Iran sentenced two female LGBT activists to death on Saturday for allegedly promoting homosexuality according to two reliable Middle-Eastern sources. Hengaw, an Independent Human Right Organisation reporting on human rights violations in Kurdistan and 1500tasvir, an independent Iranian news Twitter feed, both reported the sentences.
Hengaw reported that an Islamic court sentenced the two women for the crime of ‘Corruption on Earth’.
Iranian LGBT activists
“Zahra Sediqi Hamedani, known as ‘Sareh’, 31, from Naqadeh, and Elham Chubdar, 24, from Urmia, both activists of the LGBT community, were sentenced to death by the Revolutionary Court of Urmia in a joint case on the charge of ‘Corruption on Earth’ through the promoting [of] homosexuality.”
Iran’s infamous Islamic courts basically operate as a law unto themselves. They often seem to make it up as they go along.
Hengaw describes the Urmia Prosecutor’s Office as among the most notorious regarding political, ideological, and LGBT defendants. The group says cases before the local Revolutionary Court “generally do not meet the standards of a fair trial and do not respect the rights of the defendants.”
The website reports intelligence forces arrested Zahra Sediqi Hamdani in October 2021 as she attempted to leave Iran for Turkey. They only moved her to a general prison after two months of solitary confinement in an intelligence detention centre. Prison authorities then denied her access to a lawyer. They also threatened her with execution and threatened to remove her children from her custody.
In the last few days, authorities informed both Zahra Sediqi Hamedani and Elham Chubdar of their impending executions.
Another woman from the same town 52-year-old Soheila Ashrafi remains imprisoned in the same jail awaiting the verdict in her case. QNews is unsure if there is a connection between her case and that of the other two local LGBT activists.
— 1500tasvir_en (@1500tasvir_en) September 4, 2022
The Jerusalem Post reported activist Peter Tatchell as saying the Iranian regime will probably prolong the women’s suffering.
“They will probably be hanged using the barbaric long, slow strangulation method; much favoured by the Iranian regime in order to maximize the victim’s suffering.”
He called on the international community to press the Iranian regime to commute the death sentences and release the women.
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