An Iranian court handed a death sentence to an 18-year-old man accused of homosexuality offences. The British newspaper Guardian reported on Sunday that the man was convicted of sodomy although no evidence was presented against him and his "victim" admitted of lying to the court.
According to the Report, Ebrahim Hamidi, who is not gay, was arrested two years ago along with three of his friends at a Tibliz suburb, after fighting with members of another family.
The prosecution accused the four of trying to "homosexually assault" another man. Three days later, Hamidi confessed to the crime, after allegedly undergoing torture. Hamidi's friends were released after agreeing to testify against him.
An Islamic court convicted Hamidi of sodomy, although the victim admitted last month that he fabricated the claims because he was pressured by his family. In addition, the court did not present any evidence to substantiate the accusations against Hamidi, and his lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei, was absent from the hearing after being forced to flee due to his involvement in Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani's trial, who been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.
Mostafaei, who represented Ashtiani pro-bono, managed to call global attention to her case, but was forced to escape to Turkey after Iranian authorities issued an arrest warrant against him. Mostafaei's wife was also arrested by the Iranian police, although no charges were made against her.
Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iranian law follows the Sharia (Islamic code of law based on the Koran). Iran has been harshly criticized by Western countries and human rights organizations for execution of murderers, rapists, drug traffickers and robbers, and especially for sentencing to death women accused of adultery and men accused of homosexuality.
Dudi Cohen contributed to this report
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