Sweden to review gay asylum policy after Iranian teens executed for raping minors

Sweden lawmakers are reviewing the country's asylum policy for gays after two teenagers were executed in Iran on charges of involvement in violent homosexual acts.

The decision means a temporary freeze on deportations of gay Iranians who have been denied asylum in Sweden, officials said.

The hangings last month of the two teens prompted protests from gay rights activists in Sweden, who called on their government to immediately stop all deportations of homosexual asylum-seekers to Iran.

The Scandinavian nation grants asylum to people who face persecution in their home countries, but current regulations don't recognize gays as a persecuted group in Iran.

"We will examine closer whether there is reason to look differently at the matter," said Migration Board spokeswoman Ulla Petersson Imnell.

She said all pending deportations of gay Iranians would be put on hold as Swedish authorities investigate the situation of homosexuals in Iran. She would not say how many people the decision affects.

Mahmoud Asgari, 16, and Ayaz Marhoni, 18, were hanged publicly on July 19 in the city of Mashhad on charges of raping younger boys. Marhoni was a minor when he was arrested, the AP reports.

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