French writers back Iran teen due to hang for being gay
Two French writers on Tuesday launched an appeal to save an Iranian teenager sentenced to death by hanging for allegedly being homosexual.
"Ebrahim Hamidi is 18 years old and is going to be hanged," said the title of the appeal by Philippe Besson and Gilles Leroy published in Le Monde newspaper and signed by a score of French intellectuals.
"After Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani, condemned to death by stoning for adultery, Iran persists by sentencing to hanging a young man suspected of homosexuality," they wrote.
The case of Mohammadi-Ashtiani, a 43-year-old mother-of-two convicted of adultery and complicity in her husband's murder, has triggered an international outcry.
Besson and Leroy's petition in Le Monde said that the charges against Hamidi were false and had even been withdrawn by his alleged "victim", and that the teenager had had no legal representation during his trial.
"He is going to die if we do not mobilise," they wrote.
In Iran, punishment for homosexual acts ranges from public flogging to execution.
© 2010 AFP