In 2005, Iran hanged two teenagers, Ayaz Marhoni and Mahmoud Asgari, for what was likely consensual same-sex intercourse. As Human Rights Watch noted in its late 2010 report, “’We Are a Buried Generation’: Discrimination and Violence Against Sexual Minorities in Iran,” trials based on “moral charges in Iran are usually held in camera.“ Consequently, it is a Herculean task to assess if the defendants were killed because of homosexuality. The in camera trials are largely star-chamber proceedings that lack public transparency.
Iran’s Sharia system codifies the death penalty for same-sex activities and prescribes medieval penalties for Iranians who engage in them. Tehran punishes male same-sex intercourse with death, and lesbian sex with 100 lashes for the first three offenses and execution thereafter.