A Conservative MP in the UK has called on the Foreign Secretary to intervene in the pending execution of an Iranian teen accused of sodomy.
Eighteen year old Ebrahim Hamidi was charged with vague, unspecified sexual assault on another man when he was sixteen, but his accuser has since withdrawn his accusation and admitted that he lied.
Despite this, the judge made use of the “judge’s knowledge” provision under Sharia law which allows him to make a ruling without having the required evidence, and found Hamidi guilty and sentenced him to death.
“It is an outrage that this young man faces execution. In the first place it is utterly abhorrent that homosexual acts are illegal and carry draconian penalties in Iran,” said Iain Stewart, the openly gay MP for Milton Keynes South.
“That, plus the fact that there is considerable doubt as to whether the event actually took place, makes it unthinkable that Ebrahim should lose his life. I am calling on the Foreign Office to do whatever it can to exert diplomatic pressure on Iran to show some human compassion and free this young man, or at very least commute the death penalty. In the meantime, my heart goes out to Ebrahim and his family at this dreadful time”.
The Supreme Court of Iran has twice rejected the provincial court’s guilty verdict and death sentence and ordered a re-examination of Hamidi’s case but the local authorities still plan to proceed with the execution.
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.