2012-01-12

Ecuador’s LGBT community protests visit by Iranian president

QUITO, Ecuador – Ecuador’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community is protesting the Jan. 12 visit by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The Ecuador Diversity Foundation, which supports LGBT issues, said it “emphatically protests the presence of a homophobic dictator in our country, whose Constitution clearly defends human rights, but whose government does not question nor insist that its partners and political allies respect such rights.”

The group’s statement, signed by the foundation’s vice president, Óscar Ugarte, was reproduced in Ecuador’s major national media outlets.

“Since 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran, through its policies (Sharia) and its raids of terror, in defiance of the international human rights and child protection treaties it has signed, has publicly stoned, flogged and hanged 16-year-old adolescents (Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni), as well as 107 other Iranians (doctors, writers and publicists), for the crime of homosexuality.”

Formal demonstrations against the visit of the Iranian president have yet to be announced, but activists, women’s organizations and business groups have been using social networks to protests Ahmadinejad’s visit.

His first stop will be in Guayaquil and then he will travel to Quito for scheduled visits with President Rafael Correa and the president of the Ecuadoran Congress, Fernando Cordero.

[Infosurhoy.com (Quito), 12/01/2012; Elcomercio.com (Quito), 12/01/2012]

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