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Raising Awareness Among Young People About the Universal Abolition of the Death Penalty: Its Application in Iran and Against LGBTQIA+ People

Du 13 au 31 mai derniers, ECPM, accompagnée d’Asal Asabian, a rencontré près de 200 jeunes collégien·nes et lycéen·nes d’Île-de-France. Asal Abasian est un·e journaliste queer iranien·ne, lauréate de l'initiative Marianne 2021, militant·e féministe et des droits des personnes LGBTQIA+. En partageant son histoire poignante et ses combats, iel a poursuivi le travail de sensibilisation des jeunes à aux droits de personnes LGBTQIA+ et à la situation de la peine de mort en Iran entamé en intervention par ECPM.
Jeanne Maneuvrier, a civic service volunteer at ECPM, and Asal Abasian engage in a discussion with students at the Lycée St Benoist de l’Europe in Bagnolet, France

Iran and the death penalty

Iran is the second highest country, after China, in terms of the number of executions. The 16th annual report on the death penalty in Iran, published jointly by Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO) and Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, revealed alarming figures. In 2023, the number of executions skyrocketed, with at least 834 individuals executed, representing a 43% increase compared to 2022. This is the second time in 20 years that the number of executions has exceeded 800 per year. These figures illustrate the severity and extent of repression in Iran, particularly affecting activists, political dissidents, and LGBTQIA+ individuals.

Asal Abasian’s struggle

Asal Abasian, having had to flee Iran due to her activism, promotes the slogan “Woman, Life, Freedom” to amplify the voices of those who have been standing up against the regime since September 2022, particularly the voices of women and sexual minorities in her country. In Iran, persecuted LGBTQIA+ individuals face severe penalties, including the death penalty.

June 2024
Asal Abasian, an Iranian journalist and queer feminist activist, was forced into exile due to…

Currently in France, Asal Abasian is dedicated to raising awareness, especially among young people. They visit schools to share theirs story and inform students about the realities of human rights in Iran. They also emphasize the importance of fighting for LGBTQIA+ rights and highlight the dangers these individuals face under repressive regimes.

“I found this very important. It’s an extremely enriching initiative that should be continued. It can help change mindsets and make people understand that these individuals, who are fighting in their own country, have a voice. It’s tragic that they cannot be heard at home. The fact that they can be heard elsewhere is crucial.”

Agathe, 17 years old

Raising awareness amoung the Youth

The students were very curious and eager to learn more about the situation in Iran, especially regarding the death penalty for LGBTQIA+ individuals. The discussions allowed for addressing sensitive and complex topics, while providing a safe space to ask questions and express opinions. Asal responded with honesty and passion, encouraging students to seek further information and take a stand for human rights advocacy.

“The awareness session helped me better understand the issues surrounding the abolition of the death penalty and provided me with new arguments to combat its use.”

Islem, 17 years old
The death penalty in Iran – 2023