Gay Air France Flight Attendants Say They Don’t Want To ‘Fly To The Death Penalty In Iran’

REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter
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Air France’s gay flight attendants are refusing to work on flights headed to Iran, fearing execution from a country that puts homosexuals to death on a regular basis.

Led by a gay flight attendant writing under the pseudonym ‘Laurent M.,’ Air France flight attendants have started an online petition demanding they not be forced to work on flights destined for Iran. The group’s petition has garnered over 2,000 signatures since it was started some days ago, and is only around 300 away from its total goal.

“Sure, our sexuality isn’t written on our passports and it doesn’t change the way we work as a crew,” said Laurent M. in the open letter included in the petition. “But it is inconceivable to force someone to go to a country where his kind are condemned for who they are.”

The petition is the second appeal from Air France workers over the recently restarted flights traveling to Iran. The first involved female flight attendants who refused to wear headscarves on flights traveling into the Islamic Republic. Air France quickly relented and now allows female workers to not work flights going into the country.

Iran is a world leader in state executions, and has a particular penchant for hanging homosexuals from cranes. Indeed, the United Nations has said the Islamic Republic executes more people per capita than any other country in the world. Iran has continued its execution trend, despite the election of the so-called moderate President Hassan Rouhani, breaking its own record for total executions in 2015 with 1,084. China is believed to conduct the highest total number of state executions, but the exact number is a closely guarded state secret.

Flights from France to Iran were suspended in 2008 due to international sanctions against Iran because of its nuclear program. With the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed last July, flights will resume next week.

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