Dec 6, 2008

IN MEMORIAL OF MAKWAM: Urge the United Nations General Assembly to Adopt the France Resolution on December 10, 2008...

The Murder of Makwam, December 5, 2007

In Memorial of Makwam, December 6, 2008

¨Last year in Iran on December 5, 2007 Makvan Mouloodzadeh 21-years old was executed. Homophobia runs deep into Iranian society. This, of course, partly reflects the influence of the conservative Islamic legal and religious standards promoted by the government.

Within the region, Iran is distinguished by the overt severity of the penalties; it imposes on consensual, adult homosexual conduct. Lavat, or sodomy, is punishable by execution on the first offence, regardless of whether the partner is passive or active. Article 111 of the Islamic Penal Code states that, “Lavat is punishable by death so long as both the active and passive partners are mature, of sound mind, and have acted of free will.” Death is also the punishment for the first offence involving sex between a Muslim and a non-Muslim. According to Articles 121 and 122 of the Penal Code, Tafkhiz (the rubbing together of thighs or buttocks, or other forms of non-penetrative “foreplay” between men) is punishable by one hundred lashes for each partner. Upon a fourth conviction of Tafkhiz the punishment is death. Article 123 of the Penal Code further provides that, “if two men who are not related by blood lie naked under the same cover without any necessity,” each will receive ninety-nine lashes.

According to Iran’s Penal Code, an accused person can be convicted of sodomy if he reiterates a confession to the act four times, or if four “righteous men” testify that they have witnessed the act. The Code also offers ways to circumvent this nominally high standard of evidence. Judges may lodge a conviction for sodomy based on “the knowledge of the judge,” in practice allowing a wide range of circumstantial evidence to be adduced as proof. Furthermore, the practice of torture is prevalent in Iran, and the practice of torturing prisoners to extract confessions is common. Forced confessions are openly accepted as evidence in criminal trials.

The death penalty for lavat does not merely exist on paper: it is practiced and enforced. Trials on morals charges in Iran are held in camera; yet, international outrage over the frequency of executions (Iran has the second highest rate of executions per capita in the world) has led the government to exercise tight controls over press reporting of the death penalty. For these reasons, confirming the frequency of executions for lavat is effectively impossible.

On December 5, 2007, Makvan Mouloodzadeh, a 21-year-old Iranian man was executed in Kermanshah Central Prison. He was found guilty of multiple counts of anal rape (ighab), allegedly committed when he was as young as 13 years old. At his trials, all the witnesses retracted their pre-trial testimonies, claiming to have lied to the authorities under duress. Makvan also told the court that his confession was made under coercion and pleaded not guilty. The Seventh District Criminal Court of Kermanshah in Western Iran and the Supreme Court nonetheless found him guilty and sentenced him to death. This ruling directly violated various legal codes of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Makvan was born on March 31, 1986, making him a minor back in 1999, at the time of the alleged crime. Article 113 of the Islamic Penal Code declares: “If a minor sodomizes another minor, both should be punished by up to 74 lashes, unless one of them is forced to do so.” Since the alleged sodomy happened when the defendant and his alleged partners were 13 years old, the death penalty was not technically applicable to this case. Although all the alleged witnesses and victims dismissed the sodomy charges, the defendant pleaded not guilty and there was no medical examination conducted to verify the case, the judge employed the “Knowledge of the Judge” clause as a way to prove sodomy in this case. This case caused an international uproar.

In response to mounting public pressure, and following a detailed petition submitted to the Iranian Chief Justice by Mr. Mouloodzadeh’s lawyer, the Iranian Chief Justice, Ayatollah Seyed Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi, nullified the impending death sentence. The Iranian Chief Justice
described the death sentence to be in violation of Islamic teachings, the religious decrees of high-ranking Shiite clerics, and the law of the land. However, in defiance of the Chief Justice, the judges ultimately decided to ratify the original court’s ruling and ordered the local authorities to carry out the execution.

This case is a clear example of how convictions of sodomy can be obtained despite the absence of any credible evidence...¨

Read the entire REAL LIFE story, click here

IRQR Urges the UN General Assembly to Adopt the France Resolution on December 10, 2008, click here

Be Responsible. Be accountable. Stop the WORLDWIDE CRIMES OF LEGALIZED HATE that result in the MURDER and daily persecution of your LGBT brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, friends, coworkers as well as Christians, Muslims, Jews and ALL others!

Thanks to Gays Without Borders
Thanks to Flickr Photosharing
Thanks to IRQR
Thanks to France


FranIAm said...

I feel hollowed out and empty after reading this- and then the anger comes.

Thank you for posting this - you keep the flame of his life alive and for espousing hope in your own beautiful way Leonardo.

These things must stop and stop now.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

All Hope and Prayer for the French initiative!

Cany said...

Fran, your comments are appropriate to my own feelings.

If we listed the historical reasons (religious and not) for killing people, it would take this entire page. I can only conclude that the human race, in general, pretty much sucks most of the time.

But then there are thousands of people we know on various blogs that don't fit this thinking. But still, we are not activist enough to do ANYTHING, apparently, about much it seems.

We lament and we writhe. Then we do it again.

Ask yourself, though, how MANY people care about the people in my coal post? I got not one single response, yet their lives are devastated. Did any of the readers even write to Obama or anyone else? I doubt it.

And on this, who will write? Will people REALLY take the time to defend the rights of others in other countries not like them?

I know I will.

If our lives mean reading and moving on--and nothing more--then we stand to be stampeded ourselves by whatever flavor of religious and/or social dogma/law will come to face us down.

Gays can't marry in CA. Gays are killed all over the world. The US tortures. We do nothing about fixable environmental conditions and food contamination.

Where the hell does it end if not with us? Each and every one of us?

Doorman-Priest said...

Words fail me!

Tim said...

As I read this, my first reaction was disgust and disbelief that an allegedly "modern" nation--theocracy or not--would tolerate such primitive, extreme injustice.

It reminded me of the Sufiya Hussaini case in Nigeria, where a woman who had been raped and bore a child out of wedlock was convicted of adultery by a Sharia court and sentenced to death by stoning. In that case, however, enormous pressure exerted by human rights organizations shamed the civil courts into overturning her sentence. Knowing this story ended tragically, as I read on, I kept asking myself why wasn't the same effort expended on this child's behalf?

And then I saw his picture and, like Fran, I hollowed out; like Cany, I boiled over in rage; and like doorman-priest, I had no words for my feelings. But what enrages me more than anything is that America knows nothing about this or the France Resolution. Instead of rising up to quash this barbarity, we're chattering on about OJ Simpson!

God save us from ourselves so we can save others.

Leonardo Ricardo said...

¨would tolerate such primitive, extreme injustice.¨ Tim

I had a hard time absorbing the full impact of this REAL LIFE grim story too...but what I did do was show the truth here and pray for the spirit of Makwam, whom suddenly became a dearone, a dear friend, a saintly innocent brother instantly...his death is tragic, the injustice of it all is sickening to any emotionally and spiritually stable person...but, more importantly the feardriven and selfrighteous who instigate and execute CRIMES OF HATE against humanity will never kill love, brotherly or sisterly love and that is beyond their control and is not going anywhere, amongst the living or amongst our dead.

IMPORTANT: Currently, and I mean currently, Archbishop Akinola of The Anglican Church of Nigeria and Henri Orombi of Uganda are instigating the accross the board slandering and condemning of LGBT Christians, Muslims and others in their home countries and attempting to promote fear and hate abroad...both have initiated ¨witch hunts¨ within their cultures that may result in many MORE brutal deaths...excluding, demonizing, demoralizing and persecuting fellow human beings seems to be a speciality amongst self-appointed selective Scriptural distorting bigots....these are dangerous human beings and must be confronted in with their mischiefmaking, lie telling, thievery and obsessive striving for grandiosity.

Queers United said...

I really hope the French resolution passes, it will be long overdue.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Tim is right - and very eloquent!

What can we do?

How will people be influenced who don't care?

How does one make people understand, what they don't understand?

As a teacher's child (the most detested teacher there was) I have asked myself this question many times...

But something must be done, and something is better than nothing.

The personal example...

Speaking up!

Leonardo Ricardo said...

The personal example...

Speaking up!

Göran Koch-Swahne

Never stopping, never letting up...that´s OUR be the authentic people that God has made us to be...all of us ¨to be¨

Lord Hear My Prayer

David G. said...