Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni just before they were executed in 2005
A report of the hanging of a 14-year-old gay boy in Iran has emerged on the anniversary of the similar execution of two teens in 2005.
On Thursday, Iranian-born journalist, author and former editor Amir Taheri tweeted: “14 year old Akbar Zargarzadeh hanged from tree in Islamic boys’ camp after camp’s mullah accused him of being gay deserving death.”
The report is being viewed with caution. The hanging has not been confirmed by other media sources and Taheri has in the past been accused of including inaccurate information in his writing.
The claim comes almost exactly ten years after the public hanging of Mahmoud Asgari, 16, and Ayaz Marhoni, 18, on July 19, 2005. While the Iranian government stated that they were executed for raping a 13-year-old boy, some British LGBT activists claimed that they were killed for consensual homosexual acts.
Human rights group have reported that up to 6,000 gays and lesbians have been executed in the country since 1979 and that victims are often accused of other crimes to justify their execution.
The country has continued to insist that it executes people guilty of crimes such as murder, rape or drug trafficking but not adult consensual gay sex.
British activist Peter Tatchell and LGBT groups will be holding a memorial vigil in London on Sunday to remember Asgari’s and Marhoni’s hanging.
“On 19 July, we stand for life, liberty and love. Mahmoud and Ayaz were only children when they were sentenced to die,” said Tatchell. “The Iranian regime’s allegations against the two hanged youths… are riddled with contradictions, implausibilities and outright lies.”
He called for Iran to end all executions, especially the execution of minors, and to stop the arrest, torture and imprisonment of Iranian LGBT people.
“We believe the LGBTI rights struggle in Iran should be part of – not separate from – the broader democratic and human rights struggle,” added Tatchell.
Earlier this month, Iran Human Rights revealed that at least 570 people were hanged in the first six months of 2015, although none of the executions were reported as being related to homosexuality.