Current Affairs

Iranian partygoers released

Amy Bourke June 7, 2007
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Nearly all of the young men arrested at a party in Iran earlier this month under suspicion of being gay have now been released.

Eighty-seven young men were originally arrested, and seventeen were held for “homosexual conduct” and drinking alcohol in a crackdown by Iranian police.

Amnesty International have said that they are not aware of any evidence that the men attending the party identify themselves as gay or were engaging in same-sex sexual activities.

Sixty of the men were released unconditionally, while 26 were released on bail.

It is not known whether the last man has been released.

The Iranian Queer Organisation believe that during their time in prison the young men had been tortured and kept in unacceptable conditions.

Last month reported how a witness as the time of the arrests, who would only describe herself as Peyman, described how “all my friends were arrested while seven or eight policeman beat them with batons.”

Arsham Parsi, the executive director of the Iranian Queer Organisation said: “Obviously this crackdown is yet another systematic violation of human rights, along with brutal suppression of womens’ movements in Iran and must be strongly protested by all human rights organisations as yet another violation of people’s private rights and liberties.

“This means that for now, what is urgently needed is to strongly object to this gross violation of human rights and the invasion of young people’s lives and dignity.”

Under the Islamic Shar’ia law followed in Iran, gay sex is illegal, as is any sex that takes place outside marriage.

The maximum punishment for adultery and gay sex is death, and teenage boys as young as 15 are eligible for the death penalty.

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