Stop the execution of Ebrahim Hamidi

executionsAn 18-year-old Iranian man is facing execution over a false sodomy charge, campaigners say. Ebrahim Hamidi was sentenced to death two years ago at the age of 16 for an unspecified assault on another man. Although the allegation was withdrawn and the Iranian Supreme Court has rejected the guilty verdict and execution order, a lower provincial court is insisting on Mr Hamidi’s execution. Now, his fate lies in the hands of the Supreme Court, which must decided whether to uphold the execution order.

Previously, he was represented by the human rights lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei but Mr Mostafaei has gone into hiding after a warrant for his arrest was issued. The lawyer is also representing Sakineh Ashtiani, the Iranian woman who has been sentenced to death by stoning on charges of adultery. Supporters of Mr Hamidi say that while Ms Ashtiani is unlikely to face death because she has international support, he could be executed at any time.

They are asking for people to contact their MPs to raise awareness of Mr Hamidi’s plight.

He was arrested in 2008 with three other men after a fight between two families outside the city of Tabriz. The four men were told by police that one of the men they had been fighting had claimed they attempted to strip and sexually assault him. The men say they were tortured in prison and Mr Hamidi signed a confession which he said was not true. All four were tried in two consecutive provincial criminal courts and were sentenced to execution.

During their third trial, three of the men were cleared of all charges but Mr Hamidi was again sentenced to execution. He was sentenced to die on June 21st this year. On July 7th, the man who made the original accusation against Mr Hamidi withdrew it, telling police in a written statement that he had made up the claim under parental pressure. The Supreme Court of Iran has twice rejected the lower court’s rulings on the case because of shortcomings in the judicial investigation.

However, Mr Hamidi’s supporters say that the lower court is intent on his execution. Dan Littauer, the editor of Gay Middle East, who has been reporting on the case, says that Mr Hamidi currently has no legal representation. In a statement today, he urged people to support the accused man’s case by contacting their MPs. “There is no evidence that Hamidi is gay or that he committed any crime. This execution must be stopped. We need your help,” Mr Littauer said. UK-based gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell added: “Ebrahim’s case shows the flaws and failings of the Iranian legal system. It is further evidence that innocent people are sentenced on false charges of homosexuality.” “An international campaign can help stop Ebrahim’s execution, just as a similar global campaign has, so far, halted the stoning to death of Sakineh Ashtiani.”

From Pink News


  1. How can we do anything? Any official autograph ‘thing’ started?

    I want 2 do something so e-mailed Amnesty Holland but can’t find anything else to do.

    You know something?

  2. In Le Monde (August 31, 2010) two notable French writers published the following letter, which I have taken the liberty of translating into English.

    Condemned for being gay in Iran
    Ebrahim Hamidi is 18 years old and is going to be hanged

    After Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, Iran continues to plough its furrow by sentencing to hang a young man suspected of homosexuality. Ebrahim Hamidi is eighteen and is going to die. In his country, Iran, he has been found guilty of an abominable crime, a crime punishable by hanging. Ebrahim Hamidi is alleged to be homosexual. And so he must die. Because, if Tehran’s judges are not slow in dedicating to death by stoning a woman accused of adultery, so too they hand over to the executioner a man suspected of sleeping in the same bed as his fellow man.

    This way of thinking in itself, so in conflict with the idea of humanity, would be enough to horrify us and leaves us imagining the terror in which Iranian homosexuals live, obliged to be silent, to lie, to deny their identity.

    The charges are said to have been fabricated following a mundane quarrel; the accusations made up by three fellow detainees in return for their freedom; Ebrahim’s confession extracted under torture. During his trial, the accused did not have the right to any form of legal representation. As for the verdict, it was pronounced by a magistrate who relied on “judge’s knowledge”, a procedure that allows for subjective judicial rulings when no formal proof exists.

    In a spectacular new development during the month of July, the alleged “victim” admitted that he falsely accused Ebrahim Hamidi following pressure from his parents. One might have thought that this retraction would have led to the quashing of the sentence. Not at all. Ebrahim Hamidi is still guilty, of a “crime” that he has not committed. And is he homosexual or not? It makes no difference. He has to die.

    He has to die so that all the “real homosexuals” continue to hide themselves and suffer terror in silence. He has to die so that we understand that Iranian justice is incapable of making a mistake. And he is going to die, if we do not rally on his behalf. If we do not waken people’s consciences. If we do not cry high and loud and everywhere that this conviction is intolerable and that it must be overturned.

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