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    Posted May 15, 2012 by
    Utkanos
    Location
    Tehran, Iran

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    #URGENT ACTION! FOUR MEN SENTENCED TO DEATH IN IRAN FOR "SODOMY": HOW YOU CAN HELP!

     

    Please join this Urgent Action to force the Islamic Republic regime in Iran to halt its plans to execute four men by hanging who have been convicted of "sodomy." Their names are Saadat Arefi, Vahid Akbari, Javid Akbari and Houshmand Akbari. They are from from the town of Choram, in the Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province of Iran. This is a remote provincial area, and there is great fear that this execution will be conducted quickly if the central government of the Islamic Republic does not come under very great pressure! Below are ways YOU can help!!  Included are links to the petition and ways to send this petition to international leaders and the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, via both Twitter and email.

                                                       ***

    1. First and foremost, please sign the petition to halt these executions and share it as widely as possible:

     

     


    http://bit.ly/KdUNNF





    ************************************************************************************

    2. TWEET STORM!!!

    THIS IS A VERY EFFECTIVE TOOL WHEN DONE REGULARLY BY MANY PEOPLE! PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE PETITION BY INUNDATING MEMBERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY AND THE MEDIA WITH THE BELOW SUGGESTED TWEETS. TARGETS HERE INCLUDE OFFICIALS FROM THE UN, US AND EU, AS WELL AS THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC REGIME (KHAMENEI). ALSO SOME ARE TARGETED TO RIGHTS GROUPS AND MEDIA. REMEMBER TO UPDATE THE ESTIMATED NUMBER OF SIGNATURES ON THE PETITION (LINK ABOVE)

    PLEASE SEND THESE TWEETS REGULARLY:

    @unrightswire 3,800+ SIGNATURES ON PETITION TO HALT HANGING OF 4 #GAYS IN #IRAN http://bit.ly/J9O9s2 #iranelection #gayrights #humanrights

                                                       **

    @ohchr 3,800+ SIGNATURES ON PETITION TO HALT HANGING OF 4 #GAYS IN #IRAN http://bit.ly/J9O9s2 #iranelection #gayrights #humanrights

                                                       **

    @Europarl_EN 3,800+ SIGNATURES ON PETITION TO HALT HANGING OF 4 #GAYS IN #IRAN http://bit.ly/J9O9s2 #iranelection #gayrights #humanrights

                                                       **

    @StateDept 3,800+ SIGNATURES ON PETITION TO HALT HANGING OF 4 #GAYS IN #IRAN http://bit.ly/J9O9s2 #iranelection #gayrights #humanrights

                                                       **

    @European_Union 3,800+ SIGNATURES ON PETITION 2 HALT HANGING OF 4 #GAYS IN #IRAN http://bit.ly/J9O9s2 #iranelection #gayrights #humanrights

                                                       **

    @hrc 3,800+ SIGNATURES ON PETITION 2 HALT HANGING OF 4 #GAYS IN #IRAN http://bit.ly/J9O9s2 #iranelection #gayrights #humanrights

                                                       **

    @MartinSchulz  3,800+ SIGNATURES ON PETITION 2 HALT HANGING OF 4 #GAYS IN #IRAN http://bit.ly/J9O9s2 #iranelection #gayrights #humanrights

                                                        **

    @khamenei_ir 3,800+ SIGNATURES ON PETITION 2 HALT HANGING OF 4 #GAYS IN #IRAN http://bit.ly/J9O9s2 #iranelection #gayrights #humanrights

                                                  **

    @khamenei_ir HALT the EXECUTION of Saadat Arefi for "sodomy"! THE WORLD IS WATCHING!!! #iranelection #gayrights http://bit.ly/KdUNNF

                                                       **

    @khamenei_ir HALT the EXECUTION of Vahid Akbari for "sodomy!" THE WORLD IS WATCHING!!! #iranelection #gayrights http://bit.ly/KdUNNF

                                                       **

    @khamenei_ir HALT the EXECUTION of Javid Akbari THE WORLD IS WATCHING!!! @iranelection #gayrights http://bit.ly/KdUNNF

                                                        **

    @khamenei_ir HALT the EXECUTION of Houshmand Akbari THE WORLD IS WATCHING!!! #iranelection #gayrights http://bit.ly/KdUNNF

                                                         **

    @camanpour 3,800+ SIGNATURES ON PETITION 2 HALT HANGING OF 4 #GAYS IN #IRAN http://bit.ly/J9O9s2 #iranelection #gayrights #humanrights

                                                         **

    @CNNIranDesk 3,800+ SIGNATURES ON PETITION 2 HALT HANGING OF 4 #GAYS IN #IRAN http://bit.ly/J9O9s2 #iranelection #gayrights #humanrights

                                                             **

    @AC360 3,800+ SIGNATURES ON PETITION 2 HALT HANGING OF 4 #GAYS IN #IRAN http://bit.ly/J9O9s2 #iranelection #gayrights #humanrights

                                                             **

    @SECGEN 3,800+ SIGNATURES ON PETITION 2 HALT HANGING OF 4 #GAYS IN #IRAN http://bit.ly/J9O9s2 #iranelection #gayrights #humanrights

                                                             **

    @UN 3,800+ SIGNATURES ON PETITION 2 HALT HANGING OF 4 #GAYS IN #IRAN http://bit.ly/J9O9s2 #iranelection #gayrights #humanrights       

     

    **************************************************************************************


    3. Help us to send this petition to the intended targets in the international community. Please see below for a sample letter to copy and paste onto an email with links to both the petition itself and the signature page. Below the sample letter, please find  the email addresses to which it should be sent (along with any additional targets you may know of). Suggested email header: "URGENT! PETITION TO HALT THE EXECUTION OF FOUR MEN IN IRAN FOR 'SODOMY'"

     

    Please send this to the following email addresses (and feel free to add any others you think will make effective targets):

    sr-iran@ohchr.org; nahmed@ohchr.org; srhumanrights@gmail.com; president@whitehouse.gov; secretary@state.gov; usa@un.int; ecu@un.org; catherine.ashton@ec.europa.eu; npillay@ohchr.org; urgent-action@ohchr.org; rc.office.iran@undp.org; inquiries@un.org; info_leader@leader.ir; sg@un.org; info@ihrc.org; nils.muiznieks@coe.int; commissioner@coe.int; viviane.reding@ec.europa.eu

     

    ALSO PLEASE SEND THE PETITION TO THE US STATE DEPARTMENT BY POSTING THE ABOVE ON THIS WEBPAGE (SAME HEADING):

                                                 

     

                                                             ***

    LETTER:

     

    Esteemed  Leaders and Dignitaries in the International Community,

    This is a petition to urge you to use all levels of pressure and influence to stop the Islamic Republic regime in Iran from executing four men for the "crime" of having gay relationships.
    Below please find the background information on this horrible case, as well the body of the petition itself. Also, please find links to both the petition and to the more than 600 signatures already gathered. PLEASE CHECK BACK REGULARLY ON THE LINK TO THE SIGNATURES, THE NUMBER OF SIGNATURES IS GROWING RAPIDLY!!!

    LINK TO THE SIGNATURES URGING YOU TO PRESSURE THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC TO HALT THIS CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY:

    http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/urgent-stop-the-hanging-of-four-men-for-sodomy-in-i/signatures.html


    BACKGROUND:

    In Iran, a court has sentenced four men from the town of Choram, in the Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province, to death by hanging for sodomy.

    Four men named ‘Saadat Arefi’, ‘Vahid Akbari’, ‘Javid Akbari’ and ‘Houshmand Akbari’ are due to be executed shortly after their verdict was approved recently by high court judges, according to a report from the Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) in Iran.

    The four men are said to be from the town of Choram, in the Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province of Iran.

    According to HRANA and JOOPEA, these four men will be hanged for sodomy according Shari’a law.

    A gay activist based in Iran said: ‘Although being gay is not a crime based on Iranian criminal law but this is the most clear statement against same sex-acts in past months.’

    He added that ‘there were four of our other men hanged in past five months.’

    London based Iranian Human Rights Lawyer, Mehri Jafari said: ‘I am horrified and saddened to have heard the news about these four men. Not only with regards to the execution which is about to take place, but the fact that is beyond our control.

    ‘There are two important issues in this case; the location of the alleged occurrence and the interpretation of the Sharia’ law that a Hodud (strict Sharia punishment) is eminent. Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad is one of the most undeveloped provinces in Iran and it is obvious that a lack of access to lawyers and fair trial can be considered a serious issue in this case. After this announcement it is very likely that the execution will be carried out soon, and the remote location makes it difficult to exert any influence on the process.’

    Mehri further pleaded: ‘I hope international organizations act quickly and effectively on this specific case.’

    Gorji Marzban chairperson of the Austrian-based Oriental Queer Organization (ORQOA) said: ‘The recent death sentence for the four Iranian men is a shocking reality and demonstrates the discrepancy between Western and Islamic perception of queer life. The rhetoric of announcement makes the link between same-sex sexual activity, or sodomy with corporal punishment very clear. Last month the Iranian authorities hanged a young man and the local news agencies/authorities were intentionally unclear about the reason for the death penalty. In the case of these four men we have a clear text attributing the reason for hanging is sodomy.

    ‘The judicial denial of same-sex relationships in Iran stems from its relationship to Shari’a law and patriarchy. This is a warning signal not only for the queer population of Iran but also for all types of gender inclusive the heterosexuals who have sexual relations outside marriage.

    ‘The death penalty has failed to eradicate homosexuality from Iran but it was successful to force queer people into the closets. Sooner or later any Islamic community is obliged to integrate queer people. We believe that Iranians should gain more gender equality and rights and wholly condemn such an archaic sentence to murder which is inherently unislamic!’

    Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its 2011 - We are a Buried Generation: Discrimination and Violence Against Sexual Minorities in Iran - stated that because trials on moral charges in Iran are usually held in closed sessions, it is difficult to determine what proportion of those charged and executed for same-sex conduct are gay and in what proportion the alleged offense was consensual.

    Because of the lack of transparency, Human Rights Watch said: ‘It cannot be ruled out that Iran is sentencing sexual minorities who engage in consensual same-sex relations to death under the guise that they have committed forcible sodomy or rape.’

    The issue of the death penalty for same-sex acts is further compounded by the fact that the Iranian legal code does not differentiate between rape and homosexual acts.

    Furthermore, in many cases, it is often unclear whether the accused has actually committed a sexual act or it is a mere accusation based on some dispute.

    THE PETITION:

    The international community must stand as one to demand an immediate halt to any plans to execute four Iranian men, Saadat Arefi, Vahid Akbari, Javid Akbari and Houshmand Akbari, who have been condemned to die after being convicted of "sodomy".

    Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the plight of gay people in Iran knows exactly what this charge, and the Islamic Republic's willful failure to differentiate between rape and consensual same-gender sexual relations, really means.

    Furthermore, the charge itself as stipulated under the Islamic Republic's legal statutes is illegal under international human rights covenants and treaties to which Iran is a signatory.

    WE REMIND YOU THAT THIS DEATH SENTENCE IS LIKELY TO BE CARRIED OUT IN THE VERY IMMEDIATE FUTURE UNLESS YOU ACT NOW!

    The blood of four innocent gay men will be an indelible stain upon the conscience of the world community if this atrocity is allowed to proceed!

    ONCE AGAIN HERE IS THE LINK FOR THE COLLECTION OF SIGNATURES:

    http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/urgent-stop-the-hanging-of-four-men-for-sodomy-in-i/signatures.html

    END OF LETTER

    **************************************************************************************

    3. SEND THE FOLLOWING LETTER (SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT) TO THE GOVERNMENT AND EMBASSIES OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN!  BELOW IS THE SAMPLE LETTER TO COPY AND PASTE, AS WELL AS LINKS TO TWO WEBSITES. ONE IS THE ENGLISH-LANGUAGE PORTAL FOR SUPREME LEADER ALI KHAMENEI. THE OTHER CAN BE USED TO SEND THE LETTER TO ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OFFICIALS AND EMBASSIES AND DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS AROUND THE WORLD. SUGGESTED HEADING: "URGENT!! HALT THE EXECUTION OF FOUR MEN FOR "SODOMY"
                                                                   ***
    WHERE TO SEND THE LETTER:
    a) SEND THIS LETTER TO SUPREME LEADER OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN ALI KHAMENEI BY COPYING AND PASTING HERE (USE WHATEVER HEADING YOU SEE FIT AMONG HIS INTERESTING CHOICES):
    b) ALSO, SEND THIS LETTER TO VARIOUS OFFICIALS OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC REGIME AS WELL AS THEIR EMBASSIES AROUND THE WORLD BY USING THIS LINK. THIS LINKS CONTAINS ANOTHER SAMPLE LETTER WITH ITS OWN HEADING.  (BEFORE PASTING OVER EVERYTHING, WE RECOMMEND SENDING THIS APPEAL LETTER ALSO AS IT TOO IS FOR A WORTH CAUSE.) SIMPLY ADD YOUR OWN HEADING IN PLACE OF THE ONE THERE, THEN PASTE OVER THE ABOVE APPEAL LETTER BEFORE SENDING BEFORE ADDING YOUR NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS AND CLICKING SEND.
                                                           ***
    THE LETTER:
    Your Excellency,
    This is a petition to bring to your attention to case of four gay men in Iran who are sentenced to be hanged for "sodomy." Saadat Arefi, Vahid Akbari, Javid Akbari and Houshmand Akbari.

    If this execution goes forward, it will constitute a crime against humanity in the eyes of the international community, as well as a profound affront to the international standards of justice and norms of modern cilivization as codified in human rights treaties and conventions to which Iran is a signatory state.
    Unavoidably, the question arises: if the Islamic Republic cannot be trusted to honor its human rights obligations under international treaties and covenants, how can it be trusted to honor its commitments in other areas of pressing urgency such as nonproliferation? Thus it is easy to see the damage done to the interests of Iran.

    In other words, you must understand that if this execution--in fact, this atrocity and crime against humanity-- goes forward, the international image, reputation, credibility--and indeed very legimitacy--of the Islamic Republic as a worthy member of the global community will come under very serious question.

    Below please find background on the case, and links to the petition, which has gathered thousands of signatures. Below please find the background information on this horrible case, as well the body of the petition itself. Also, please find links to both the petition and to the more than 600 signatures already gathered. PLEASE CHECK BACK REGULARLY ON THE LINK TO THE SIGNATURES, THE NUMBER OF SIGNATURES IS GROWING RAPIDLY!!!

     

    LINK TO THE SIGNATURES URGING YOU TO PRESSURE THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC TO HALT THIS CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY:

     

     


    LINK TO THE PETITION ITSELF:

     

     


    BACKGROUND:

     


    In Iran, a court has sentenced four men from the town of Choram, in the Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province, to death by hanging for sodomy.
    Four men named ‘Saadat Arefi’, ‘Vahid Akbari’, ‘Javid Akbari’ and ‘Houshmand Akbari’ are due to be executed shortly after their verdict was approved recently by high court judges, according to a report from the Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA) in Iran.
    The four men are said to be from the town of Choram, in the Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province of Iran.
    According to HRANA and JOOPEA, these four men will be hanged for sodomy according Shari’a law.

    A gay activist based in Iran said: ‘Although being gay is not a crime based on Iranian criminal law but this is the most clear statement against same sex-acts in past months.’

    He added that ‘there were  four of our other men hanged in past five months.’
    London based Iranian Human Rights Lawyer, Mehri Jafari said: ‘I am horrified and saddened to have heard the news about these four men."
    ‘There are two important issues in this case; the location of the alleged occurrence and the interpretation of the Sharia’ law that a Hodud (strict Sharia punishment) is eminent. Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad is one of the most undeveloped provinces in Iran and it is obvious that a lack of access to lawyers and fair trial can be considered a serious issue in this case. After this announcement it is very likely that the execution will be carried out soon, and the remote location makes it difficult to exert any influence on the process.’
    Mehri further pleaded: ‘I hope international organizations act quickly and effectively on this specific case.’

    ‘The judicial denial of same-sex relationships in Iran stems from its relationship to Shari’a law and patriarchy. This is a warning signal not only for the queer population of Iran but also for all types of gender inclusive the heterosexuals who have sexual relations outside marriage.

    ‘The death penalty has failed to eradicate homosexuality from Iran but it was successful to force queer people into the closets. Sooner or later any Islamic community is obliged to integrate queer people. We believe that Iranians should gain more gender equality and rights and wholly condemn such an archaic sentence to murder which is inherently -un-islamic!’

     

    Because of the lack of transparency, Human Rights Watch said: ‘It cannot be ruled out that Iran is sentencing sexual minorities who engage in consensual same-sex relations to death under the guise that they have committed forcible sodomy or rape.’

    The issue of the death penalty for same-sex acts is further compounded by the fact that the Iranian legal code does not differentiate between rape and homosexual acts.

    Furthermore, in many cases, it is often unclear whether the accused has actually committed a sexual act or it is a mere accusation based on some dispute.

    THE PETITION:

     

    The international community must stand as one to demand an immediate halt to any plans to execute four Iranian men, Saadat Arefi, Vahid Akbari, Javid Akbari and Houshmand Akbari, who have been condemned to die after being convicted of "sodomy".
    Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the plight of gay people in Iran knows exactly what this charge, and the Islamic Republic's willful failure to differentiate between rape and consensual same-gender sexual relations, really means.
    Furthermore, the charge itself as stipulated under the Islamic Republic's legal statutes is illegal under international human rights covenants and treaties to which Iran is a signatory.
    WE REMIND YOU THAT THIS DEATH SENTENCE IS LIKELY TO BE CARRIED OUT IN THE VERY IMMEDIATE FUTURE UNLESS YOU ACT NOW!
    The blood of four innocent gay men will be an indelible stain upon the conscience of the world community if this atrocity is allowed to proceed!

     


    ONCE AGAIN HERE IS THE LINK FOR THE COLLECTION OF SIGNATURES:

     

     

     

    END OF LETTER

     

                                                        

    ***************************************************************************************

     

     

    ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS: FOR THOSE IN COUNTRIES WITH EMBASSIES OR DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN, PLEASE CONSIDER HOLDING A RALLY IN FRONT OF THEIR OFFICES.

    FOR AMERICANS: EVEN THOUGH THE US DOES NOT HAVE DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH THIS REGIME, THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC DOES HAVE A DIPLOMATIC MISSION AT THE UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS IN NEW YORK, AS WELL AS AN INTEREST SECTION ATTACHED TO THE PAKISTANI EMBASSY IN WASHINGTON, D.C

    THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR HELP IN CARRYING OUT THIS URGENT ACTION!! PLEASE SHARE AS WIDELY AS POSSIBLE WITH FRIENDS, MEDIA AND RIGHTS GROUPS AS WELL AS ON SOCIAL MEDIA!!!

     

     

     

              

     

     

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