Iran’s chief justice has claimed it is a ‘lie’ to say the country condemns homosexuals to death.
According to the government-backed FARS news agency, Judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani made the comments today while criticising Western calls for basic human rights.
He said: “That they say we execute homosexuals is not more than a lie.”
“We do not provide these people with opportunity, but what they say that we hang them is a lie that they have fabricated for the Islamic Republic.”
He added: “We only accept the Human Rights that is based on our religious teachings.”
“We cannot abandon the Quranic teachings for the sake of your human laws that are being implemented in European countries.”
Because trials on moral charges in Iran are usually held in closed sessions, it is impossible to know how many people have been executed for same-sex conduct, but four men were sentenced to death in 2012 for sodomy.
Two teenagers, Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, were hung for homosexual acts in 2005, though the country claims they were actually guilty of rape.
The Iranian legal code does not differentiate between rape and consensual homosexual acts, with both punishable by death, though the judge can choose the method of execution.
In addition, lesbians in the country are routinely forced to have gender reassignment surgery, in order to ‘fix’ their sexual orientation.