International human rights advocates expressed outrage at the execution of 21-year-old Makwan Moloudzadeh in Iran on Dec 5. The young man reportedly was hanged in secret, without the presence of his lawyer and family as required by law, at the Kermanshah Central Prison in northwest Iran.
Authorities alleged that Moloudzadeh had raped other boys and engaged in anal sexual relations with them in 1999. However, witnesses later claimed their statements about the incident were extracted under torture.
The chief justice of Iran had ordered a halt to the execution of Moloudzadeh and called for a retrial, but the group of judges in Tehran responsible for reviewing the case decided to uphold the original ruling.
Homosexuality is punishable by death in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and during a meeting with British officials in November, a high-ranking member of the Iranian cabinet acknowledged that the country does execute homosexuals. But the penal code forbids execution for sodomy of anyone under 15 years old.
Moloudzadeh was 13 at the time of the alleged crime.