At least 27 cities in the U.S., Europe, and Canada have already organized events for July 19, the International Day of Action Against Homophobic Persecution in Iran. The original call to action for July 19 was initiated jointly by the militant British gay rights group OutRage and the Paris-based International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) for world-wide demonstrations on July 19, the first anniversary of the public hanging in Iran of two gay teens, Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni. Photos of the execution of the two boys, who were hanged in the public square of the city of Mashad last year (photo below), created international outrage when they were widely circulated on the Internet, and focused the world’s attention on Iran’s ongoing, lethal reign of terror targeting Iranian gays.
Protests have already been scheduled for the anniversary of the teens’ execution in a number of large European cities, including London, Moscow, Frankfurt, Milan, Marseille, Amsterdam, Vienna, Dublin, Stockholm, and Brussels.
Local gay groups and ad hoc committees have already scheduled U.S. events in San Francisco, San Diego, , Washington, D.C., Seattle, Fort Lauderdale, Salt Lake City, Sioux Falls (So. Dakota), Tulsa (Oklahoma), Chicago, and Provincetown for July 19. And there will be commemorative meetings in Toronto and Vancouver in Canada.
As to the age of the two gay victims, “At first it was claimed by Iranian officials that they were aged 18 and 19, then that they were 19 and 21, then aged 18 and 20, and finally they made the claim that they were both above 18 at the time of their alleged crimes. However,” the OutRage report says, “ the best evidence is that both youths were aged 17 when they were executed and therefore minors, aged 15 or 16, at the time of their alleged crimes. This execution of minors is in flagrant breach of international agreements the Tehran regime has signed.” (below, Mahmoud and Ayaz on the scaffold last year)