Friday, 21 January 2011

Statement: Mercy urged for two young Iranians sentenced to stoning


European Commission and US State Department Urged to Appeal to Iran for Mercy for Two Young Men Sentenced to Death by Stoning

For immediate release

20 January 2011

An ad hoc coalition of  LGBT activists (GLA*) has been working to bring the case of the impending stoning execution of two young men in Piranshahr, Iran, to the attention of the European Commission and the United States and are pleased to note that both the Commission and the US Department of State are currently working on the case. 

(LGBT Asylum News last update on the case)

GLA is confident that the European Commission and US Department of State will appeal for mercy to the authorities in Iran, as a matter of urgency, to try to prevent the stoning death in the city of Piranshahr.

GLA has taken the position that regardless of what facts have been established at this point in the case, because the stoning sentence is imminent, and we hear that the execution may be carried out as soon as tomorrow, exacerbated by the fact that unannounced executions have occurred in the past, we urge the international community to urgently support the halting of the stoning and execution of the two young men. 

More specifically, MEP Michael Cashman (Member of European Parliament and President of the European Parliament's Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights) has tweeted that he is working on this case. Today, Melanie Nathan from the Coalition, contacted Mr. Bill Murad, Public Diplomacy Officer in the Department of Near East Affairs, US State Department, who stated that the US State Department has and will continue to speak out against the lack of transparency and failures in due process and that it is likely that the US would issue a Statement in this particular case as well as would consider a joint Statement upon the request of Mr. Cashman and possibly The Honorable Lady Ashton of the European Commission.

The coalition has sent out a communication urging Michael Cashman MEP, Lady Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union (EU), as well as the US State Department to pursue a statement and whatever action possible as a matter of urgency.

“We have sent an update to the European Commission and US State Department as well as a request to pursue joint statement for mercy and a request to intervene in the execution to whatever extent possible,” says Nathan of the coalition.
Iranian sources have noted that the date set for stoning of 21 January was based of what was heard, but was not officially announced. “This doesn't change the fact though the order could be carried out soon if not cancelled by announcement from city officials.”  (Source requesting to remain unnamed.)

An international expert from the region informed the Coalition that this death “sentence can be prevented by national and international pressure because it did not go to the Supreme court in Iran and was only a regional court order, so there is a chance that a plea to the Iranian government or to the Supreme leader's could result in an order to save the two young men."

GLA is an ad hoc Coalition of Activists consisting of 

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