Human rights pressure group Amnesty International has warned that two men may soon be executed by being thrown off a cliff, an Islamic punishment for homosexual sex.
Six men were sentenced by a court in May 2007 of having abducted two young men in the city of Arsanjan, to the east of Shiraz, stealing their property and raping them.
Tayyeb Karimi and Yazdan (surname unknown) were sentenced to death by the judge, who stipulated they be thrown from a height.
The four other men were sentenced to 100 lashes each.
Amnesty says that on 15th January a spokesman for the Judiciary in Iran confirmed that the sentences had been upheld by the Supreme Court, but that they had not yet been carried out.
All death sentences in Iran must be approved by the Head of the Judiciary.
The human rights group wants people to send appeals for clemency and commutation of the sentences.
“Iran’s Penal Code states in Article 109 that both men involved in same-sex penetrative (anal) or non-penetrative sex will be punished,” Amnesty’s international LGBT network said in a statement.
“Article 110 states that those convicted of engaging in anal sex will be executed and that the manner of execution is at the discretion of the judge.
“The sentence passed in this case is exceptional in its apparent intent to inflict suffering.”
According to Iranian human rights campaigners, more than 4,000 lesbians and gay men have been executed since the Ayatollahs seized power in 1979.
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