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Aban and Khorshid

July 22, 2017

If you only had a few hours left to live, what would you share with the love of your life? Together Aban and Khorshid explore this question during the hours before sentencing for their crime of loving each other.

Somewhat harrowing but redeemed by powerful love- Two Lovers, Even in Death. Inspired by true events,it is an intimate portrait of two lovers, glimpsing into the world in which they met, moments before their execution for being gay.

It follows two young Iranian men, cutting between the sweet and happy domesticity they shared and their later lives in prison, where they await sentencing for the crime of loving one another. It eventually leads to the shocking image which inspired the short film. Aban and Khorshid questions how you would spend your final hours, especially knowing that it is the fact you love the ‘wrong’ person that could end your life. The film uses the footage of the happiness of their early relationship to really drive home quite how horrific their predicament is, as well as to help wake people up who might normally ignore the fact that globally homophobia is not an issue that’s being consigned to the dustbin of history. It is not a fun watch, but it is a rewarding one that will keep you thinking long after it’s finished. The darkness ratchets up so that even at only 13 minutes long, it becomes increasingly difficult to watch – but it never feels less than necessary.

-Cannes Emerging Filmmakers Showcase, American Pavillion: Best LGBT Short.

Here are the 10 countries where homosexuality may be punishable by death:

Yemen: According to the 1994 penal code, married men can be sentenced to death by stoning for homosexual intercourse. Unmarried men face whipping or one year in prison. Women face up to seven years in prison.

Iran: In accordance with sharia law, homosexual intercourse between men can be punished by death, and men can be flogged for lesser acts such as kissing. Women may be flogged.

Mauritania: Muslim men engaging in homosexual sex can be stoned to death, according to a 1984 law, though none have been executed so far. Women face prison.

Nigeria: Federal law classifies homosexual behavior as a felony punishable by imprisonment, but several states have adopted sharia law and imposed a death penalty for men. A law signed in early January makes it illegal for gay people countrywide to hold a meeting or form clubs.

Qatar: Sharia law in Qatar applies only to Muslims, who can be put to death for extramarital sex, regardless of sexual orientation.

Saudi Arabia: Under the country’s interpretation of sharia law, a married man engaging in sodomy or any non-Muslim who commits sodomy with a Muslim can be stoned to death. All sex outside of marriage is illegal.

AfghanistanThe Afghan Penal Code does not refer to homosexual acts, but Article 130 of the Constitution allows recourse to be made to sharia law, which prohibits same-sex sexual activity in general. Afghanistan’s sharia law criminalizes same-sex sexual acts with a maximum of the death penalty. No known cases of death sentences have been meted out since the end of Taliban rule in 2001.

Somalia: The penal code stipulates prison, but in some southern regions, Islamic courts have imposed sharia law and the death penalty.

Sudan: Three-time offenders under the sodomy law can be put to death; first and second convictions result in flogging and imprisonment. Southern parts of the country have adopted more lenient laws.

United Arab Emirates: Lawyers in the country and other experts disagree on whether federal law prescribes the death penalty for consensual homosexual sex or only for rape. In a recent Amnesty International report, the organization said it was not aware of any death sentences for homosexual acts. All sexual acts outside of marriage are banned.

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From → Film, Sexuality

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