British activist Peter Tatchell, of the LGBTI human rights group OutRage!, has launched a bid to save an Iranian teen, falsely accused of sexually assaulting another male, from hanging.

According to Tatchell and the website Gay Middle East, not only was Ebrahim Hamidi found guilty in June of charges of “vague, unspecified” sexual assault on another man, but his accuser has since withdrawn his accusation and admitted that he lied.

The Supreme Court of Iran has also twice rejected the provincial court’s guilty verdict and death sentence and ordered a re-examination of the case.

Defying the Supreme Court, the local judiciary in East Azerbaijan province is said to be going ahead with plans to execute Hamidi. His hanging could take place at any time, said Tatchell.

In addition, the teen’s lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei, has gone into hiding after a warrant for his arrest was issued because he was involved in the highly publicised effort to stop another execution; the stoning to death of a woman, Sakineh Ashtiani, on charges of adultery.

“There is no evidence that Hamidi is gay or that he committed any crime. This execution must be stopped. We need your help,” said Dan Littauer, editor of Gay Middle East.

“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,” added Tatchell

They have called on people, wherever they live, to contact their MP, Congressperson, Deputy or Foreign Minister to lobby the Iranian Chief Justice.

“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,” said Tatchell.

Homosexuality is illegal in Iran and carries a maximum punishment of death, which can be applied to citizens as young as 15 years of age.

According to Human Rights Watch, Iran leads the world in executing juvenile offenders. In February last year, the United Nations General Assembly called on Iran to abolish the execution of persons who were under the age of 18 at the time of their offense.

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