- Paula Rosas @melibea20
- BBC News World
Two of the latter may be Mehrdat Karimpour and Farid Mohammadi, who were hanged in Iran at the end of January this year.
Karimpur is 32 and Mohammad is 29. They were charged Sodomy They spent six years on death row by Iranian authorities, according to the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI), which reports on human rights violations and abuses in the country.
The gallows awaited them on January 30 in the city of Marakeh, about 500 km northwest of Tehran.
The difficulty of obtaining official data makes it difficult to know whether Mehrdat and Farid are the most recent victims, but they will not be the last.
Last September, Two lesbian girlsZahra Sediki-Hamadani and Elham Soufdar were also sentenced to death in Iran on charges of “corruption in the land” and human trafficking. It is not known when this sentence, condemned by the UN, will be carried out.
In Bauchi state in northern Nigeria, an Islamic court sentenced three men in July to die by stoning Nothing is known about executions for having homosexual relations.
Consensual intercourse with the same sex is punishable by death Eleven countries of the worldAccording to various associations and human rights organizations.
The “crime” takes on different names depending on the country, and may be considered “unnatural crime”, “sodomy” or “homosexual acts”. Punishment is also carried out in different ways: hanging, beheading or stoning.
In some cases, this applies only to men.
In six countries –Brunei, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Yemen– There is legal certainty that the death penalty is the legally prescribed punishment for consensual same-sex sexual acts. In the case of Nigeria, 12 of the country’s northern states and Brunei currently ban it, although it is mentioned in their respective penal codes.
In five more –Qatar, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and United Arab Emirates– According to the “State Homophobia” report of the International Association of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, the death penalty is possible due to interpretation of Sharia or Islamic law, which lacks legal certainty and can be contested. , trans and intersex (Long)
Iran and Saudi Arabia
Iran and Saudi Arabia are the countries that use it most often, Julia Erd, executive director of ILGA World, explains to BBC Mundo. However, of the countries that impose it, it is difficult to know how many countries actually implement it.
In addition to the Iranian victims, in April 2019 at least five men were executed in Saudi Arabia for having consensual sex. They were a part of it Coordinated mass executions in public places across the country 37 people died in this.
Most have been accused of being spies or terrorists working for Iran, which ILGA and other organizations believe were behind the 2012 anti-government protests. One of those convicted of homosexuality, according to documents seen by CNN, he confessed. He was tortured for having an affair with the other four.
They often receive assurances from associations that fees for maintaining same-sex relationships are mixed with others.
Data is complex
Associations that protect the rights of this group, whether they find out about the cases that have been arrested or prosecuted, hold The proof of the use of these sentences is not easy.
“Hard data is very difficult to obtain because media coverage can be very limited, official records either non-existent or very difficult to obtain,” explains BBC Mundo’s head of security and intelligence, Alistair Stewart. Human Dignity FoundationA London-based organization providing legal support to local activists and associations.
“LGBTBI and human rights organizations that track these cases are often under-resourced and under too much pressure to maintain an updated and reliable record,” Stewart adds.
The number of countries punishing homosexuals with the death penalty has declined in recent decades, but has remained virtually constant in recent years.
Sudan In 2020 it reformed its criminal code and stopped condemning homosexuality with the death penalty.
however, Brunei It introduced the punishment in 2019, however, due to the international opposition it generated, the Sultan announced a ban a month later. However, the suspension is “de facto but not “de jure,” that is, it is in effect but in law, so it can be revoked at any time. The moratorium, Human Rights Watch pointed out. The report on Brunei, is subject to ” Political desireand may wake up at any time.”
And then there are the neighboring countries Conflict zones“In Afghanistan or Iraq, depending on who is in power, the death penalty may be used, even if it is not a legal option,” analyzes Alistair Stewart.
Examples include the kidnapping, torture and murder of a gay medical student Afghanistan Last October, a Taliban patrol ran into or gay men inside Chechnya In 2017 and 2019, many of them died. In 2016, the self-proclaimed Islamic State also executed 25 gay men.
Countries that criminalize homosexuality
Beyond the death penalty Same-sex relationships are banned in 68 countries around the worldCorporal punishment, such as imprisonment or public flogging, can range from a few months to several years.
However, according to Julia Ert, it is decreasing every year.
“There is an improvement in terms of penalties, the situation is improving, this is a trend we have seen in recent years and decades,” explains ILGA World’s Executive Director.
Over the past decade, 16 countries have stopped persecuting homosexualityincluding Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Angola, Mozambique and most recently Singapore.
The CaribbeanFor example, it is the only region in the entire Americas that has countries that criminalize same-sex relationships, yet, as Alistair Stewart confirms, “Every one of them has active legal cases challenging those laws, so in about five years there will be no country left that criminalizes LGTBI people in the entire Americas.” .
Latin AmericaIndeed, Julia Erd acknowledges that “LGBTBI is at the forefront of rights.”
However, it moved in the opposite direction. IndonesiaA country that does not punish LGTBI relationships, except in areas where sharia is applied, such as Sumatra and Banda Aceh.
However, the reform of the Penal Code was approved in early December Prohibits sex outside of marriageSince there is no same-sex marriage in that country, it completely affects same-sex relationships.
According to ILGA’s count, 63 UN member states currently have laws condemning homosexuality, including two territories that are not independent: Gaza and the Cook Islands. Additionally, two countries, Egypt and Iraq, “de facto” punish it. Indonesia ranks 68th, although it is not yet clear how the new law will be interpreted.
Although associations agree that there is progress globally in terms of the rights of LGBTI people, the picture remains uneven.
In Africa, where 35 countries still criminalize same-sex relationships, “it’s considered one of the hardest places for LGBTI people, even there there’s been real progress,” Stewart says. Angola, Lesotho, Botswana, Mozambique and SeychellesCountries that have stopped criminalizing homosexuality.
however, Ghana, which is already illegal, is considering a new law. If this continues, relatives, employers, owners or friends of homosexuals may be punished if they do not report it to the authorities.
Even in areas where homosexuality is not persecuted and LGTBI people are guaranteed their rights, the backlash is felt in the social context.
According to Julia Ehrt, the European branch of ILGA began to notice the deterioration of the situation in the ranking of countries belonging to the Council of Europe every year, “which only takes into account the legal situation. The ground may be different, it may have worsened before.”
Ehrt cites as examples “excessive study Trans communities in the US and UKor LGTBI persons in countries like Poland and Hungary“.
Added to this RussiaA new law expands existing restrictions on activities deemed “LGBTI propaganda”.
According to Alistair Stewart, this is part of the global rise of a particular right wing that has the rights of LGBTI people as a cornerstone of its ideology.
Although legal or social situations are very different in different countries, Human Dignity Foundation activist argues, opponents of LGTBI rights Same rhetoric and argumentsAnd the law being considered in Ghana has very similar features to the law approved in Russia, and they are not isolated incidents”.
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