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Mehdi Kazemi case reveals Iranian anti-Gay propaganda
Mehdi Kazemi case reveals Iranian anti-Gay propaganda
Outspoken London MP George Galloway is accused of mouthing "the propaganda of the Iranian dictatorship" after he claimed on the Channel 5 TV talk show The Wright Stuff that the boyfriend of Gay asylum-seeker Mehdi Kazemi was executed for sex crimes (see full transcript below). Kazemi faces deportation back to Iran, where many believe he will be hanged for his sexuality.

The criticism comes from the Gay human rights group, OutRage!.

"We are calling on George Galloway to explain the source of his claim that Mehdi Kazemi's boyfriend had committed sex crimes and this was the reason he was executed," said OutRage! spokesperson Brett Lock.

Mr. Galloway also denied that Iran executes homosexuals.

"Neither OutRage! nor any other human rights group has seen any evidence to suggest that Mr. Kazemi's partner was a rapist or sex-abuser. & George Galloway has made this claim. He should now produce the evidence."

"This looks like the Iranian propaganda. The homophobic tyrants in Tehran frequently defame political, religious, and sexual dissidents with false claims of rape, alcoholism, drug-taking and hooliganism. But in this case, not even the Iranian authorities have made these allegations against Mehdi Kazemi's boyfriend," noted Mr. Lock.

"Furthermore, Mr. Galloway's claim that Gay people are not executed in Iran is refuted by every reputable human rights body, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Iran has the death penalty for homosexuality and Gay people are often tortured to make confessions. They are hanged in public by the barbaric slow strangulation method which is deliberately designed to maximize and prolong the suffering of the victim," said Mr. Lock.

The transcript of the interview can be found below. A video clip of this will be available on YouTube for a short while: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ou1es7fNTpk

George Galloway: The Independent has a story about Peers calling upon the Home Secretary to halt the deportation of a Gay Iranian. In part this is being used as part of the ongoing propaganda against Iran. All the papers seem to imply that you get executed in Iran for being Gay. That's not true.

Matthew Wright: His boyfriend was hung though, wasn't he?

Galloway: Yes, but nor being Gay. For, uh, committing sex crimes, uh, against young men. Wright: Right ...

Galloway: I mean, I'm against execution for any reason in any place, but it is important to avoid that propaganda.

Wright: So you're saying that his guy they want to deport should be deported because there is no risk of his sexuality & or he shouldn't be deported because there is at risk?

Galloway: He should not be deported, not least because after all this Iranian propaganda he will be accused of being the source, or one of the sources. It would be ridiculous to deport him, and I don't think he will be deported now.

Transcript courtesy of OutRage!

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