Feb 3, 2006

Life inside Iran

Jonathan Last on A Few Simple Shots, a documentary about human rights abuses in the mullacracy.
There is one way, however, in which Iran is different. In most repressive states, such atrocities are cloaked in secrecy. Word of Russia's Gulag Archipelago, for instance, was smuggled out over decades and denied by Soviet apologists for generations.

In Iran, however, torture and abasement are not just a province of the secret police. They are also a matter of public policy.

Consider the November 2005 hanging of two Iranian men for the crime of homosexuality. As Human Rights Watch explains, "Iranian law punishes all penetrative sexual acts between adult men with the death penalty. Nonpenetrative sexual acts between men are punished with lashes until the fourth offense, when they are punished with death." If you can imagine, these poor souls got off easy. In July 2005, two teenage sexual offenders were also put to death, but before their execution, they were given 228 lashes--just for good measure.

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