Saturday, July 18, 2015

London Vigil on 10th Anniversary of Iran's Gay Teen Hangings

My friend Melanie Nathan and I promoting tomorrow's important action in the United Kingdom. She writes:

"To mark the tenth anniversary of Iran’s hanging of two teenagers, Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, the Peter Tatchell Foundation and the African LGBTI group Out and Proud are holding a memorial vigil to remember these two youths who were publicly hanged by agonizing slow strangulation in the city of Mashhad on 19 July 2005.

Asgari and Marhoni were found guilty of male rape after an unfair trial. LGBTI campaigners inside Iran say they were hanged because they were gay. International human rights organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have often accused the Tehran regime of hanging people on flimsy evidence and on trumped up charges.

'On 19 July, we stand for life, liberty and love. Mahmoud and Ayaz were only children when they were sentenced to die. I remember the photos of their tears in the police van as they were driven to the gallows. It was a heart-breaking sight. This vigil is our attempt to make sure their state-sponsored murder is not forgotten and to stand in solidarity with LGBTI people in Iran,' said protest coordinator Peter Tatchell, Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation. 'We also remember the many other victims of Tehran’s tyranny: students, political dissidents, women, trade unionists, human rights defenders and religious and ethnic minorities.'

"The key demand of the London 19 July protest is: Iran: Stop killing gays! Stop killing children! End the death penalty!

"If you're in London, the vigil is from 2-3pm this Sunday 19 July 2015, on the steps of St Martins-in-the-Field Church on Trafalgar Square. Please participate."

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