Four gay Iranian men are due to be executed for sodomy under Shari’a law, Pink News reports.

The four men – identified by the Human Rights Activist News Agency in Iran as Saadat Arefi, Vahid Akbari, Javid Akbari and Houshmand Akbari – are to be hanged after their guilty verdict was approved by high court judges.

“I am horrified and saddened to have heard the news about these four men,” London-based Iranian human rights lawyer Mehri Jafari told Pink News.

“Not only with regards to the execution which is about to take place, but the fact that is beyond our control.”

The news comes just two days ahead of the release of a new report on the problems faced by LGBT people in Iran.

In April, The Guardian reported that Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi-Amoli, an influential cleric and an Islamic scholar from the Iranian city of Qom, referred to homosexuals as inferior to dogs and pigs in a speech.

“If a society commits a new sin, it will face a new punishment,” Javadi-Amoli said, according to The Guardian’s translation of a report by the Iranian news website Khabaronline.

“Problems like AIDS did not exist before.”

In 2005, Iran sparked international outrage when it publicly executed two teenage boys for crimes relating to sodomy, and shocking images (pictured) were widely published by international news media.

Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni were hanged because, according to the regime, they were rapists, however gay campaigners insist the boys were killed under Shari’a law for the crime of homosexuality.

Read Pink News‘ full report here.

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