Campaigners are outraged by the British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith's assertion that gays are safe in Iran, provided they behave discreetly. Like hell they are!
It's thought that as many as 4,000 lesbians and gays have been executed in that country since the Islamic revolution of 1979.
Smith has said in a letter to Lord Roberts of Llandudno (which has also appeared in Britain's Independent newspaper), that, while there are "cases where people able to demonstrate a need for international protection", there is not enough evidence to support a moratorium on deportations to Iran, where many gay men have been known to be hanged for their sexuality.
Back in 2005, Gay & Lesbian Humanist magazine, published by the Pink Triangle Trust, drew attention to the Iranian situation, with a disturbing picture (above) that has since done the rounds of the Internet, showing two teenagers having the ropes put about their necks by two masked executioners on a scaffold in the city of Mashhad in northeastern Iran. This happened in July 2005.
Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni were hanged for allegedly being rapists. But gay campaigners insist the teenagers were killed under sharia law for the "crime" of homosexuality.
The matter also gets attention in Pink News, Britain's online gay outlet, and the Pink Triangle Trust has expressed its own horror at Smith's stance, with its secretary, George Broadhead, talking of an "outrage".
Damn right, too. Has the woman no shame?