Iranian LGBTI+ rights activist faces death penalty

Iranian LGBTI+ rights activist, Zahra Sedighi Hamedani, also known as Sareh, and Elham Choubdara were sentenced to death by Iran's Revolutionary Court in Urmia for promoting homosexuality.

In October 2021, LGBTI+ rights activist Zahra Sediqi Hamdani, known as Sareh, was arrested by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps while trying to cross the Iranian border to seek asylum in Türkiye. She was accused of crossing the border illegally and was targeted for taking part in an interview with BBC Farsi and speaking about the situation of LGBTI+s in Erbil, Iraq.

55 international organisations, along with “6rang”, published a statement on July 28, in which they demanded the removal of all charges against Sara, an Iranian LGBTI+ activist.

In a statement, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps accused Sareh of "promoting homosexuality, gambling, fraud, and promoting illicit sexual relations and publishing them on the Internet." However, no evidence has been provided by the IRGC to substantiate these baseless accusations, and reports suggest that Sareh was pressured to confess through the use of torture, including solitary confinement and the threat of depriving her of custody of her two children. 

Iranian LGBTI+ rights activists told Nafas LGBTI Azerbaijan Alliance that, these accusations can lead to a criminal conviction in Iran and the death penalty.

“6rang” categorically condemns the unjust and cruel arrest and detention of Sareh by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the accusations of "spreading corruption on earth" through "promoting homosexuality".

“It is clear to all of us that what has taken place is not due process, but a re-run of a show familiar to many of us who grew up in the suffocating atmosphere of the Islamic Republic. Sareh must be released immediately and unconditionally. We ask all human rights organisations and the media not to ignore Sareh’s detention, and to work for her freedom”

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