A 20-year-old gay man was allegedly killed by his family members in Iran in a case of honour killing. 

The news of the killing was posted on social media by US-based Iranian journalist and activist Masih Alinejad. 

“Rest in peace Alireza Fazeli Monfared,” said Alinejad. According to the Alinejad,  Alireza was brutally killed by his brother and cousins for being gay. 

Honour killing is the murder of a family member by another member of the family or social group, due to the belief that the victim has brought dishonour upon the family. Last year, responding to the rising cases of honour killing, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani had asked law makers to enact a Bill to protect women from honour killing by family members. No such protection exists for gay and lesbian people.

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Alireza was to flee to Turkey, to join his boyfriend who was a refugee in that country. Alinejad said in the tweet that his family beheaded Alireza and dumped his body under a tree outside the city of Ahwaz, the capital of Kuzhestan province in southwest Iran. 

The Most Dangerous Country In The World For Gay People

“Iran’s LGBTQ community is brutalised both by the regime and by bigotry in certain families,” said Alinejad. 

“Through its homophobic laws, anti-gay propaganda and light sentences for honour killings, the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for facilitating the murders of countless members of the LGBTQ community in Iran. This community is yearning to be heard by the world.”

Alinejad also posted two other videos of young LGBTQ persons being brutalised by the local security agencies.

“I’ve been receiving many videos like these from Iran’s LGBTQ community. They tell me harrowing stories of brutality by security forces. The world must hear the cries of help of Iran’s LGBTQ community. The Islamic Republic of Iran both directly and indirectly brutalises them,” added Alinejad.

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Iran, because of its discriminatory and criminal laws, is considered one of the most dangerous places to be gay. Under the Islamic Shariaa law practiced in Iran, same-sex relations are a criminal offence and the punishment ranges from flogging to the death penalty. 

According to a 2008 British Wikileaks document, since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, between 4000 to 6,000 gay and lesbian persons are believed to have been executed by the authorities

In 2019, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif supported the execution of gay people

LGBTQ+ Persons Face Abuse

Gissou Nia, human rights lawyer and chairperson of the Board of Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre, said that while exact statistics of gay and lesbian people executed in Iran may not be available, the law as well the society makes it difficult for LGBTQ persons to survive in the country. 

“Cultural attitudes in society towards homosexuality are a literal life or death problem. What compounds the problem is when the laws of a state do not provide any protection,” said Nia in a Twitter post. 

“LGBTQI persons face abuse at home but legal protection against abusive family members is slim. The law gives parents extensive discretion in disciplining their children. Filing a complaint against abusive family can further endanger LGBTQI persons, so abuse is often unreported,” explained Nia. 

 

If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

 

 

 

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