Iran's top judge denies executions for being gay

Sadeq Ardeshir Amoli Larijani (Photo courtesy of
Sadeq Ardeshir Amoli Larijani, the head of Iran’s judiciary. (Photo courtesy of

The head of Iran’s judiciary, Sadeq Amoli Larijani, has disputed the accuracy of frequent reports that Iran executes people for being gay.
That accusation by Western human rights activists “is no more than a lie,” Larijani told a convention of Iran’s diplomatic corps in Tehran on Aug. 12, according to The Iran Project, a pro-Iran news website.
Regarding LGBT people, Larijani said, “We do not provide these people with opportunity, but what they say — that we hang them — is a lie that they have fabricated.”
He did not deny that LGBT people are executed for same-sex intercourse.
He criticized “so-called supporters of human rights” who defend homosexuals, but did not protest Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip.
In an alternative translation of his remarks, Larijani stated:

“They keep raising concerns about faggots. Based on our religious beliefs, these people are not tolerated, but saying that we kill homosexuals is a lie. In the Islamic Republic no one sticks their nose into the private lives of individuals to find out what kind of private violations are being committed. Islam believes in the inherent dignity and innocence of all humans, and therefore does not tolerate this filth [ i.e. homosexuality]. But [the Western countries] use this as an excuse to attack our human rights records.
Ayyatollah Larijani added,”They keep talking about human rights violations for a bunch of faggots, but when a thousand kids are murdered in Gaza, Mr. Obama justifies it by talking about Israel’s right to self defense.”

Larijani has been sanctioned by the European Union for human rights abuses, according to the Official Journal of the European Union.   He was cited as judiciary head for approving harsh punishments for “crimes against God” and “crimes against the state,” including the death penalty, floggings and amputation and for extreme punishments such as “stoning (16 people are currently under stoning sentence [in 2012]), executions by suspension strangulation, execution of juveniles, and public executions such as those where prisoners have been hung from bridges in front of crowds of thousands. He has also permitted corporal punishment sentences such as amputations and the dripping of acid into the eyes of the convicted.”
In the most recent report from the organization Iran Human Rights, two prisoners were hanged in public on Aug. 6 in southern Iran on charges of sodomy, Iran Human Rights reports.
Amnesty International reported that three people were executed in Iran in 2011 for sodomy.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]

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