It’s being reported that Iran executed ten people on Wednesday, including a gay man, in Karaj, the capital of the Alborz Province, just outside of Tehran.
According to Human Rights Activists News Agency, the identity of Iman Safari Rad and Mehdi Khalgoldi, have been verified by HRANA. Iman Safavi Rad had previously been sentenced to death on charges of “sodomy by rape”
British LGBT activist Peter Tatchell stated: “Yet again another man has been executed on a charge of sodomy, which he may or may not have committed, with or without consent. What is certain is that this man almost certainly did not receive a fair trial under the notoriously biased Iranian judicial system. Defendants are routinely denied access to lawyers and defence witnesses. They can be sentenced after brief ‘trials’ lasting as little as 20 minutes, with lawyers provided only shortly before the court hearing starts. People can be found guilty without corroborating evidence. This execution is consistent with Iran’s state policy of the death penalty for same-sex relations.”
According to a 2008 British WikiLeaks diplomatic cable, Iran’s regime has executed between 4,000-6,000 gays and lesbians since the nation’s Islamic revolution in 1979.
“Mehrdad Karimpour and Farid Mohammadi were both hanged in a prison in the northwestern city of Maragheh, around 310 miles away from Tehran, having been sentenced to death for ‘forced sexual intercourse between two men’. As per the Human Dignity Trust, Article 236 also provides that ‘tafkhiz’ – defined under Article 235 as ‘putting a male sex organ between the thighs/buttocks of another man’ – is punishable with 100 lashes, or the death penalty if the active party is non-Muslim and the passive party is Muslim. For women, it’s punishable with 100 lashes.”
Peter Tatchell, an longtime gay activist, told The Jerusalem Post, ‘Iran is one of a dozen Muslim-majority countries and regions that enforce Sharia law and impose the death penalty for homosexuality. The execution of these men 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.
In February 2021, an Iranian cleric Ayatollah Abbas Tabrizian claimed that the Covid-19 vaccine turns people gay, on messaging platform Telegram, to almost 210,000 followers.
According to The Jerusalem Post, Tabrizian wrote on the platform: ‘Don’t go near those who have had the COVID vaccine. They have become homosexuals.’
It is believed that between 4,000 and 6,000 gay men and women have been executed in Iran since the 1979 Revolution.
Iranian American journalist Karmel Melamed in a tweet called for ‘outrage’ from the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Richard Cornish, also known as Richard Williams, an English ship captain is reported to have been one of the earliest people, if not the first person, to have been hanged for sodomy in what would eventually become the United States.
In 1624 Cornish was ship master of the Ambrose, which was harbored in the James River of the Virginia colony in August of that year. During this time indentured servant, William Couse worked on the Ambrose and was ordered to put clean sheets on Cornish’s bed, upon which point Couse alleged that his master had been drunk and made a sexual advance upon him. Despite Couse’s refusal, Cornish was then reported to have forcibly sodomized Couse. Crouse also claimed that Cornish later sexually fondled him on numerous occasions and also humiliated him in front of the rest of the crew.
Cornish was given a trial, during which one of his crew members reported overhearing a conversation between Couse and Cornish that corroborated part but not all of Couse’s claims. The trial ended with Cornish being found guilty and sentenced to hang, which happened on an unspecified date in early 1625.
William Couse’s Testimony
William Couse [or Cowse], aged 29 years or thereabouts, sworn and examined sayeth, that the 27th day of August last, past about one or 2 of the clock in the afternoon, being aboard the good ship called the Ambrose, then riding at anchor in James River, Richard Williams, also [known as] Cornish, master of the said ship called the Ambrose, being then in drink, called to this examinee to lay a clean pair of sheet into his bed, which this examinee did, and the said [Richard] Williams went into the bed, and would have this examinee come into the bed to him, which this examinee refusing to do, the said Richard Williams went out of the bed and did cut this examinee’s cod piece . . , and made this examinee unready [unsteady?], and made him go into the bed, and then the said Williams also Cornish went into the bed to him, and there lay upon him, and kissed him and hugged him, saying that he would love this examinee if he would now and then come and lay with him, and so by force he turned this examinee upon his belly, and so did put this examinee to pain in the fundament, and did wet him, and after did call for a napkin which this examinee did bring unto him, and [Cornish did] sayeth that there was but one man aboard the ship, which was Walter Mathew, the boatswain’s mate, being [passage missing]. And further sayeth that he was for 3 or 4 days after, and that after this, the next day after, in the morning, the said Williams also Cornish said to this examinee, “Though [I did] play the fool with you yesterday, make no wonder.” Further he sayeth that after this, many times, he [Cornish] would put his hands in this examinee’s cod piece and played [with him] and kissed him, saying to this examinee that he would have brought them [sic] to sea with him, if he had [passage missing] him, that would have played with him. And after this examinee being called and refusing to go he … [took?] him before the mast and forbade all the ship’s company to eat with him, and made this examinee cook for all the rest.
This conviction and execution was challenged by several people – most notably Edward Nevell and Thomas Hatch, both of whom were indentured servants. Both men felt that Cornish was innocent and that his death was wrongful on the part of Virginia’s governor, Nevell going so far as to tell Cornish’s brother of his beliefs. These remarks were seen as offensive as they put the blame for Cornish’s death on the Virginian governor Sir Francis Wyatt and both men were severely punished for their comments. Nevell had both of his ears cut off and was unable to become a free man in Virginia while Hatch only lost one ear, but was whipped and his service contract was extended for an additional seven years.
Iran’s supreme court has upheld death sentences for adultery against a 27-year-old and his 33-year-old lover maleafter the man’s father-in-law denied them clemency, a reformist newspaper reported Saturday.
Details are sketchy but it seems that one of them was marries and while the wife DID testify and presented video evidence in court to her husbands homosexuality but pleaded to the courts to spare the pair the death penalty,
Iranian law allows that if a victim’s family forgives the accused in a capital crime, the convict can be either pardoned or given a jail sentence. But her father demanded death sentence still be imposed and the court found in his favor, the paper added.
According to human rights group Amnesty International, Iran carried out 246 executions last year.
In England until 1861, the penalty of “buggery” was reduced to “merely” life imprisonment but that change came almost thirty years too late for British Army Captain Henry Nichols who was sentenced to death and executed.
In 1833, the London Courier printed the following account:
Captain Henry Nicholas Nicholls, who was one of the unnatural gang to which the late Captain Beauclerk belonged, (and which latter gentleman put an end to his existence), was convicted on the clearest evidence at Croydon, on Saturday last, of the capital offence of Sodomy; the prisoner was perfectly calm and unmoved throughout the trial, and even when sentence of death was passed upon him. In performing the duty of passing sentence of death upon the prisoner, Mr. Justice Park told him that it would be inconsistent with that duty if he held out the slightest hope that the law would not be allowed to take its severest course. At 9 o’clock in the morning the sentence was carried into effect. The culprit, who was fifty years of age, was a fine looking man, and had served in the Peninsular war. He was connected with a highly respectable family; but, since his apprehension not a single member of it visited him.
A first-person narrative poem written* in 1833 under the name of *Lord Byron titled *Don Leon” was a signal piece of literature: the first overt literary defense of homosexuality in English.
It opens with a scene said to be inspired by Captain Nicholls:
Thou ermined judge, pull off that sable cap! What! Cans’t thou lie, and take thy morning nap? Peep thro’ the casement; see the gallows there: Thy work hangs on it; could not mercy spare? What had he done? Ask crippled Talleyrand, Ask Beckford, Courtenay, all the motley band Of priest and laymen, who have shared his guilt (If guilt it be) then slumber if thou wilt; What bonds had he of social safety broke? Found’st thou the dagger hid beneath his cloak? He stopped no lonely traveller on the road; He burst no lock, he plundered no abode; He never wrong’d the orphan of his own; He stifled not the ravish’d maiden’s groan. His secret haunts were hid from every soul, Till thou did’st send thy myrmidons to prowl, And watch the prickings of his morbid lust, To wring his neck and call thy doings just.
*NOTE: Don Leon is a 19th-century poem attributed to Lord Byron celebrating homosexual love and making a plea for tolerance. At the time of its writing, homosexuality and sodomy were capital crimes in Britain, and the nineteenth century saw many men hanged for indulging in homosexual acts. But unfortunately its narrative and notes several incidents that happened after the poet the Lord Byron’s 1824 death it obviously could not have been written by him.
Jacopo Bonfadio was born in Garda, Italy in 1508 and was educated at Verona and Padua.
Beginning in 1532, he worked as secretary for various members of the clergy in Rome and Naples. In 1540, he gained employment in Padua with the son of Cardinal-humanist Pietro Bembo. While working for Bembo’s son, he met and became friends with notable humanists of the time and was a contemporary of Annibal Caro.
In 1541, Bonfadio among others, coined the term una terza natura, meaning ‘nature improved by art’, and subsequently, many designers utilized the concept. Large-scale views of the Medici villas, the grand vistas of Louis XIV, and the planning of 16th-century and later English country houses show how this idea was incorporated.
Bonfadio’s humanist views earned him some powerful enemies in Genoa. In 1550, after he had completed Annales Genuendis, ab anno 1528 recuperatae libertatis usque ad annum 1550 (his history of the Republic of Genoa from 1528 to 1550), his writings angered the powerful Genoese families the Dorias, the Adornos, the Spinolas, and the Fieschi, who sought revenge against him for daring to record and judge their actions. They proceeded to accuse him of sodomy, for which he was arrested, tried, and condemned to death.
In many parts of Europe at the end of the thirteenth century, then, sodomites, heretics, and other social and sexual deviants were demarcated from the rest of the population. Those who once were only sinners now were criminal; their behavior was not only sinful but antisocial, and thus appropriately punished by loss of rights, property, and life. In 1292 John de Wettre, a knifemaker, was executed for sodomy in Ghent, burned alive for engaging with another man in an act “detested by God.” This is the earliest known execution for that act. We don’t know whether the other man was a lover or a passing stranger, whether the act was habitual or unique. All that we can know about John de Wettre is that John’s execution, if it was the first, would not be the last
So the next time someone says to you that gay men have not been persecuted as others have, have not dealt with oppression, and not fought as long as other to be accepted and equal. Remind them of John de Wettre.
Gary Ray Bowles who started an eight-month serial killing spree of six gay men is set to be the 99th death row inmate executed in Florida on Thursday.
Six gay men were savagely beaten and choked. One was bludgeoned with a discarded toilet. In every case, the victims had something crammed down their throats — a towel, wads of toilet paper, a fistful of dirt.
Each man fought for his life, but lost.
Bowles, started his eight-month homicidal binge by killing John Hardy Roberts, 59, on March 14, 1994, inside the victim’s beachside home in Daytona Beach. He was arrested a few days after killing his sixth victim, Walter Hinton, 42, in Jacksonville on Nov. 20, 1994.
Bowles committed three murders in Florida — in Daytona Beach, Jacksonville and Hilliard. He killed two other men in Georgia — one in Savannah and the other in Atlanta. He also murdered a man in Wheaton, Maryland.
He would say to the world during a television interview years later how remarkably easy it was to kill someone.
Tom Youngman, a retired homicide and crime scene investigator with the Daytona Beach Police Department, was one of a battery of investigators who interviewed Bowles following his arrest. He asked Bowles why he chose gay men as his murder victims.
“He said they only perform an act on him and he never did (to) them,” Youngman said last week. “I said, ‘Well, that’s homosexuality,’ and he says, ‘No.’
“Then what are you if you’re not a homosexual?” Youngman asked Bowles.
“I’m a hustler,” Bowles replied.
In May 1996, Bowles stunned prosecutors when he pleaded guilty to killing to the murders. They still decided to pursue the death penalty, based on the facts of the case. One victim’s head was bashed with a 40-pound concrete block and he had been suffocated with toilet paper and a wash cloth, according to court testimony.
The Jurors recommended the death sentence in a 10-2 vote in July 1996. The judge agreed and sentenced him to death later that summer.
In August 1998, the Florida Supreme Court overturned Bowles’ death sentence, saying it was wrong of the prosecution to introduce Bowles’ hatred of homosexuals as evidence.
The following May, jurors heard evidence again on whether to recommend life or death. They were unanimous the second time. Bowles was transported back to death row in September 1999, where he has remained for 20 years.
You can read more details of the case at Daytona Beach News-Journal.
WARNING: Graphic details of violence.1. LINK 2. LINK
Homosexuality is punishable by death in the Gulf State, ruled over by King Salman.
A court document obtained by CNN states a man confessed to gay acts and hating the majority Sunni sect. It states: ‘He said that he did all this because he belonged to the Shia sect and because he was against the Sunni sect and because of his hate for the state and its men and its security forces.’
The executions were carried out on Tuesday in the cities of Riyadh, Mecca and Medina. One of the prisoner’s had his body and severed head pinned to a pole in a public square. The deaths were said to act as a warning to others and also a political move to impress the USA.
Many of those executed said they were totally innocent, and that their confessions had been written by the same people who had tortured them.
Tuesday’s mass execution was “another gruesome indication of how the death penalty is being used as a political tool to crush dissent from within” the country’s Shi’ite minority, said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s group’s research director for the Middle East.
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the executions heightened doubts about respect for the right to a fair trial in Saudi Arabia and could fuel sectarian violence.
New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said at least 33 of the 37 men put to death were Shi’ites and it was the largest set of executions in the kingdom since January 2016.
Mahmoud Ishtiwi, commander from a storied family of Hamas loyalists who, during the 2014 war with Israel, was responsible for 1,000 fighters and a network of attack tunnels was executed last month with three bullets to the chest.
The execution comes as a result of in January 2015, Ishtiwi admitting that he was funneling money to his brigade that was instead meant for weapons. After that, an investigation opened up on Ishtiwi, uncovered male lovers and he was accused of moral turpitude, by which Hamas meant homosexuality. Not only were Hamas officials humiliated over the reports, they believed his secret life could open him up to blackmail by Israeli officials. Rumors also began circling that he aided Israelis in an assassination attempt on a military leader named Mohammed Deif, an attack that instead killed one of Deif’s wives and their baby.
Reports indicated that Ishtiwi carved the word “zulum” — meaning “wronged” — unto his body. He was imprisoned and tortured. In the early hours of February 7, Ishtiwi’s family pleaded with officials to spare his life; he was killed that day.
His death has become the talk of the town in the conservative quarters of Gaza, the Palestinian coastal territory, endlessly discussed in living rooms, at checkpoints and in cabs. But to astute Gaza observers, this was more substantive than a soap opera.