men may have been executed since the Iranian revolution in 1979.

In total, an estimated 100,000 Iranians have been put to death during the past 27 years of clerical rule including women who had sex outside of marriage and political opponents of the government.

Many people I speak to believe that the fight for sexual minority rights has largely been won. The state sponsored execution of gay men in Iran proves that nothing could be further from the truth. And in case you were in any doubt, its not just Iran that's a bad place to live if you are gay, lesbian or transgendered.

Amnesty International's LGBT Network is currently calling for individuals to support an end to police abuse of gay, lesbian and transgender people in the US, protection for transgender sex workers in Guatemala, and for greater government action to prevent violence against gay men and lesbians in Jamaica.

Amnesty's UK site has link's to more information on all of these cases, together with web based letters which allow you to send an email to authorities in each of these countries calling for action to end human rights violations against LGBT people.

For more information:

Amnesty International UK's LGBT Network

OUTFront!: Amnesty International USA's LGBT Network

Human Rights Watch