Iran executes gay man on ‘sodomy’ charges, activists say

iran gay man execution usa washington dc
Image: Elvert Barnes/Flickr

Iran has executed a gay man after a “sodomy” charge, according to human rights groups.

The Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) claimed that 10 inmates were executed in Rajai Shahr Prison, in the northern city of Karaj, on June 29.

Among them was Iman Safari-rad, whom activists say was likely sentenced to death for being gay.

Homosexuality is banned in Iran with its penal code explicitly criminalising same-sex sexual behavior for both men and women.

Iranian dissident and activist Kazem Moussavi told the Jerusalem Post that Safari-rad was executed on a “sodomy” charge.

He said in Iran, the ruling regime labels same-sex relations as “sodomy” and he believes Iman Safavi Rad was gay.

Another man, Mehdi Khalgoldi, was executed in Iran on charges of “rape”, HRANA reported. That’s also a charge that has been used by the regime to persecute gay men.

Iranian officials have yet to confirm the deaths.

Human rights activist Peter Tatchell also told the Post the truth of the convictions could not be known.

“What is certain is that [Safari-rad] almost certainly did not receive a fair trial under the notoriously biased Iranian judicial system,” he said.

“Defendants are routinely denied access to lawyers and defence witnesses.

“This execution is consistent with Iran’s state policy of the death penalty for same-sex relations.”

Tatchell said international governments must pressure Iran to observe human rights laws, including a ban on the death penalty in all circumstances.

Iran executes other men on ‘sodomy charges’ in past 12 months

Activists warn Iran is one of the most repressive places in the world for LGBTIQ+ people.

Last year, an independent investigator told the UN General Assembly’s human rights committee that Iran also continues to implement the death penalty “at an alarming rate.”

In late January 2022, Iran also executed two gay men convicted on “sodomy” charges after the men spent six years on death row.

HRANA identified the two men at the time as Mehrdad Karimpour and Farid Mohammadi.

They were sentenced to death and hanged in prison in the northwestern city of Maragheh, 500 kilometres from Tehran.

In May 2021, 20-year-old gay man Alireza Fazeli-Monfared was murdered by his own family in a brutal honour killing after he was outed.

A few months later, in July 2021, Iran executed two more Iranian men, also on “sodomy” charges, in Maragheh.

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1 Comment

  1. Peter Turner
    7 July 2022

    It is not enough to report on these deaths. Where is the UN?

    There must be consequences for the violation of our Human Rights in this way.

    We jump up and down in support of other minorities but No-one does anything to stop these murders.

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