Even though there have been huge positive LGBT rights movements across the world, the sad truth is quite often put before us. We are still far away from achieving global equality and the recent execution of Hassan Afshar, 19, is evidence.
The teenager was accused of raping another boy, however he was adamant that the sexual acts were completely consensual, and that the ‘victim’ had willingly engaged. This has sparked several members of the LGBT community to claim the Iranian government has purely used this as a chance to execute and innocent gay man, not for rape, but for being gay.
The Iranian government responded to this statement saying:
Homosexual conduct’ remains illegal under Iran’s Sharia law and is punishable by fines, public flogging or even execution.
Stefan Schaden, a LGBT rights activist said:
Consensual homosexual conduct remains illegal under Iran’s Sharia law and is punished with public flogging or even execution. While the Islamic State throws gays from rooftops, the Islamic Republic hangs them.
These acts show that there are still countries who are living in the past and have not come to terms with the freedom we should be given in the 21st century.
It is ironic however that the Iranian government are members of the UN convention on the Rights of the child. Hassan Afshar was 17 when he was first convicted, which therefore makes him the first juvenile to be executed this year. There are currently 160 young offenders on death row at the moment.
Even though there are LGBT activists in Iran, it seems they will take a while to be heard.