Thirty men have been arrested in a so-called morals raid on a private home in the Iranian city of Esfahan an international human rights groups said Friday.
Citing sources within Iran the New York-based Human Rights Watch said that the men were arrested in late February and have been held for almost four weeks without access to lawyers and without formal charges.
The men allegedly are accused of consensual homosexual conduct, drinking alcohol, and other related "morals" offenses.
Police reportedly referred them to a forensic medical examiner to look for “evidence” that they have engaged in homosexual conduct.
Human Rights Watch urged Iranian authorities to release the men.
"When police routinely break down doors to enforce a brand of morality, it means a line has been crossed to invade people’s privacy at any time," said Joe Stork, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.
"Iran’s repressive system of controlling people’s dress, behavior, and personal lives violates fundamental rights."
In May 2007, during a nationwide crackdown to enforce dress codes and conduct, police raided another private party in an apartment building in Esfahan. They arrested 87 persons, including four women and at least eight people whom they accused of wearing the clothing of the opposite sex. Victims told Human Rights Watch that police stripped many of them to the waist in the street, and beat them until their backs or faces were bloody. Several reportedly had bones broken.
Of those arrested, 24 men were tried for “facilitating immorality and sexual misconduct,” as well as possessing and drinking alcohol. In June 2007, an Esfahan court found all of them guilty of various combinations of these charges. Most were sentenced to up to 80 lashes and to fines up to $5,000 (US). The verdicts are under appeal and have not yet been enforced.
Citing its unnamed sources in Iran, Human Rights Watch said that since the May 2007 arrests, police have intensified surveillance, harassment, and abuse against people connected to the 87 arrested men, or otherwise suspected of homosexual conduct. Several described being detained by police and interrogated to reveal contacts.
According to one man’s account, provided by Human Rights Watch, police “poured water over me. … They threatened me, they said ‘cooperate with us.’ … They are after everyone, they said, ‘You are completing your gang, you are creating new members, where do you gather?’” They told me, ‘Go out and meet people.’ In essence, I should spy for them."
Iranian law provides punishments up to death for penetrative same-sex sexual activity between men on the first conviction, and punishes non-penetrative activity with up to 100 lashes.
Homosexual conduct between women is punishable with death on the fourth conviction. Iran’s Penal Code requires four reiterated confessions, or the testimony of four “righteous men” as eyewitnesses, to prove lavat, or sodomy. However, judges are permitted to accept circumstantial evidence or inference. At the May 2007 raid in Esfahan, police reportedly brought four civilian witnesses to prove that “immorality” was taking place.
You know, this being GUG's area, I understand.
But that being Human Rights Watch, I don't understand, and I hereby submit my own stories:
30 Men Shot Everyday In America For Being Black.
30 Muslims Arrested In UK On Terrorism Charges In Raid.
It's the hypocrisy that I hate. Unfortunately, Ugandan (and African, in general) LGBT people seem to like, even treasure, this association of them and the West. But this is also the last remaining reason I'm a bit anti-LGBT here - they are the imperialist's friend. Collaborators, et cetera.
Oh, well. Did I make sense? Maybe not.
that is a serious question. Deserves a serious answer.
You do have a beef with Human Rights Watch. They seem to move in their own world, or so it seems. But cant say that they are imperialist. They have been hitting the US on Guantanmo for a long time. They dont play favourites. And they are good and respected.
And why I shack up with them?
Fact is, I dont like labels. They are too constricting. And i find that the label of imperialist and neocolonialist tends to be thrust out especially when someone does not want us to think about the words that they are saying.
I mean, when Mugabe accuses the opposition of being pro-west, it is just a ploy for him to remain in power. and if we continue being blinded by his language, we are sunk, with him.
What I am trying to say is that though there may be somethings which are wrong with them, we should not trash them because of sweeping generalisations like they are colonialists.
As for LGBT people being collaborators, mate, think again. Back in August, when we started our campaign, that was the label the Nsaba Buturo's were drawing attention too. That we were following the direction and money of the colonialists.
But that is also slight of the hand. Arent I a Ugandan? I am Ugandan and African through and through. Why should I be condemned for what I am? And why should you condemn me because of being 'unAfrican'? You make me less because I am what I am. And that I do not accept.
And look at their language. We are like pigs and dogs. We need to be killed. We need to be marooned on an island so that we die out.
Sincerely, do you expect me to embrace the Mufti as my brother when he wants me dead? Why should my patriotism to Africa and Uganda need to be so much that I deny what I am so that we maintain the Mufti's idea of what is African?
We are not imperialists friends. We are just plain africans, ugandans, who are pushed against the wall by homophobia. And I would rather have friends who I know are friends, than brothers who use their brotherhood to kill me. No way brother.
Know the story of the Good Samaritan? The samaritan, according to the jew of then, was a despised person. But he did the needful. So, should the guy who was helped by the Samaritan reject him when he is ok, just because the helper is a member of the despised? He would be 'un-natural' to do so. Un-human not to feel gratitude.
So, no, I do not believe that they are as bad as you tend to think of them. And I do not discount the news just because it comes from them. And I do not reject them, because they are like me. And if I reject them, who will embrace me? The mufti, or Ssempa?
That "30 men shot everyday..." sounds like one of those slick stats newspapers like to use. Not saying it's wrong, just that readers need to be able to independently verify it for themselves. References needed!
LGBT people in the Third World are supported by the West far more, on the whole, than by their own governments, neighbours, religious communities, families... it's nothing to do with imperialism, and everything to do with being frightened and wanting help & support. Very basic human emotions, and stuff that has been clearly outlined in the 1948 UN Declaration of Human Rights!
@Spiralx: What I mean is that you don't have to look as far as Iran to see bad human rights. You can stick with the people doing the contemporary nigger lynch, for example.
And, no, it is not true that LGBT people here are surrounded by enemies, closed in on all sides, and their only hope is Westerners. They would not be alive if that was the case. Or are you one of those people who (selectively) choose the actions of one government official of one country and make those the official viewpoint of Africa? I hope not - it makes me want to kill someone, and I don't want to kill you. :o)
@GUG: "They have been hitting the US on Guantánamo for a long time. They dont play favourites. And they are good and respected."
Please. Please, GUG. Everyone, even my grandma, has talked about US and Guantánamo. You think talking about Guantánamo is what the "guards of the Rights" should be doing for America? Is this the worst thing America is doing? That you cite Guantánamo Bay as the example is sign of their failure. Nothing said of the state of immigrants, the walls around their borders, the state of their veterans, the state of the Blacks, that HRW shut the fuck up during Hurricane Katrina, the state of the Native of that land, the children that fucking die in the Middle East, the Africans they starve (with poor prices, unfair trade, sanctions they have nothing to do with, et cetera) ...
Forget Guantánamo. The real torture cells are the secret CIA prisons in Europe, the Abu Ghraib kind of things. Guantánamo? That's the tame face of American terrorism! And everyone has taken a potshot at Guantanamo Bay, it would expose the HRW for the pretentious liars they are, if they shut up about it.
That you use Guantánamo Bay to prop up the HRW is a sign of how bad it is. By comparison of the things they are not watching, the millions they are letting die and rot, a handful of homosexuals is absolutely nothing.
"... when Mugabe accuses the opposition of being pro-west, it is just a ploy for him to remain in power."
Forget Mugabe. It's me, here. I have no links to Mugabe. Plus, when did it become a bad thing to remain in power? :o) I mean, yeah, when I'm not in power, it's a bad thing. When I am, it's a good thing.
And, yes, Mugabe's opposition is pro-West and a puppy of the West. It is simply the reality in Africa's current politics. Because of all the fucked-up misconceptions of the West about Africa, if you are pro-West, you say what the West wants and expects to hear, you are welcomed, helped, funded, put on air, called Good and Holy, and you become President, and then your opposition does the same. Simple as that, and Mugabe is right. It is not a lie, what Mugabe says. Neither is what I say here.
"What I am trying to say is that though there may be somethings which are wrong with them, we should not trash them because of sweeping generalisations like they are colonialists."
But they are colonialists. Have you seen me trying to starve their populations until they accept polygamy? Sheesh! Nobody shall fucking tell us what to do, what to accept, what to pass off as good or bad. Whether or not I agree with them, I am offended by that bullying, and I fight it like fuck. Along with all who may be associated with it.
They don't realise, and neither do you, how much damage they are doing to your (community's) peace. Pause and think.
"... that was the label the Nsaba Buturo's were drawing attention too. That we were following the direction and money of the colonialists."
I don't agree with Nsaba-Buturo, of course. Few people ever do. We had a running gag, sometime in the Ugandan blogs, where he was the ultimate idiot. It was championed by the World's Finest Humourist, so it had to pick up. Few people agree with Nsaba-Buturo. (I'll note, here, that I agree with him a lot, but not on a big number of things, this being one.)
You were, and are not, following Western money. More people want Western money than are fighting for gay rights. This would be gayland, if that were true.
However, there is a strong link - maintained by ULGBT (Uganda's LGBT) - with the West. It provides an excuse for Dr. Nsaba-Buturo, and it provides a reason for anti-Imperialists. For me, it is not an excuse. I say the same thing for NGOs, for example, that are staffed almost entirely by foreigners. They are not gay organisations, just imperialist agencies. Kill 'em all.
"And why should you condemn me because of being 'unAfrican'?"
No! I am one of those people who hate this whole "Homosexuality came from the West" thing. It's stupid and baseless. Homosexuality has been with us since forever. Contemporary acceptance, though, is being pushed by the West. This contemporary acceptance, though good, is being pushed by the Devil's own hands, the same hands that cause pain, death, suffering wherever they go. If they are your friends, you are enemies. Just, instead, try to give pro-LGBT diiscourse an entirely African face - is that too fucking hard to do, for fuck's sake? Do you have to depend on the murderers of the West - George Fucking Bush!- to help you? Sheesh! Then, cool, I'll be anti-LGBT!
Your association with the Imperialists makes you victims of anti-Imperialism. Not because you are gay, but because of your company. Straight spies are not treated any worse or better. :o)
Oh, and take my shit with a pinch of salt. A good propagandist evokes hate, if he can't get worship.
"And look at their language. [...] pigs and dogs. [..] killed. We need to be marooned on an island so that we die out."
That's them, not me. I'm not that sick in the head. The world would be insufferably-dark without the occassional spark of lesbians. I'd not stand a world without lesbians. Is that clear? The guys, I don't know. You can stay around. I don't want to think I said Elmo should be killed. He's a nice guy. Or GUG - he's one of the bloggers I read. Or Paul (insists on being called "Pauline", but I won't be party to that madness). Or anyone, really. Except if they collaborate with the mass-murdering imperialists. Oh, wait.
"We are not imperialists friends. We are just plain africans [...] brothers who use their brotherhood to kill me. No way brother."
No way. True. Unfortunately, you seem to think Dr. Nsaba-Buturo is all of Uganda. You know that is not true!
For fuck's sake, would you be alive if homosexuals were as oppressed as the Western media likes to say? Cummon! Pregnant women suffer more than homosexuals. Women suffer more than homosexuals. This idea that homosexuals are being oppressed, it's more fact in them Western media houses than it is here. You'd not be alive we "used [our] brotherhood to kill [you]." We tolerate you more than you accept. I'm probably one of the most-homophobic commenters here, yet what's my attitude to GLGBT? Let 'em be! Dr. Nsaba-Buturo (and crew) are assholes unto themselves. I don't use my brotherhood to kill you. I use my don't-let-the-West-fuck-with-us-hood to kill you. How I wish y'all distanced yourselves from them. You'd be fine 100% in my books. I can't hate you because of your kink, GUG. How can I? I have more kinks than you can name! I'd have shot myself already. In fact, by comparison, being gay is tame. :o)
If you keep associating with them, as though everyone here is anti-you, then by fuck you are an enemy of our independence, and may you be - for that, and not for being gay - be lined up and shot without even a cover on your head.
Phew. That was intense. :o)
that was indeed a rant. How long did it take to take that off your chest? Feel easier, lighter? Bet you do.
Ok, as to the reply...
You are an idealist. Big deal, so are we all. We do want the world to be perfect.
But hell, shit happens. Literally.
So, HRW should hit out at America harder. Maybe. But why do you expect them to be perfect? You are assuming that their ideals of freedom is so perfect that they should see the lack of freedom at their home.
Why should they? They are also human. they are also imperfect.
I like your idealistic way of thinking. But, and I have to remind myself, you are human. Though the ideals that you roll off so hotly are good, it is a matter of fact that you yourself may not be able to live them to the full. If you tell me that you do, I will see the first perfect person on earth. Or you will be a lier to yourself.
I am not perfect. The fact that I embrace my imperfections is what made the Ssempa brigade run away from abusing me. It is a weapon of defence, and offence, because it exposes the ridiculous position that you may try to hide behind. I like it because it gives me clarity of thought.
You rail against so many people. LGBT, HRW, America, etc, etc.
Ask yourself, why are they all wrong in some way or another? Why am I the only one who is correct and sees these things?
You are just setting yourself for a fall, thinking that way.
Why should the west work for the good of Africa? Countries are made of imperfect human beings. and real politik demands that a country, a nation, a people are selfish. That is the way of life.
I like the general attitude and philosophy to life in Uganda. Yes, things are bad. True, they may be terrible. But the things which are most important are me continuing to survive. That is what is important.
Now, as to the LGBT people, which includes me, we are not perfect. Of course some are in it for the money. And there are other things which may seem to be more important than LGBT emancipation.
Big deal. Even in the US, some Segregationists argued that they could have 'separate but equal' schools. That there were more important things than black emancipation and empowerment.
bottom line, we are all human beings. What is in my best interests is the best way to go, for me. If that does not happen to coincide with yours, then to hell with your point of view. That is what real life says, how it works out.
So, even if women in Uganda are more oppressed than me as a man, yet I am a man, and my problem is that others Ugandans consider me evil because I am gay. It is a small deal for you. It is a big deal to me. And that is the bottom line.
But again, it is wrong to consider that because the problem is not mine, then it is not a problem.
What I am trying to say, in a convoluted way, is that life is not the straight lines of ideals. Ideals are good. Great infact. But they are not perfect. And ultimately, we have to bend them to the will of reality.
See me as I am. Not as you want me to be.
@27th: Your 30 men who are shot for being black are shot by other black men.
"Have you seen me trying to starve their populations until they accept polygamy?" What? Starve you? The West is starving you? What about your own crappy government? Don't see them feeding their own people! Why don't they buy some fucking food instead of wasting their money on stupid soldiers that do nothing anyway!
Kill the NGO's? Kill the World Food Program? Kill the people who risk their own lives to bring food to the starving people who by the way are only starving because your government and certain other African governments are staffed by power hungry deluded fuckheads!!!
@GUG: Comrade does have a point here:"as though everyone here is anti-you" Yeah, seriously, get over the whole I'm gay therefore I shall feel like a victim. You're not a victim, you're just fine and people love you, even though you can be unbelievably depressing at times.
I am just fine,
yeah, (sniff, sniff),I is fine, deTamble.
Why, dont you like my whining? I thought it puts a smile on your face, huh? Unbelievably depressing???? Gosh!
Yeah, I know, I whine, but then my friend, there is no place else for me to whine, so their goes I, whining. You will allow me some times to whine, wont you? and you will still listen to my whinging? Just kick me in the but when it becomes too much.
You know, I find that the mood I'm in affects what I am writing about. Of course sometimes I am high. And other times I am low. What kicks me in the gut is the fact that when I come back to those low points, even I find them depressing.
27th is off to write another diatribe, so let me post before he posts a comment here.
I'm glad you're fine. I'm not, I'm drowning in journal articles, reading them is like swimming in mud. My poor brain *sniff sniff*.
I do like your whining Guggy Bear! I also enjoy a good whine. I prefer port though. Haha. Sorry, bad joke. Very bad. You can be a little depressing though. Maybe it's just too many sad whining posts in a row that does it. There needs to be a happy one to break them up!!
And don't you worry, if it becomes too much I shall kick you in the butt with my fantastic Butt Kicking Boot, which I would like to point out is far better then any of the Communist's boots.
27th is off to write another diatribe? How do you know for sure? Did he tell you?
@27th: If you're writing another rant at GUG at this very present second I'm going to fucking rape your inbox with hate mail!
Hmm. I don't know.
@GUG: Yeah, I like ideals. But for me, they are only hopes, not achievements.
How can the HRW be such a failure as to root out Iran's cases and ignore the cases of people who carry its office trash out? These are the stories it should be insistent with, and pummel the world with these reports, rather than them things meant to help the West feel superior to the rest of the world.
If you look at the HRW's "concerns", they are really just an extension of the American way of dealing with the rest of the world, so fuck it all.
It is bullying with a three-letter acronym.
Also, yeah, I understand that thing about humans always foiling. I'm nearly the most-cynical person I know. In fact, me I think humans are first of all failures, then next whatever.
But the association of ULGBT with the West, that goes a little too far. It seems it is the West's new way of bullying us, so they are going to make you genuine enemies like me.
@DeTamble: The 30 Black men are being shot for tresspassing on White property, sorry. The Black men who do shoot are only trying to feed their daughters. I think one of the more honourable things happening in America is Black crime. It restores my faith in people, somewhat. That they are ready to kill to feed their children is a good thing. Blame the people who segregated against them into having to shoot to feed their daughters, next time. :o)
The West is starving us. Our governments don't keep people from tilling their lands. Unfair trade has its perpetuators, and we all know them. Why do you think it is our governments starving us? Our governments invented unfair trade and stupid, malformed, bullying, segregationist, protectionist, even racist sanctions? They are that smart?
And who told you the WFP feeds people in Africa? The WFP, in case you didn't know, takes more than it brings in any case. NGOs would have been of use by now, if they were capable of doing any good. Also, I was talking of those staffed by tiddlywink kids who couldn't spell "neighbour" right to save their lives. They are fucking spies.
Rape already! :o)
you know, ever had an argument with a savedee?
This reminds me of that, recycling the arguments, because you are a believer, whether you call yourself that or not.
Now, I cannot argue with faith, so I am leaving you to the Rape of the Willing.
deTamble, ball to you!!!!!
I got nothing. I just read his comment to asda on his blog and am, yet again, blown away by the Comrade.
How the hell does he do it??
@GUG: Everyone has had to endure savedees. :o) They are a bit like me, in that passion precedes reason. :o)
But hey, I try not to be like them. That I end up that way is largely outside of my control.
Still. Too much holding of hands with the West, by any group, for any reason, undermines the fact that we can deal with your issues as Uganda's LGBT better than those people for whom you're just another statistic. Better than those people for whom you're not family.
Women's emancipation, had it not been something fought on a local flank, would be eliciting such silly non-sequiturs as "They are after Western money!".
Just you start a local gay rights group that has no ties to the West. You'll be the only legal gay group after the Revolution.
@DeTamble: You didn't rape me there. :o)
Oh Rev, I'm too tired to rape you today. Some gorgeous fucking boy is constantly keeping me awake till 5am and I have no energy for the joy that is mind raping you. Sorry. Another time perhaps?
@DeTamble: I envy the guy, alright. I'll sulk here alone.
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