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Did we jump to conclusions?
August 3, 2005 12:23 AM   Subscribe

It turns out that those boys who were hanged in Iran may not have been quite so innocent after all. [original post]
posted by dirtynumbangelboy (44 comments total)

 
OutRage! continues to disagree. (Historically, both OutRage! and Human Rights Watch have proven to be reliable sources.)

Perhaps Iran's state media is deliberately feeding misinformation to cast doubt on their murderous actions. It wouldn't be the first time.
posted by Rothko at 12:41 AM on August 3, 2005


It also wouldn't be the first time that that photogenic teenage boys were used to whip up sympathy from the gay community, Rothko. Yeah, the charges may be trumped up, but why are these two boys more important than the other 4000 lgbt people who've been executed for consensual sex since the revolution?

Oh, hell, consider this a lob or a troll. I'm not getting into this conversation again for the 20th time this week.
posted by crataegus at 12:57 AM on August 3, 2005


but why are these two boys more important than the other 4000 lgbt people who've been executed for consensual sex since the revolution?

What a wonderful strawman. This troll bears no further need for reply.
posted by Rothko at 1:02 AM on August 3, 2005


In the U.S., three members of the U.S. House of Representatives have written to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice demanding she get to the bottom of the story.

Call me a cynic, but I don't see the Bush administration making its case for regime change in Iran on the basis gay rights.
posted by three blind mice at 1:16 AM on August 3, 2005


Oh nice freakin' ad there!!
What's with the?....oh, it's a gay site.

but why are these two boys more important than the other 4000 lgbt people who've been executed...

Not so much, Rothko. Clearly if the outrage over these two is wrong, it doesn't justify the violence done to 'lgbt' people.

If the outrage over these two is wrong, than someone screwed up, perhaps even deliberately misled...
Still and all, hanging is barbaric. Although for a gang rape I'm pressed to argue against my viscera.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:17 AM on August 3, 2005


Rothko quotes "but why are these two boys more important than the other 4000 lgbt people who've been executed for consensual sex since the revolution?

"What a wonderful strawman. This troll bears no further need for reply."



I'm not sure that is a strawman. It's a reasonable question to ask. Why did Matthew Shepard get canonized, and the thousands of other victims of equally horrific acts have not? Who, for example, can easily recall the name of that black man who was dragged behind a pickup truck a few years ago? Why did the world's attention focus on these two boys?

Well, okay, it's probably not least because of those pictures we all saw. It's hard to look at images of someone who is literally about to die, and not experience an immediate and visceral reaction. Unfortunately, it seems that this reaction clouded the judgement of a lot of people around the world--yours truly included, of course--and the story appears as though it wasn't investigated as fully as it should have been.

I'm lending credence, I have to admit, to 365gay's report precisely because it isn't canonizing the executed men. Gay media--as is the same for most special interest media--tends to gloss over anything that doesn't make our side look perfect. That they're willing to stand up and say "Hey, the punishment may have been uncalled-for, but it appears that these two weren't executed for being gay, they were executed for being gay rapists." And without getting into a huge capital punishment debate, it does seem clear that execution is overly harsh for rape charges.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:25 AM on August 3, 2005


Why did Matthew Shepard get canonized, and the thousands of other victims of equally horrific acts have not? Who, for example, can easily recall the name of that black man who was dragged behind a pickup truck a few years ago? Why did the world's attention focus on these two boys?

So according to your logic, and crataegus' logic, I'm supposed to be happy these two were tortured and murdered, simply because I don't show the same outrage about everyone else whose suffered a similar fate, at the very same time.

Yeah, that's makes a ton of sense. Mea culpa.
posted by Rothko at 1:37 AM on August 3, 2005


And without getting into a huge capital punishment debate, it does seem clear that execution is overly harsh for rape charges.

Well, are these rape charges or just a public relations cover-up? I think my point stands: Iran's state media is to be trusted when the story can be verified. This is a serious conflict of two sets of facts between two organizations, both with good track records of reliability.
posted by Rothko at 1:40 AM on August 3, 2005


Well this proves the point realcountrymusic was making, that the foremost issue here was the execution of minors. Even if they did rape a 13-year-old. But because the death penalty, in itself and for people charged of crimes committed as minors, is not exclusive to Iran, I guess it's not so easy to push the outrage button on that, is it?
posted by funambulist at 1:41 AM on August 3, 2005


Rothko >>>"So according to your logic, and crataegus' logic, I'm supposed to be happy these two were tortured and murdered, simply because I don't show the same outrage about everyone else whose suffered a similar fate, at the very same time.

"Yeah, that's makes a ton of sense. Mea culpa."


No, that's not what I'm saying. You and I and everyone else should be outraged every time someone is put to death. What I was attempting to say is that these things happen all the time, and thus it's worth looking at why some of it gets this wide publicity, and the majority does not.


Rothko >>>"Well, are these rape charges or just a public relations cover-up? I think my point stands: Iran's state media is to be trusted when the story can be verified. This is a serious conflict of two sets of facts between two organizations, both with good track records of reliability."

Perhaps. And perhaps not. Thus the point of this post: to bring attention to the matter, and to see whether enough attention can be brought to bear on the situation to uncover the truth. It's pointed out in the article that there is one source--a translation, at that--for the boys being hanged for consensual sex. There are reports that directly contravene this, reports dating from before the international outrage. Given that LGTBQABCDEFG people are executed all the time in Iran, it beggars belief to think that a coverup would have been generated for this case only, and before, again, any suspicion of international oversight occurred. Moreover, it doesn't seem to me as though the original Farsi article came from a state media outlet; I'd imagine that the story I linked to would have noted if it were.


funambulist >>> "Well this proves the point realcountrymusic was making, that the foremost issue here was the execution of minors. Even if they did rape a 13-year-old. But because the death penalty, in itself and for people charged of crimes committed as minors, is not exclusive to Iran, I guess it's not so easy to push the outrage button on that, is it?"

An excellent point to make. (Many) Americans in particular can't really get up in arms over capital punishment, given its use in the country. But it's very easy indeed to get worked up over the idea when it appeared the boys were being killed solely for consensual gay sex. If the rape allegations are in fact true, it's a masterful bit of spin and framing of which Rove would be proud. And shame on the liberal parts of the media world for swallowing it hook, line, and sinker.



P.S: I hope no one thinks I'm playing referee in this thread; just responding to what people are saying.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:58 AM on August 3, 2005


I think my point stands: Iran's state media is to be trusted when the story can be verified.
The points aren't mutually exclusive. Hanging is still barbaric.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:01 AM on August 3, 2005


Perhaps. And perhaps not. Thus the point of this post: to bring attention to the matter, and to see whether enough attention can be brought to bear on the situation to uncover the truth. It's pointed out in the article that there is one source--a translation, at that--for the boys being hanged for consensual sex. There are reports that directly contravene this, reports dating from before the international outrage. Given that LGTBQABCDEFG people are executed all the time in Iran, it beggars belief to think that a coverup would have been generated for this case only, and before, again, any suspicion of international oversight occurred. Moreover, it doesn't seem to me as though the original Farsi article came from a state media outlet; I'd imagine that the story I linked to would have noted if it were.

Your post asserts that we "jumped to conclusions" ("It turns out that those boys who were hanged in Iran may not have been quite so innocent after all.")— I assert the direct opposite: that enough attention has been paid to this matter that Iran has a public relations mess to clean up and would be happy to say or do anything to take pressure off. I'll also point out that Canada has been putting pressure on Iran to answer for the death of one of its citizens in Iranian custody. There is a lot of attention paid at the moment to how Iran handles human rights issues, let alone diplomatic pressure from Europe over nuclear armaments. Making this particular sentence look like justice for rape will appease those people happy to answer rape with hanging and distract further from issues at hand. I don't buy this as another outrage story from the gay media oligarchy, I don't buy Iran's record on matters of human rights, and I don't trust reports from (any) state media coming conveniently after the fact.
posted by Rothko at 2:20 AM on August 3, 2005


Hanging is still barbaric.

Smedleyman the death penalty is barbaric. Lethal injection, as practiced in the U.S., doesn't make it any less so.

Public hanging is a least a more honest way of carrying out the death penalty. Perhaps if hanging were still done in the U.S. there would be fewer Americans in support of state sponsored murder.
posted by three blind mice at 3:42 AM on August 3, 2005


dirtynumbangelboy: "P.S: I hope no one thinks I'm playing referee in this thread; just responding to what people are saying."

Chill, friend. It's not a big deal to play referee. You brought up the topic, it's clear you are somewhat invested in it, so nobody has a right to call you out for participating heavily in the thread. I don't know why conversational refereeing gets such a bum rap on MeFi, but don't worry about it.

three blind mice: "Perhaps if hanging were still done in the U.S. there would be fewer Americans in support of state sponsored murder."

I suspect not...I don't like to imagine the number of Americans who would love to turn out for a good, old-fashioned hanging day.
posted by voltairemodern at 5:23 AM on August 3, 2005


from Gay Egypt: ...Once they realised the outcry over the executions, some Iranian media outlets started to assert that atleast in the case of the younger boy his crime was the rape of a 13 year old. They also implied, but did not specify, a charge of rape charge against the older boy. But both these allegations, if correctly reported, were probably backed by forced confessions.
No international human rights groups trust the credibility of confessions made in Iran and the first reports by the ISNA (Iranian Students News Agency) and the National Council for Resistance of Iran didn't mention rape at all.
In December 2004 Human Rights Watch issued a press release on Iran documenting "an extensive pattern of forced confessions." see article here.
There is also good reason to be sceptical of Iranian press reports. In 2004 when a 16 year old girl was hanged for "acts incompatible with chastity", regime censored newspapers insisted she was 22 until the father produced a copy of his dead daughter's birth certificate. ...

posted by amberglow at 6:23 AM on August 3, 2005


I understand the argument that the Iranian gov't is now trying to cover-up its actions by providing a new kind of justification, but the link seems to suggest that this justification is not after the fact, but is instead contained within the documents that we've all already had access to:
It also now seems that an article from the Iranian Students News Agency, translated and circulated by the London gay group OutRage!, was not the first article about this case, as OutRage! believed, and may not have been translated correctly.

OutRage! had reported that the ISNA article said the boys were executed for consensual gay sex. But HRW says the headline and the first sentence of the article make it clear they were hanged for "sodomy by coercion" ("lavat beh onf"). "Lavat beh onf," HRW said, is an archaic phrase that is not the normal way to refer to rape.

"Ultimately," said HRW's Long, "one has to ask what is the basis for believing that the boys were tried for consensual sodomy. It boils down to an English-language article on the Iran Focus Web site having made no mention of the rape charge. There is no other substantial evidence."
So, it may be that this is a cover-up, but it may also be a case where there needs to be some kind of reassessment. I tend to trust HRW, and I actually trust them more given their previous report (linked to by amberglow) about Iranian forced confessions. If they know what the score is, and still issue this correction, then I tend to give it much more benefit of the doubt than I otherwise would.
posted by OmieWise at 6:43 AM on August 3, 2005


I don't think you can trust any state-controlled media (including Student News Agencies"), and in Iran, that's all there is. Even here, we get plenty of lies with our news as well. We'll never really know the true story about this.
posted by amberglow at 7:06 AM on August 3, 2005


Didn't every media outlet in Iran claim that Zahra Kazemi died of accidental injuries? No mention of the torture, the vicious gang rape, or the murder by Iranian security forces whatsoever.

Yep, they're trustworthy.
posted by watsondog at 7:13 AM on August 3, 2005


Good thing I don't believe anything I read...including this or the original article.
posted by fungible at 7:41 AM on August 3, 2005


Rothko >>> "Your post asserts that we 'jumped to conclusions' ('It turns out that those boys who were hanged in Iran may not have been quite so innocent after all.')— I assert the direct opposite: that enough attention has been paid to this matter that Iran has a public relations mess to clean up and would be happy to say or do anything to take pressure off. "

Okay, now you really are just trolling. My post asks if we jumped to conclusions, and suggests that there may be more to the story than initially believed.

Iran may indeed have a PR mess to clean up. That doesn't explain, as I pointed out above, why the original Iranian article claiming the rape charges appeared before the shitstorm, when Iran has never done anything like that before--even in the case of Ms. Kazemi.

voltairemodern >>> "Chill, friend. It's not a big deal to play referee. You brought up the topic, it's clear you are somewhat invested in it, so nobody has a right to call you out for participating heavily in the thread. I don't know why conversational refereeing gets such a bum rap on MeFi, but don't worry about it."

I'm invested, I think, because I'm sick to death of the revisionist gay media, or at the very least a media which purports to speak with my voice, and yet does so very little by way of fact checking or unbiased reporting. Gays are invariably painted as saints and victims, and not as the complex people we are. Sure, I understand that in some cases these things are needed politically, but what doe we gain from spinning the truth? Nothing. In addition, I had much the same reaction as everyone else when first seeing those pictures, and I reacted without bothering to check sources.

While clearly, as three blind mice writes above, the death penalty is barbaric in any case, my outrage gets toned down just a tad when it's an alleged case of gang rape, and not execution for consensual sex.


amberglow >>> "I don't think you can trust any state-controlled media (including Student News Agencies'), and in Iran, that's all there is. Even here, we get plenty of lies with our news as well. We'll never really know the true story about this."
According to a new interview with the publishers of the Iranian gay magazine MAHA conducted by the Web site GayRussia.ru, it is not.

The magazine is distributed from inside Iran via e-mail in PDF format. (If it were published on the Web or in traditional magazine format, it likely would be blocked or banned by the government.) The magazine has 600 subscribers.

"After eight months of hard work, eight issues and four supplements have appeared, covering issues such as gays and family, depression among GLBT, a report about lesbians in Iran, etc.," the publishers wrote in the e-mail interview. "MAHA also publishes a separate supplement for gay aid and to help GLBT to find a friend. Today MAHA has two editors, one gay and one lesbian, and MAHA's readers are all over the country and even some Iranian GLBT in exile."
So it seems that state-controlled media isn't all there is, amberglow. And again, one would have to wonder why Iran would suddenly bother to start planting coverup stories before international attention had been brought to bear, when they haven't done so before. Particularly in the (horrific) case of Ms. Kazemi, where the PR machine went into action after the fact.

That's directed at watsondog, too.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:38 AM on August 3, 2005


watsondog writes "Didn't every media outlet in Iran claim that Zahra Kazemi died of accidental injuries? No mention of the torture, the vicious gang rape, or the murder by Iranian security forces whatsoever.

"Yep, they're trustworthy."


I'm starting to wonder if anyone read the FPP link. Not only is it equivocal, simply raising the possiblity that we might have been reading the wrong story, it also supports that view fairly well with information not released after the furor in the West. Also, and I think that this can't be stressed enough for those who want to simply suggest that we dismiss this because of the Iranian government, the people I'm trusting here are Human Rights Watch, whose positions on these issues are not something I distrust. Again, this should be clear if you've read the FPP.
posted by OmieWise at 8:59 AM on August 3, 2005


"In the U.S., three members of the U.S. House of Representatives have written to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice demanding she get to the bottom of the story."

I'm loving this. No wonder people think we're a bunch of paternalistic egomaniacs. Without getting into the specifics (I have no idea what the truth is except that it isn't clear) I find it astounding that anyone would think the US Secretary of State is capable of "getting to the bottom" of her own underwear drawer, not to mention a crime committed in a sovereign nation that we have absolutely no influence over. What are we going to do, threaten to invade them if they don't tell the truth? Subpeona them to the World Court?

The hubris that it takes for US legislators to demand an investigation into the internal workings of another nations judicial system would be comical if they weren't so very serious.
posted by cedar at 9:06 AM on August 3, 2005


Well, it's settled. Iran is clearly a liberal democracy-- paradise on Earth, if you will.
posted by Kwantsar at 9:08 AM on August 3, 2005


So according to your logic, and crataegus' logic, I'm supposed to be happy these two were tortured and murdered, simply because I don't show the same outrage about everyone else whose suffered a similar fate, at the very same time.

It is odd that you would accuse someone else of using a strawman argument and then turn around and say this, which is a total misrepresentation of what dirtynumbangelboy and crataegus were saying. You may not agree with what crataegus said, but that does not make his argument a strawman. A strawman argument occurs when you try to argue against something that wasn't said, as you illustrated so well.
posted by anapestic at 9:31 AM on August 3, 2005


The 365gay article quotes Agence France-Press to say "Iran's Shariah-law capital offenses include murder, rape, armed robbery, apostasy, blasphemy, serious drug trafficking, repeated sodomy, adultery, prostitution, treason and espionage."

Which strikes me as odd. I thought Iran was a Twelver Shi'ite Islamic Republic that followed the teachings of the late Ayatollah Khomeini?

According to information I found here:

"From Khomeini's book, 'Tahrirolvasyleh', fourth volume, Darol Elm, Gom, Iran, 1990 :

A man can have sexual pleasure from a child as young as a baby. However he should not penetrate, sodomising the child is OK. If the man penetrates and damages the child then he should be responsible for her subsistence all her life. This girl, however does not count as one of his four permanent wives. The man will not be eligible to marry the girls sister. "

So maybe they should have sodomised a toddler girl instead?

(Whether this is an accurate excerpt from Khomeini or not, how legally authoritative are a Supreme Leader's rulings?)
posted by davy at 9:36 AM on August 3, 2005


dirtnumbangelboy :"And without getting into a huge capital punishment debate, it does seem clear that execution is overly harsh for rape charges."

[assuming the death penalty is reasonable for the sake of argument]
I can't think of any crime more deserving of the death penalty.
[/assuming the death penalty is reasonable for the sake of argument]

On topic; Put me down in the "suspicious of these late breaking charged" column.
posted by Shutter at 9:39 AM on August 3, 2005


the people I'm trusting here are Human Rights Watch

Same here, also, it just wouldn't make much sense for the Iranian regime to try and "cover up" execution of two teens for just being gay by making up a rape charge, as if they were worried about their public image in the west, when said public image is rather awful already and they clearly don't care, seen as they don't even care what their own people think.

That said, of course we'll never know the full story, but it shouldn't matter. What we know for certain is:
a) homosexuality is criminalised (along with adultery) based on dictatorial theocratic laws, that may not be consistently applied, but still are in force and clearly a violation of human rights
b) people get executed, including minors - another clear violation of human rights.


In that respect, it really doesn't make any difference wether they raped another minor or not. Because:
a) even if the two boys had not committed any crime and not been executed or even arrested, they would still have a harder time as gays in Iran than in the UK. Stupidly obvious.
b) they were executed in the most brutal fashion (not that other more "sanitised" methods detract from the barbarity of capital punishment itself, but still); they could have been executed for any other reasons, including adultery or political dissent.

That is why Human Rights Watch is pointing out that the rape may have actually been committed. That doesn't in any way diminish the brutality of the event, it only puts the focus on the real issue: human rights, indeed.
posted by funambulist at 9:51 AM on August 3, 2005


Sodomy at knifepoint of a 13 year old? If that's the truth then they should have spent the rest of their lives in prison, not being tortured and then hung.

davy, thanks for posting those bits, I'm now thoroughly and completely disgusted.
posted by fenriq at 9:54 AM on August 3, 2005


... and, basic human rights are not predicated on innocence or culpability. They apply to everyone, including people accused of the worst crimes. But obviously that's a concept that's not very popular in certain corners of the western hemisphere. Sadly.
posted by funambulist at 9:54 AM on August 3, 2005


Shutter writes "I can't think of any crime more deserving of the death penalty.
"[/assuming the death penalty is reasonable for the sake of argument]

"On topic; Put me down in the 'suspicious of these late breaking charged' column."


Did you read the article? Have you not noticed that these charges appeared before the international outcry?


*sigh*
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:07 AM on August 3, 2005


Yes to both questions. Oops. I'll sigh at me too. /sigh.
posted by Shutter at 10:16 AM on August 3, 2005


Point being, they're not 'late breaking charges'.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:19 AM on August 3, 2005


Yes, thanks, I got your point.
posted by Shutter at 10:21 AM on August 3, 2005


what funambulist said.

from GayCityNews, a member of the "gay press" that actually does research.--...“It is nonetheless a horrendous incident,” Ettelbrick said. “Imposing the death penalty on juveniles is clearly a violation of human rights. Also for governments to use public execution is per se a violation of human rights.”
Amnesty’s Herrera said that Iran is a signatory to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, which bans executing minors.
“The fact that Iran has executed juveniles means they are in violation of international norms and Amnesty condemns the death penalty,” he said.
Amnesty has documented that Iran has executed 12 child offenders since 1990 and, at least, 30 others are awaiting execution. The agency has documented that Iran does execute men for having homosexual sex.
“We have previous cases that we have worked on and documented over the years of gay men being executed for homosexual conduct,” Herrera said. “Iran is one of the few countries in the world today that imposes the death penalty for consensual same-sex sexual conduct.” ...

posted by amberglow at 10:45 AM on August 3, 2005


and from the same paper, a good oped by Doug Ireland--...In Iran censorship is an everyday occurrence. More than 10 newspapers have been shut down and journalists are constantly subject to arbitrary arrest.
The international group Reporters Without Borders has named Iran’s senior spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei—the “Guide of the Islamic Republic”—as one of the world’s foremost “Predators of Press Freedom.” All this explains why bloggers have become an important part of the democratic opposition to the clerical-fascist regime of the ayatollahs—and why the Iranian government has been engaged in a massive crackdown on bloggers since last fall. At least a half dozen online journalists and bloggers have been arrested, and both international Web sites in English and local web sites in Farsi have been blocked by a filtering system ...

posted by amberglow at 10:47 AM on August 3, 2005


a little more from that: ...When I asked Hadi Ghaemi, who runs the Iranian desk for Human Rights Watch, on what basis HRW was saying they were “90 percent sure” rape had taken place (as the director of HRW’s gay and lesbian program, Scott Long, told me) Ghaemi said his sole source was the newspaper Quds, a daily controlled by regime supporters, in the city of Mashad where the two teens were hanged. ...
posted by amberglow at 10:49 AM on August 3, 2005


Who, for example, can easily recall the name of that black man who was dragged behind a pickup truck a few years ago?

Me, for one. It was James Byrd, Jr.
posted by y2karl at 10:54 AM on August 3, 2005


Derail: could we please post the abbreviation for "opinion-editorial" as "op-ed"? "Oped" is something a Cockney did.
posted by davy at 10:59 AM on August 3, 2005


Since I was the source of the original MeFi post, I'm happy to clear the air and forestall a lot of unnecessary blather about motives.

I didn't make my post because the guys were young and cute. If I'd heard about two 55-year-old unttractive lesbians who were similarly executed, I'd have made the same post.

For what it's worth, the impetus for my original post was email from Rex Wockner -- the same reporter (and generally a good one, I might add) who wrote the "debunking" story in your link, dirtynumb. Obviously, if I had thought they were executed for raping a younger boy, I wouldn't have made the post. I'm not confident that we know the whole story yet.
posted by digaman at 11:05 AM on August 3, 2005


y2karl writes "Who, for example, can easily recall the name of that black man who was dragged behind a pickup truck a few years ago?

"Me, for one. It was James Byrd, Jr."



Yes, but you know everything. :)
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:26 AM on August 3, 2005


amberglow writes "a little more from that: ...When I asked Hadi Ghaemi, who runs the Iranian desk for Human Rights Watch, on what basis HRW was saying they were “90 percent sure” rape had taken place (as the director of HRW’s gay and lesbian program, Scott Long, told me) Ghaemi said his sole source was the newspaper Quds, a daily controlled by regime supporters, in the city of Mashad where the two teens were hanged. ..."

Okay, and fair enough. My question to you is: since Iran has had no difficulty executing LGBTQ people in the past without using rape as a justification, and since the rape story occurred before international oversight (something which you keep ignoring), why would this be disinformation?

digaman writes "Since I was the source of the original MeFi post, I'm happy to clear the air and forestall a lot of unnecessary blather about motives.

"I didn't make my post because the guys were young and cute. If I'd heard about two 55-year-old unttractive lesbians who were similarly executed, I'd have made the same post.

"For what it's worth, the impetus for my original post was email from Rex Wockner -- the same reporter (and generally a good one, I might add) who wrote the 'debunking' story in your link, dirtynumb. Obviously, if I had thought they were executed for raping a younger boy, I wouldn't have made the post. I'm not confident that we know the whole story yet."


I don't think there's any unnecessary blather about motives, digaman. Seemed pretty clear to me that you posted the story because it was an outrage. It still is an outrage, there just seem to be more questions. And for what it's worth, I'm with you in thinking that we haven't heard the whole story yet. I have a feeling that at least part of the rape charges are true, though to what extent, is impossible to tell.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:44 AM on August 3, 2005


I hear ya, dirtynumb.
posted by digaman at 12:41 PM on August 3, 2005


...new information is coming in from that country casting doubt on the validity of the rape charges the government there used to justify the death sentences. ...Afdhere Jama, editor of Huriyah, an e-zine for Queer Muslims, said his contacts in Iran affirm that the two youths hung in Mashad were lovers.

“The first day I found out, I called my Iranian contacts from Huriyah,” Jama said. “All agreed on the fact that these boys were murdered for being queer. One of my contacts who has been to gay parties in Mashad swears the boys were long-term lovers, and another source told me one of the boys’ family members outed the couple.” ...

posted by amberglow at 1:34 PM on August 13, 2005


and 2 more hangings are scheduled
posted by amberglow at 2:04 PM on August 13, 2005


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