Men can receive up to 99 lashes if they sleep under the same blanket ‘unnecessarily’. I was originally going to write “regardless of whether any sexual contact took place” but I’m trying to avoid traps like this. It is no less outrageous to punish people for homosexual activity than for sleeping under blankets and I think it’s important to recognise thoughts like that when they pop into your head. Of course, in Iran, homosexuality is punishable by lashes, hanging or stoning.
There’s also such a thing as “judge's knowledge”. This is a legal loophole that allows for subjective judicial rulings where there’s no conclusive evidence.
An article in the guardian has a strange quote that echoes my earlier statement about recognising when weird thoughts enter your head. Peter Tatchell, the co-founder of the gay rights group OutRage said:
"Ebrahim's case is evidence that innocent heterosexual people can be sentenced to death on false charges of homosexuality [in Iran],"
Homosexual people are innocent too and it’s every bit as bad that that can be sentenced to death or anything else.