Iranian Official Says Gays Merit Death Penalty

Confirms quiet policy of torture, execution for homosexuals
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2007 5:27 PM CST
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejan in Tehran, Iran Tuesday Nov. 13, 2007. (AP Photo/Hasan Sarbakhshian)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Tehran is sanctioning the execution and perhaps torture of homosexuals, reports the London Times, and an Iranian politician confirmed the policy at a meeting with British MPs. Quizzed about the hanging of two boys accused of homosexual activity, a member of Iran's energy committee responded that gays should be killed—though he initially said "tortured."

Mohsen Yahyavi is the highest-ranking government official to acknowledge that Tehran supports the death penalty for homosexuality. Normally the regime couples charges of gay sex with accusations of more serious crimes. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, at a recent appearance at Columbia University, evaded the issue by saying there are no homosexuals in Iran.