Iran's repression of LGBT to face challenge at UN

Published: September 30, 2011

Iran’s human rights violations on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity will be considered by the United Nations Human Rights Committee Universal Periodic Review 17 October.

Human Rights Watch has made a detailed submission, as has Amnesty International. Excerpts from Amnesty’s submission follows below as does the submission of the Iranian Queer Organization – IRQO.


By Saghi Ghahraman (IRQO)

Right after the revolution, execution of Gay and Transsexuals began, by the ruling clergies, illegally; it was legalized in 1995 – two decades after the revolution – when Shari’a law, Islam’s Code of Conduct, legally replaced Iran’s penal code.

Article 110 – executions based on sodomy; Article 130 – executions based on lesbianism; Article 220 – granting fathers the right to kill their children, recognizing fathers as blood-owners of their own children, turned State and Society, equally, into executioners of gays, lesbians, bi, and transsexual population, and also the heterosexuals; clergies have used sodomy laws against those prisoners who couldn’t be executed or persecuted otherwise.

Shari’a law is not only responsible for killing of LGBT members of society in Iran, it is also the basis of generations of LGBT’s lack of parenting, education, carrier, housing, and overall security and safety.

The fact that no LGBT Iranian dares to introduce themselves as L, G, B or T by their own voice, face, name is because of the fear-mongering articles of Shari’s sodomy law.

Since the government in Iran doesn’t offer any explanation for hostility against the gay community, and because there are signs of lack of relevant information in the government re homosexuals, I would like to quote a gay blogger’s advise to Mr. Ahmadinejad when he was first elected president of Iran on 2005:

    "I urge you, Sir, as the president of Iran, to employ a team of medical scientists and lawyer to study and investigate homosexuality, come up with a result of the studies, and present it; if they announce homosexuality illness or crime, we oblige; if they say it was not, you, as the state of Iran, oblige, and decriminalize homosexuality and let us live in peace."

The task has not been undertaken by the government Iran, curiously.

While Mr. Ahmadinejad claims ‘There Are No Homosexuals in Iran’, his statesmen and spokespersons claim ‘Homosexuals Are the Force behind Iran’s Green Movement’. Question is: Do we not have homosexuals in Iran? Or, we do, and they’re so many and so capable as to be the back-bone of a huge civil movement as Iran’s Green Movement? Question is: what is considered crime, or what is considered crime on the part of homosexuals? Sexual orientation, or doubting patriarchy in the face of a primitive ideology?

Living as a Queer woman over 50 years, a Queer poet over 20 years, directing a LGBT advocacy organization over five years, I have been witness to the horror the community in Iran goes through, everyday, not only by way of murders and executions but in everyday life of Not Living a simple, decent, dignified life human beings deserve in the realm in the Age of Democracy and Human Rights. And I am not talking only about those of our children who are disadvantaged and deprived, but also about gay professors, TS engineers, lesbian and gay specialist medical doctors, gay and lesbian poets, writers, artists, journalists and more, of highly accomplished status, all working inside Iran, who are victims in the hand of a hostile set of laws, and are most vulnerable.

I would like to offer the government of Iran to give account and explanation for violations of LGBT human rights. Or, to replace the primitive penal code of Shari’a law with constitutions based on 21st century human rights. Or if either is not doable, I would like to suggest that Mr. Ahmadinejad, the head of state of Iran, in his trips to the UN, travel to the USA on the back of a camel. After all, we, the LGBT of Iran shouldn’t be only ones treated with the mind-set of the dark-ages of 1400 years back in history.

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