Galloway annoys gay rights activists
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nekokate



Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Location: West Yorkshire, UK

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

faceless wrote:
I just realised that the story micky posted on the previous page wasn't actually the case that's being talked about here... that was a bit embarassing as I'd mentioned it on some blog.


I noticed that but I didn't want to mention it. PinkNews or something? I can't remember now - didn't bookmark the site because it didn't offer any useful information, just regurgitation from similar sites.
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mickyv



Joined: 12 Dec 2006

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, I went on autopilot as I remembered the infamous 2005 case, and remembered that the more informed commentators highlighting that the death penalty was actually given in that case for a gang rape of a minor rather than for being gay as was being portrayed in the media, and so with GG appearing so definite that Gays are not hung in Iran, and emphasising that this partner of this Iranian student had been hung for "sex crimes", I assumed that he must have been referring to this or another similar rape case, but perhaps he wasn't ? Incidentally the link I gave was from the International Lesbian and Gay Association, a worldwide renown & respected organisation.

While I'm posting I like to also say the following to our two ladies;

Mandy, I can see the point you are making, but the fact that we donít have the death penalty for any crime in this country, and the very rareness of the case you refer to here, does tend to automatically make your bike example non comparable, at least in terms of severity/importance with the situation in Iran, which does appear officially, at least on paper if not in regular practise, to have the death penalty for sodomy (as well as many other crimes. So I hope you can see the problem that your example holds, as highlighted by Kate.

Kate, I can see the point you are making by finding fault with Mandyís bike reference, however I do feel that the tone & language you employed were most unhelpful, afterall we all here, are broadly connected by sharing to a certain degree a general common political stance of similar view points as best illustrated by our support for GG, so I think we should at least try to deal with each other civilly. Iím looking forward to learning what your research into this issue has brought to light.
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Mandy



Joined: 07 Feb 2007

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Micky .. sane words (though I believe [not 100% sure] that the UK does still have the death penalty for certain crimes, but I think they are related to crimes against the Monarchy and/or dealing with the enemy).

I look forward to Kate's documents to see how common these issues are in Iran (which is a huge country).
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harry perkins



Joined: 11 Feb 2007

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"though I believe [not 100% sure] that the UK does still have the death penalty for certain crimes, but I think they are related to crimes against the Monarchy and/or dealing with the enemy"

Not since 2004, when these last treason penalties were abolished with the incorporation of EU law (35 years after the death penalty was abolished for everything else and Britain was formally committed to opposing it worldwide). When the Sun tried to bring a private prosecution against GG for treason in 2003, it still carried the death sentance.
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luke



Joined: 11 Feb 2007
Location: by the sea

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tickets are going fast Smile

mudwrestling.jpg
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Mandy



Joined: 07 Feb 2007

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Harry & Luke for the info (though I might pass on Luke's tickets)
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luke



Joined: 11 Feb 2007
Location: by the sea

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Galloway's Iranian propaganda?

The Respect MP has turned on supporters of gay rights in Iran and falsely accused us of warmongering

George Galloway, the Leftwing Respect MP, has been accused of making allegations that border on paedophile smears and play to homophobic prejudice. He claims that the boyfriend of gay Iranian asylum seeker Mehdi Kazemi was executed for "committing sex crimes against young men".

The insinuation of such a claim is that Mehdi's boyfriend was a rapist or a child sex abuser. It also stigmatises Mehdi with the shame that he was the partner of someone who committed sexual assaults on male youths. He will suffer with this stigma when he is returned to the UK and could face considerable personal hostility from people who have heard and believe these allegations against his boyfriend.

Mr Galloway made his astonishing allegation on Channel Five's The Wright Stuff. You can watch his interview here.

He has been asked to explain the source of his claim, but has so far failed to do so.

I am not aware of any paedophile-style sex abuse claims against Mehdi's partner. Moreover, no human rights group has mentioned any evidence that Mehdi's boyfriend was a rapist or a child molester.

Although the regime in Tehran frequently defames political, religious, ethnic and sexual dissidents with false claims of kidnapping, rape, alcoholism, sodomy, adultery, drug-taking and hooliganism, even the most extreme ayatollahs have not made allegations that Mehdi Kazemi's boyfriend was involved in sex abuse.

Nevertheless, Galloway has broadcast this very serious, potentially defamatory, allegation to the British public, and has then failed to back it up with evidence.

To some people, Galloway's claims look like propaganda in defence of the totalitarian, homophobic Islamic Republic of Iran. His passionate opposition to a war against Iran, which I share, seems to have clouded his judgement; leading him to downplay the regime's persecution of lesbians and gays, which includes state-sanctioned executions.

In the same interview for The Wright Stuff, Galloway went on to state: "All the [British] papers seem to imply that you get executed in Iran for being gay. That's not true."

His claim that lesbian and gay people are not at risk of execution in Iran is refuted by every reputable human rights organisation, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission and the International Lesbian and Gay Association. None of these esteemed bodies are anti-Iran warmongers, as Galloway has subsequently seemed to imply.

The leftwing US journalist, Doug Ireland, has documented cases of the flogging and execution of men who have sex with men in Iran. These are just the cases we know about. It is likely that some similar executions never get media coverage in Iran and are therefore unknown to the outside world.

The Iranian Queer Rights Organisation also confirms that homosexuality is a capital offence and that gay Iranians are subjected to brutal punishments, including torture and hanging.

The government of Iran admits that it has the death penalty for homosexuality. Gay people are sometimes tortured to make confessions - even false confessions. Iranian law makes no distinction between consensual and non-consensual same-sex relations. Both are punishable by execution.

If Iran doesn't execute queers, why does it need to retain the death penalty for same-sex relations? Why doesn't it repeal a law it supposedly never enforces? Why doesn't it announce a moratorium on hangings for homosexuality?

As with other dissidents, gay men are usually hanged in public by the barbaric slow strangulation method which is deliberately designed to maximise and prolong the suffering of the victim. These gruesome public barbarisms are also designed to terrorise the gay population.

To discredit the gay people it hangs, and to stir up public homophobia in support of its medieval religious-inspired punishments, the regime sometimes frames gay people with false charges of rape and child sex abuse. It wants to create the impression that homosexuals are monsters, in order to deter men from seeking same-sex relations.

This is what happened in the case of 21-year-old Makwan Moloudzadeh, who was executed in Iran last December. He was hanged for alleged sex offences against male teenagers, when he himself was a mere 13 years old. Amnesty International condemned his trial as "grossly flawed" and a "mockery of justice."

Human Rights Watch reports that Moloudzadeh was coerced and tortured into making a confession. According to Amnesty International, his accusers retracted their sex assault allegations and admitted that they had been pressured into making false claims against him.

Even if Moloudzadeh had been guilty as charged, he should never have been hanged because the alleged offence was committed while he was a minor.

Strong evidence for Moloudzadeh's innocence is the fact that hundreds of villagers turned out for his funeral; which would not have happened if the official Iranian account that he was a child sex abuser was true.

In a second interview on The Wright Stuff, Galloway launched into a scurrilous attack on Medhi's friends and supporters, and the defenders of lesbian, gay and bisexual human rights in Iran, including myself:

"This (Mehdi Kazemi's case) is a useful story for the war propaganda machine, the khaki machine now taking on a tinge of pink....what I will not accept is people being used, as Tatchell is, as the pink end of the war machine. That's what Peter Tatchell has become by attacking Iran in the way that he does."

At the antiwar protest in London on March 15, which I supported and attended, Galloway repeated these claims in his keynote speech. He said the "khaki war machine now has its pink contingent". He went on to imply that people who support gay rights in Iran are "useful idiots" and said their aim is to "bamboozle the public to go along with mass murder in Iran".

It is untrue and deeply offensive to suggest that those of us who oppose homophobic persecution in Iran are backing the bombing and invasion of Iran. We are not.

I am on record in my writings and speeches as opposing an attack on Iran. When, for example, I exposed Tehran's racist and neocolonial persecution of its Ahwazi Arab ethnic minority, I stated categorically:

"I am part of a new campaign group, Hands Off the People of Iran (HOPI). HOPI opposes both a US war on Iran and the tyranny of the Iranian regime. My motto is: Neither Washington nor Tehran!

A war against Iran would be another disastrous neo-imperial adventure, which would strengthen the Tehran dictatorship. President Ahmadinejad would play the patriot and manipulate nationalism to rally the population behind him. He would use a US military attack as an excuse to further crack down on dissent in the name of safeguarding national security.

The overthrow of the theocratic police state by the Iranian people - not by US military intervention - is the best way to resolve the nuclear crisis and prevent a needless, unjustified war. With no dictatorship in Tehran, President Bush and the neo cons would lose the rationale for a military strike against Iran."


Galloway's insinuation that I am banging the war drum and siding with imperialism is both laughable and dishonourable.

For nearly 40 years I have supported the Iranian people's struggle against dictatorship, first against the western-backed Shah and, since 1979, against the clerical tyranny of the ayatollahs. I have been totally consistent. I am not suddenly focusing on Iran's human rights abuses and doing the dirty work of the Washington neocons, as Galloway seems to suggest.

Undeterred by criticisms that his outbursts collude with homophobia and with a viciously anti-gay regime in Tehran, Mr Galloway boasts: "I have an unblemished record of support for lesbian and gay equality."

Well, not quite. The Public Whip website (which monitors MPs votes) notes that Galloway did not vote on 8 out of 10 of the major parliamentary votes on gay law reform in recent years. His repeat absence is a strange way to express support for gay rights. Most other MPs turned up to vote. Why not George?

Galloway is, of course, a Respect MP. A commitment to gay rights was entirely absent from Respect's 2005 general election manifesto. Some insiders claim gay equality was originally included but was removed to appease Muslim fundamentalist voters (this apparent assumption by Respect that all Muslims are homophobic fundamentalists is just plain wrong - they are not).

The policy section of the Respect website has included a one-line opposition to discrimination based on sexual orientation but it is hidden away under "other policies". Not exactly upfront.

One of Respect's major funders is Dr Mohammed Naseem. He is a one-time member of their executive and was a Respect parliamentary candidate. He is also a leading member of the Islamic Party of Britain (IPB) which appears to advocate the death penalty for consenting adult homosexuality in certain circumstances.

The IPB is viciously homophobic in other respects too, as it's website explains, and as my OutRage! colleague, Brett Lock, has revealed.

Naseem is a strange bedfellow for a supposedly pro-gay rights MP.

George Galloway was magnificent before the US Senate, exposing the Iraq debacle. Sadly, he now sometimes seems to be exonerating a cruel, unjust regime in Tehran that is responsible for some of the worst state-sanctioned homophobia in the world. This regime is also responsible for the equally heinous persecution of trade unionists, women's rights campaigners, student leaders, human rights advocates, investigative journalists and activists who defend Iran's subjugated minority nationalities, such as the Kurds, Arabs and Baluchis.

Misguided, untruthful attacks on Iranian gay people, the queer rights movement and the pink community do not strengthen the antiwar movement and the struggle against US imperialism. On the contrary, they play straight into the hands of the tyrants in Tehran and their mirror opposites in Washington. They betray all Iranians who are yearning and striving for democracy, human rights, social justice and the self-rule of Iran's oppressed minority nations.


from http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/peter_tatchell/2008/03/galloways_iranian_propaganda.html
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faceless
admin


Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to side with Tatchell on this, though that doesn't mean I support anything but the people of Iran in the bigger picture.
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nekokate



Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Location: West Yorkshire, UK

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to repeat what I've said before - Mehdi Kazemi's boyfriend is as yet a phantom!

He has no fucking name! No one names him, therefore no one can say anything about him, good or bad. Even Tatchell just refers to his as "the boyfriend". Come on, people.

As soon as someone names this hanged man, gives details of where and how and why he was killed, then this discussion can move on.

Am I the only person who sees the ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM which is the fact this poor dead fella has yet to exist?
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faceless
admin


Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's what seems to be the appeal to stay, that is written by/for Mehdi Kazemi. In it he mentions his boyfriend as 'Parham' at least. Though that doesn't really narrow it down much.

Quote:
I am an Iranian national, was born in Tehran. I am Shia Muslim. I have one sister. I have lived all my life with my parents and sister until I came to the UK on 15.09.2005. My father owns dried fruits shop in Iran and sometimes he exports and imports goods.

I attended school, in Tehran for five 12 years. When I finished my secondary school I started my high school called Bagher Al Olom. I was 17 years old that I should study in the UK. He made all arrangements for me to come to the UK to study. I was granted six months student visa until March 2006. In February 2006, I decided to continue my studies and extended my student visa until November 2006.

When I arrived in the UK I began my English course at Leicester Square School of English in London. For the first two months I lived with my uncle in London. I then moved to Brighton and in November 2005, and joined Embassy CES College in Hove. I extended my student visa until November 2006 as I wanted to continue my studies in the UK.

When I was in Iran I did not have any problems. However, I used to have a male partner whom I used to meet secretly. I was 15 years old when I started dating one of my class mates in school. His name was Parham. He was also Iranian and we used to spend a lot of time together. I had just turned 15 years of age when I found out that I was sexually attracted men. I was very scared of this feeling and did not tell anyone about it. Parham was my best friend and one day he told me that he was attracted towards men and not women. When he told me that I started feeling comfortable with him and decided to tell him that I felt the same, we were 15 years of age when we decided to start our relationship.

We used to meet everyday in school and sometimes out side school in cinema or park. We started having sex about eight months after dating each other. We used to meet either in his house or my house when there was no one around.

No one knew about our relationship. Everyone believed that we were best friends and nothing more than that. Very rarely he used to come to our house. My parents knew him as I used to spend a lot of time with him.

We were very scared of our relationship. But I had strong feeling towards him and could not stop meeting him. We had decided to keep our relationship a secret. We continued our relationship as I knew that if any one from the government had found out about our relationship we would be executed.

When my father decided that I must study in the UK, I was sad that I was leaving Parham behind in Iran. But I knew that I could return to Iran during my college holiday and after I have completed my studies in the UK. The thought of returning to Iran gave me the courage to leave Parham behind.

When I came to the UK, I was in touch with him via email. We used to email each other almost once a week. He used to tell me that the situation in Iran is getting worse and there is more restriction on people and we used to write about general issues. We missed each other a lot and I wanted to return Iran at the end of my studies.

Around December 2005, Parham stopped emailing me. I wrote about two three emails to him but he did not reply. I thought that this was maybe because he was outside Tehran or did not have access to internet.

Towards the end March 2006, my uncle in the UK called me and informed me that my father had called me and informed him about my male partner in Iran. He further informed me that Parham was arrested by the authorities in Iran and he had mentioned my name to the government of Iran. The authorities had been to my fatherís house looking for me and my father was very shocked and scared about the whole situation. My uncle is an opened minded man and has lived in the UK most of his life and was not angry with him about this issue as I had expected him to be. However, he informed me that my father was very angry with me and had informed my uncle that I must return to Iran as he wanted to beat me up.

I was very scared and my uncle advised me that I must not return because I am in trouble with my father and the authorities. He told me that I will try to find a way for me to stay in the UK as my life would be in danger if I had return to Iran. He told me that I must wait for his call.

Later that day my father called me and was very angry with me. He shouted at me on the phone and told me to return Iran as soon as possible. I did not say anything to him and just hang up the phone as I was very scared of him.

I continued my studies but had a lot of tension in my mind. I was thinking about Parham. I was very sad and scared for my life. I waited for my uncle to figure out a way to save my life as I knew that if I return to Iran I will be killed.

A week later my uncle called me and asked me to explain the whole situation to him. He told me that I would not be able to help if I donít tell him full and true story. I decided to tell him everything. We discussed that whole issue and I told him that I was very sacred of my father and the government of Iran. My uncle told me that he will get more information from Iran and will keep me informed.

Around end of April 2006, my uncle called me again and informed me that my father had informed him that the authorities had executed Parham and that I must not return to Iran as the authorities would do the same to me. My uncle told me that this time my father was very scared and had specifically advised my uncle that must not return to Iran.

I asked my uncle how the authorities found out that Parhamís homosexual. My uncle told me that he was caught with another guy and was arrested. He was interrogated and asked to tell the authorities about all the men that he relationship with and he had mentioned my name to the authorities. The authorities had informed my father of the whole issue and that I was also in relationship with Parham. At first my father was angry and wanted me to return home but the last time he called my uncle after Parhamís execution, he feared for my life and strongly advised that I must not return to Iran.

Parham was charged with crime being homosexual and was executed. Iran is an Islamic country and it is a serious offence to be in a relationship with a person of the same sex.

I wish to inform secretary of state that I did not come to the UK to claim asylum. I came here to study and return to my country. But in the past few months my situation back home has changed. The Iranian authorities have found out that I am a homosexual and they are looking for me. I can not stop my attraction towards men. This is something that I will have to live with the rest of my life. I was born like with feeling and can not change this fact but it is unfortunate that I can not express my feeling in Iran. If I return to Iran I will be arrested and executed like Parham.

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faceless
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Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems clear now that just about every gay related news site in the world has condemned Galloway for this situation. I think he's going to be answering questions about it for a long time to come...
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