Eighteen-year-old to be executed on false charge of sodomy in Iran

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London, August 8 (ANI): An 18-year-old Iranian Ebrahim Hamidi would be facing execution on charges of homosexuality, despite his accuser confessing that he had made false accusations under pressure from his parents.

According to The Observer, British human rights activist Peter Tatchell has written to the foreign secretary, William Hague, urging him to contact the chief justice of Iran and ask that the execution be halted.

"Ebrahim's case is evidence that innocent heterosexual people can be sentenced to death on false charges of homosexuality in Iran," said Tatchell, co-founder of the London-based gay rights group OutRage, said.

Hamidi was arrested two years back in the suburbs of the western city of Tabriz in the East Azerbaijan province after a fight with members of a family. Three of his friends were also involved in the incident and were subsequently arrested.

Later, the four were accused of homosexual assault on a man and of attempting to abuse him sexually.

After three days in detention, Hamidi confessed to the crime, allegedly under torture. The other three were cleared of all charges when promised by officials that they would be freed if they testified against Hamidi.

Hamidi's case became more weak after his lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei fled to Turkey fearing arrest in Iran for bringing to international attention the case of another of his clients, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who had been sentenced 'death by stoning' for adultery charges.

"It's shocking that although Hamidi's accuser admitted in a recorded testimony that he had lied, he is still facing execution," Mostafaei said. (ANI)

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