Two gay men in Iran have been executed after spending six years on death row.
Mehrdad Karimpour and Farid Mohammadi were hanged in a prison in the northwestern city of Maragheh, some 310 miles away from the capital, Tehran, where they had been convicted on charges of sodomy.
They were sentenced to death for ‘forced sexual intercourse between two men’ in Iran , where homosexuality is illegal
The men’s identities were confirmed in a report by the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) on Sunday. It added state-run outlets in Iran had yet to announce the deaths.
Sheina Vojoudi, who fled Iran and escaped to Germany, told The Jerusalem Post that the country’s prisons are ‘full of people who have committed no crime’.
LGBTQ+ rights campaigner Peter Tatchell also told the publication the execution follows ‘a long-standing regime policy of the state-sanctioned murder of gay men, often on disputed charges after unfair trials that have been condemned by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch’.
He added: ‘The international community must impose Magnitsky sanctions on the regime officials, judges and prison staff who authorized these executions – and on those responsible for the many other human rights cases of abuse in Iran’.
Iranian American journalist Karmel Melamed in a tweet called for ‘outrage’ from the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
He said: ‘The Ayatollah regime in Iran just executed two gay men for the crime of sodomy in Iran. This is Mehrdad Karimpour and Farid Mohammadi who were executed by hanging. Where’s the outrage from @StateDept @SecBlinken @glaad & other LGBT groups in U.S. to this horrific crime?!’
Last May Alireza Fazeli Monfared, 20, who identified as gay and non-binary, was abducted by several male relatives and murdered in Ahvaz, Khuzestan province in Iran.
Speaking about the killing, Amnesty wrote: ‘LGBTI people in Iran face pervasive discrimination, live in the constant fear of harassment, arrest and criminal prosecution, and remain vulnerable to violence and persecution based on their real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.
HRANA added that in July 2021, two other men were executed on the same charges as Mr Karimpour and Mr Mohammadi in Maragheh and that last year, Iran executed 299 people, including four convicted of crimes committed as children.
In 2021, Iran sentenced 85 people to death.