This coming Thursday, August 11, at 1 pm, there will be a public protest outside of the Iranian embassy on Prince's Gate near Hyde Park. While there are many reasons why one might want to yell at the government of the Islamic Republic, this particular protest is in response to the
href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4725959.stm" target="blank">execution of 18-year-old Ayaz Marhoni and 16-year-old Mahmoud Asgari
href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4725959.stm" target="blank">execution of 18-year-old Ayaz Marhoni and 16-year-old Mahmoud Asgari. Their crime was having consensual sex
with each other. Berfore the public hanging last month (pictured), the boys had been in jail for over a year, and been given 228 lashes.
Although only a blip in the mainstream press, the story has received quite a bit of attention from the gay media, who have, for example, discredited the attempts by the Iranian authorities to re-brand the boys' crime as rape. The boys were 17 and 15 at the time of the offence.
Perhaps predictably, Thursday's protest is organized by Peter Tatchell, a figure we cannot help but feel deep ambivalence towards. On the one hand, his theatrics and overblown rhetoric seem to, dare we say, cheapen any cause he's associated himself with. But on the other hand, in the fact of such grotesque injustice, and when an anonymous Foreign Office spokesperson, when asked for comment, was quoted in the Pink Paper saying "It's not up to us to get them to change their laws" (insert your own tired quip about Iraq here)... well, maybe some cheap theatrics and overblown rhetoric are just what's called for.
The protest gathers at the Iranian Embassay, 16 Prince's Gate, SW7, 11 August, 1:00 pm.