By Sally Shakkour
The murder of the 20-year-old gay man, Ali Fazeli Monfared, in Iran has sparked a new wave of anger not only in Iran but across the LGBTQ+ communties internationally.
Ali was allegedly beheaded and thrown under a palm tree in Iran by his homophobic family; after a letter, exempting him from the Iranian military service based on his ‘sexual depravity,’ was sent to his family. The crime has triggered public anger and shed light on the issue of LGBTQ rights in the Islamic republic.
My heart goes out to the entire LGBT+ community in Iran, following the brutal murder of Alireza "Ali" Fazeli Monfared! The strength and courage they are showing should inspire the world! #RestInPower Ali! 🏳️🌈 https://t.co/SrkBSZ4OBX— Paul Hindley 💛 💚 🏳️🌈🇪🇺 (@PaulHindley2210) May 14, 2021
The incident took place in Ahvaz, south-west Iran; days before the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia which is observed on May 17th to coordinate international events in order to raise awareness of LGBT rights’ violations and stimulate interest in LGBT rights work in the world.
Ali Fazeli Monfared, who’s is well known on social media as Alireza, believed to be kidnapped and murdered by his male relatives in Ahvaz then they called his mother to find his body. He always thought this is expected to happen to him, his partner activist Aghil Abyat said in a report with the BBC Persian.
"We're Iranian LGBTQIs, we exist and we fall in love. Let that sink in"— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) May 12, 2021
After the tragic murder of #AlirezaFazeliMonfared in Iran by his family for being gay, Iranian LGBTQI+ activists are taking to the streets, secretly filming themselves and sending me videos.
Be their voice pic.twitter.com/mXSNZcXcS4
Members of the queer community in Iran are protesting Ali’s murder in their own way like filming themselves carrying the Pride flag and posting their photos and videos on social media.
A petition with Ali’s name was released calling people to sign it in order to pressure the Iranian government to find and punish the people who murdered Alireza and threw his body next to a palm tree.
Sign the petition to demand Iranian officials find and charge the people who killed Ali! 💔 https://t.co/g3ozdvVndv— Brandon Alex (@pieceofB) May 14, 2021
The gay-Iranian has disappeared on May 4th after visiting his mother in Ahvaz to pick up a military service exemption card and sell his mobile phone. Ali and his partner agreed earlier that he moves to Turkey to join Abyat and then they planned to apply for asylum in the EU.
According to the petition, Ali had been in touch with LGBTQIA activists since late 2019, while he was looking for a way to escape the country where his very existence is criminalized. Prior to his death, he had said that he is finding it super hard to live in Iran while being a queer member.
2/. The answer = 1990— Stefan Simanowitz (@StefSimanowitz) May 17, 2021
Today on Intn'l Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, & Transphobia, we're reminded there's still a long way to go until all LGBTQ+ people are free & safe from harm.@stonewalluk on some reasons why #IDAHOBIT is still needed in 2021. https://t.co/dvVqQyMzUL
In fact this is not the first time a gay member is subjected to abuse, torture or death in Iran. The United Nations has released a report on human rights violations in the Islamic Republic a couple of months ago stating that children who show LGBT intentions are being subjected to electric torture.
The United Nations' Special Rapporteur on #HumanRights in #Iran reports that under the Islamic Republic, "lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children were subjected to electric shocks."@khamenei_ir is waging a war on the #LGBTQ community.https://t.co/lGK8ciVtnd pic.twitter.com/r49eiaOCQm— National Union for Democracy in Iran (@NUFDIran) February 12, 2021
Iranian film director, Babak Khorramdin, was killed in an honor crime by his parents. The police found his body on Sunday chopped and placed in garbage bags and a suitcase, in the town of Ekbatan, western Tehran.
According to reports, the 47-year-old man was murdered after a dispute between him and his parents over his unmarried status. After the investigation, Khorramdin’s dad revealed that he stabbed him, chopped his body and threw it in the garbage.
#Iranian filmmaker Babak Khorramdin, 47, has been killed and dismembered by his father.— Seer Media (@Seer_media) May 17, 2021
His mutilated body was discovered in a garbage bin in Ekbatan, #Tehran, and his parents have confessed to killing their son. #بابک_خرمدین pic.twitter.com/SDGyVZFysb
Furthermore, the Islamic republic has firm restrictions when it comes to people who show their sexual orientation. They are either jailed, tortured or even killed in what is known as an honor crime as the murderers of any homosexual members are not subjected to any type of punishment in Iran.
Since the Islamic revolution in 1979, any sexual performance outside a heterosexual marriage is forbidden in the country; People who commit such act are being severely punished in Tehran and if any LGBTQ member is caught in Iran he/she will be punished by imprisonment, corporal punishment, or execution.
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