Three gay men were hanged at Iran’s Karoun prison on September 4 under Islamic laws that mandate the death penalty for sex between men.

Iranian state media gave only the men’s initials, M.T., T.T. and M. Ch., and reported that they had been convicted under articles 108 and 110 of the Iranian penal code.

Article 108 defines “sodomy” as “sexual intercourse between men”, while article 110 reads, “Punishment for sodomy is killing; the Sharia judge decides on how to carry out the killing”.

“[These] executions for sodomy might be among the rare cases were the Iranian authorities admit to having executed men convicted of homosexual acts,” Iran Human Rights spokesman Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said.

“Iranian authorities normally present such cases as rape, but rape has not been mentioned in this case.”

Three other men were executed at the prison on the same day — one had trafficked more than six kilograms of heroin into Iran, and the other two had been convicted of robbery and rape.

“In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like in your country,” President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told students at New York’s Columbia University in 2007.

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