Gay Iran News and Reports 2009

Iranian Queer Organization (
Iranian Queer Organization Online Magazine (

Also see:
Islam and Homosexuality
Gay Middle East Web Site:
More information about Islam & Homosexuality can be found at:
Other articles of interest can be found at:
Queer Muslim magazine: Huriyah
UTube video on persecution of gay in Iran:(

Gay Islam discussion groups:

1 Two Young Men to Be Thrown off Cliff January 9, 2008 1/09

2 Activist’s ‘railroad’ helps gay Iranians 1/09

3 New study claims 16% of Iranian men have had gay relationships 1/09

4 Comment: Iraq’s gays go underground to survive 2/09

5 How Western activists (mis)recognize sexuality in Iran 4/09

6 Gay Website Owners Face Charges In Iran 4/09

7 Nearly 20,000 infected with HIV in Iran 5/09

8 Russian activists plan picket for Obama’s visit to Moscow 6/09

9 Subsisting on Bread and Tea: Iranian Refugees Talk 6/09

10 “They Can Spot us a Mile Away.” 6/09

11 BBC Radio Talk: Gay Life After Saddam 7/09

12 Complexities of human sexuality, Islamic laws and regulations in Iran 9/09

13 Neda Magazine is Out 10/09

14 Interview: Arsham Parsi of Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees 10/09

15 Iranian Transgenders are Not Secure in Iran 10/09

16 Iran prepares to execute a young man accused of sodomy 11/09

17 Twelve Men Face Execution for Sodomy in Iran 12/09

2 January 2008 –


Iran: Two Young Men to Be Thrown off Cliff January 9, 2008 in Death Penalty, Execution, GLBT, Gay Life, Human Rights, Iran, Islam, Islamism

Iran: Two young men to be thrown off cliff (punishment reserved to homosexuals) Iran-Resist : The last flight of Tayab and Yazdan “According to the daily Quds, two youths will be thrown into a precipice in the vicinity of the city of Shiraz. The sentencing of the two youths was confirmed on January 2 by the Supreme Court and the Regional Justice is preparing the execution. Tayab and Yazdan will be enclosed in a bag before being thrown into the ravine at the top of a cliff. This unimaginable penalty is reserved for homosexuals according to the laws “full of love and light” of the Shariah. According to the Shariah, if both men survive this fall, they will be hanged…”

2 Replies

1. Omar Kuddus

January 10, 2008 at 2:39 pm

But execution and such a barbaric execution, can it ever be justified?

Unconfirmed reports coming from Iran suggest that two youths are facing brutal execution in the southern city of Shiraz, and regional justices are preparing the execution and if a person survives this execution, then he is hanged. The ages of the two to be executed are not given. Also included and charged in the same case were four others who are to receive 100 lashes each.
The executions will be carried out by putting each youth in a sack and throwing them off the top of a cliff and into a ravine and this form of execution under Shariah law is normally reserved for those convicted of gay offences (lavat). But there is no mention of ‘lavat’ in the Quds report of this case. Iran’s shari’a-based penal code defines ‘lavat’ as penetrative and non-penetrative sexual acts between men. Penetrative sex carries the death penalty, while non-penetrative sexual acts carry lashes for the first three convictions and then death on the fourth.

There are a lot of unanswered questions and whether this is another “gay case” or not, human rights groups, who are trying to get more information, should protest in the strongest possible manner. For how many more (Gay) Iranians are going to die and face barbaric torture and execution before the community in the west finally shows its protest and disgust at what is happening to fellow humans/ members of the community for their sexuality. Britain still sends gay asylum seekers back knowing full well the barbaric fate awaiting them in Iran.

2. outsider222

March 4, 2008 at 6:27 pm

Oh…that sounds just like Bangor, Maine. Except in Bangor, they throw the gay men off bridges. And also – 2 men who killed this gay guy: …DID happen 2 get 2 years in jail before they were released. And in 2006 a gay man was murdered UNDER a bridge in Bangor, Maine. They were apparently too lazy to carry him to the top of the bridge, so they just doused him with gasoline and set him on fire.

Funny, you can’t even Google that up anymore. t was swept under the rug, as is so much in that part of Maine (It was only a homeless gay guy, you know…) Before people start poo-poo-ing other countries, I think they ought to take a good look at what goes on right in their own nasty back yards.

January 20, 2009 – The Star

Activist’s ‘railroad’ helps gay Iranians

by Lesley Ciarula Taylor,Immigration Reporter
Not quite three years ago, Arsham Parsi was an Iranian refugee in Turkey. Today, he is executive director of the Iranian Queer Railroad, trying to help 200 people down the same road he took to Toronto.
"Every day, people escape, people come here," he said yesterday in his downtown apartment. "It’s constant, like a railroad, always moving."

On a recent trip to Turkey, he secured refugee status from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees for 45 Iranian gays, but they are awaiting interviews at the Canadian and U.S. embassies. Parsi, 28, is lobbying on to get them out of Turkey where temporary residents must pay a $200 fee every six months. "People in Turkey say they’re not homophobic and I say, `You’ve living in Istanbul. When you leave Istanbul, it’s different.’ Gays have been beaten on the streets in Turkey and the police do nothing."

Canada, the U.S. and Australia are the likely destinations for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people on his "railroad," because those countries recognize the kind of persecution they face in Iran, where President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said there are no gays. Iran is one of 86 countries around the world that still declare homosexuality a crime and punish it with prison or death. Parsi was still in Iran when he became an activist in 2001, first starting a clandestine online chat group for fellow gays, then an organization. He left when he heard government officials were hunting him.

Since arriving in Toronto in 2006, Parsi has been a guest speaker at the UN Human Rights Council and his activism earned him awards last year from the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission and Pride Toronto. At the moment, the Iranian Queer Railroad is pretty much Parsi, two computers, his printer and his iPod. He screens his calls carefully because he receives regular death threats.

January 22, 2009 – PinkNews

New study claims 16% of Iranian men have had gay relationships

by Staff Writer,
A sociologist at an Iranian university has presented a new study that shows high levels of homosexual experiences among the country’s population.
Iran has strict laws against sex outside marriage and other sexual acts such as masturbation. Adultery and same-sex acts are punishable by death.

Startling new research from sociologist Parvaneh Abdul Maleki found that 24% of Iranian women and 16% of Iranian men have had at least one homosexual experience. 73% of men and 26% of women surveyed said they had masturbated. Ms Maleki presented her findings at the Third Conference on Well-being in the Family and the story has been reported in the Iranian press, albeit as a report on sexual deviance in need of treatment.

The report also revealed that more than 75% of those who grew up in a conservative religious environment have watched pornography, 86% have had a heterosexual relationship outside of marriage and just over 4% have had gay or lesbian relationships. Since Iran’s Islamic revolution in 1979, human rights groups claim that between 3,000 and 4,000 people have been executed under Sharia law for the crime of homosexuality. In September the President of Iran admitted in an interview that there may be "a few" gay people in his country, but attacked homosexuality as destructive to society.

In an interview with US current affairs TV programme Democracy Now, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also rejected criticism of the execution of children in Iran. During a visit to the US in 2007 he said in reply to a question posed about homosexuality during his speech at New York’s Columbia University: "In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country… In Iran we do not have this phenomenon, I don’t know who has told you that we have it."

In his TV interview in September he condemned American acceptance of gay people. "It should be of no pride to American society to say they defend something like this," President Ahmadinejad said. "Just because some people want to get votes, they are willing to overlook every morality."

February 22, 2009 –

Following the Queer Railroad to Canada – Iran’s gay refugees face many obstacles in gaining asylum

by Nadim Roberts | MacgilleTribune, Montreal
Few will forget Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s response during an appearance at Columbia University on September 24, 2007, when asked about the persecution of homosexuals in Iran.
“In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like in your country,” said Ahmadinejad. “We don’t have that in our country. In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon. I don’t know who’s told you that we have it.”

Although Ahmadinejad skirted the question, several human rights groups and the United Nations have documented that in the Islamic Republic of Iran, homosexuality is punishable by death. Since the 1979 Islamic revolution, many executions have been reported, as well as countless cases of torture and abuse. However, according to Arsham Parsi, a gay refugee from Iran and founder of the Iranian Queer Railroard, an organization that assists queer Iranians in finding asylum in the West, this persecution goes beyond the government.

Read more

April 2009 –

Unbearable witness: how Western activists (mis)recognize sexuality in Iran

Author: Scott Long – *Scott Long is director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program for Human Rights Watch, a non-governmental organization based in New York. He has researched and written reports on human rights abuses based on sexuality and gender in Egypt, Romania, South Africa, and the USA.

This contribution proposes a critical analysis of responses in Western gay and lesbian politics to state-defined crimes relating to same-sex sexual behaviour in Iran. It focuses on the Iranian state’s execution of Makwan Mouloudzadeh in 2007, for alleged involvement in a rape committed almost a decade before, as well as on other recent images and allegations about rights abuses inside Iran. Using empirical sources, including news and non-governmental organizations’ statements, the article examines how gay and lesbian activists in the West misinterpreted the context and reduced the scope of rights violations in a search for ‘gay’ identity and for ‘homophobia’. The article questions how the terms of Western gay politics can erase voices and political agency in describing other cultural situations, through a pursuit of sameness and a strategic misrecognition of otherness that enables domestic political action but posits misleading universals.

April 22, 2009 – AFP

Gay Website Owners Face Charges In Iran

by On Top Magazine Staff
Fifty owners of websites have been arrested and are facing criminal charges in Iran, reports AFP. Officials say they have shut down 90 anti-Islamic and pornographic websites since March. “The accused in these cases face several charges, and so we will call for the maximum punishment prescribed by the law,” Tehran’s deputy prosecutor Reza Jafari said. Jafari said the operators deserve to face the death penalty, but would not comment on when they would go on trial.

Jafari said the websites were shut down because they contained pornographic material including “incest, sex with children and animals, homosexuality and erotic stories” as well as “insults to religious sanctities.”

In September 2007, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told students at Columbia University that there were no gay men or lesbians in Iran. “In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country,” he said to boos from the audience. “In Iran we do not have this phenomenon, I don’t know who has told you that we have it.”

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards militia accused Google, the Internet search engine, of “offering financial support” to the owners of the unidentified websites.

May 3, 2009 – Google-Groups

Nearly 20,000 infected with HIV in Iran

Tehran (AFP) – At least 19,435 Iranians have been infected with the HIV virus, with more than 1,000 new cases recorded since December 2008, the ISNA news agency reported on Sunday, quoting the health ministry. Of those infected, 1,875 are already confirmed as having AIDS, it said. It said the highest rate of HIV infection, 40.2 percent, was among the 25 to 34 age group, with most victims being men. Males accounted for 93.3 percent of all infected cases. With testing facilities limited and HIV-infected people or those living with AIDS often unwilling to come forward, the health ministry estimates that Iran actually has 80,000 HIV cases — four times higher than the registered figure.

According to official ministry figures, however, at least 3,236 people have died in Iran after developing full-blown AIDS, although the report did not say when such deaths started being recorded. The main cause of infection remained intravenous drug use, the report said, with 77.5 percent of people contracting the virus this way. Infection through sexual contact accounted for 13.1 percent, while transmission from mother to baby accounted for 0.9 percent of the total infections. The health ministry is concerned that sexual transmission of HIV could reach epidemic level because around 60 percent of the country’s nearly 71-million population is under the age of 30 according to the 2006 national census, the news agency said.

Sexual relations outside marriage are banned in the Islamic republic.

June 9, 2009 – PinkNews

Russian activists plan picket for Obama’s visit to Moscow

by Anish Bhavsar
Gay rights campaigners are planning to stage a picket during US President Barack Obama’s visit to Moscow in July to highlight his pledge to increase rights for same-sex couples.
LGBT rights campaigner Nikolai Alekseev told “We want to express our solidarity with US gay activists who are planning similar protests in Washington DC, Chicago and other cities in the coming months.” He praised developments since Obama took office, but added that the next step was legalising gay marriage.

In May, a lesbian couple attempted to obtain a marriage licence at the city’s marriage office. As expected, their request was denied but they now plan to marry in Canada and exploit a legal loophole in Russian law on marriages abroad which does not state gender. However, the campaigners will have to seek permission from the city authorities to stage the picket on July 7th. Alekseev said that it was “highly unlikely” that they would be granted the right to protest outside the US Embassy in Moscow after the banned Slavic Pride march last month.

Andy Thayer, a member of Chicago’s Gay Liberation Network, feels the picket will be a strong reminder to the US leader following his election promises to do more for gay rights. “Since President Obama has backed away from his campaign promises to LGBT people in the US to repeal the Defence of Marriage Act and ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’, we are grateful that our gay and lesbian friends in Russia are continuing to raise these human rights concerns during the president’s visit to their country,” he said.

June 11, 2009 – IGLHRC Blog

Subsisting on Bread and Tea: Iranian Refugees Talk

by Hossein Alizadeh
Last night was a sleepless one: I spent the night in a small, rather uncomfortable hotel room filled with the lingering aroma of cigarette smoke. But as I tossed and turned, I remembered that many LGBT refugees would find my room in this rather run-down hotel to be a luxury. Most of them share a humble place with several people, and consider themselves lucky if they can go to bed with food in their stomachs.
Yesterday, one of the refugees told me how he ended up living for a whole month on bread and tea, which he could afford to buy only once a day. Another person was thrilled that the UNHCR gives him and his partner 81 Turkish Lira (about $55 US a month) to live on. In a country where the official poverty line is $450 US, this is peanuts. But most refugees are not even able to get this much cash to survive on. This refugee told me that he went through so much hardship and humiliation both in Iran and Turkey, that when the UNHCR interviewed him about his case, his story brought the UN officer to tears.

Yet another refugee told me how degrading it was to report his status as an asylum seeker to the local Turkish police station in a small conservative town. As soon the translator found out he was gay, he summoned other police officers to the interview room to laugh at the “freak case.” The translator asked him intimate questions about his sex life, and then laughed out loud as he told the other officers that, “the fags take it up their ass.” The police recorded the “hilarious asylum interview” on their mobile phones and sent the audio files around for the entertainment of other police officers. Soon the gay refugee discovered that, thanks to the authorities, everyone in the small town knew about his sexual orientation and his asylum case.

I asked the refugees to join me for a meal in a buffet-style restaurant filled with middle-class Turks. There was nothing fancy about the restaurant and the food was simple and delicious. As I invited my guests to help themselves to whatever they liked, I saw them hesitate. After a few seconds, one turned to me and said: “Thanks for the offer, but we really don’t know what these dishes are.” I reminded myself that those who can’t afford to buy even a loaf of bread a day are hardly capable of treating themselves to what is considered “everyday Turkish cuisine.”

Over the meal, I learn how difficult it is to find—and keep—a job in Turkey. One gender conforming gay man was fired from his job because he didn’t look like a Muslim (even though he is). Another worked for a week, was fired, and was paid only two days wages. A third had to work for 8 hours a day but could only make 200 Turkish Lira ($120) a month washing dishes. When you are a gay refugee, people exploit you, call you names, even physically assault you, and then ask you to leave the job, refusing to pay you what you earned.

After the meal I got a chance to take a walk in downtown Kayseri. It is a beautiful city, bounded by snow-covered mountains. To me, the people are warm and friendly. But I know this is not how many gay refugees experience this city. To them, society is often hostile and inhospitable. I wonder how my life would have been if I was in their place—without money in my pocket or travel documents to give me freedom of movement. It is a chilling thought.

June 12, 2009 – IGLHRC Blog

“They Can Spot us a Mile Away.” The Dangers of Being Different in Kayseri

by Hossein Alizadeh
Yesterday I had a very interesting conversation with a police officer who works with refugees in Kayseri. I asked her about the relationship between the local police and members of the LGBT refugee community. She said that the police have only one problem with the refugees: “Some of them dress very provocatively. Their hairstyles, their heavy make-up and their revealing clothes make the locals uncomfortable.” Then she paused for a few seconds and said, “Even I, as a female police officer, will be harassed if I wear flashy lipstick. People around here are very hospitable, but traditional.”

I shared the police officer’s concerns with a group of Iranian refugees that I met last night. They disagreed: “I can’t even wear sunglasses. They think sunglasses are too erotic,” one gay man commented. Another said: “I tried. I swear I tried to look like the locals. But they can spot us a mile away. As soon as they notice we don’t walk like macho straight men, they start chasing us and laughing at us.”

A transgender woman told me that:
Every time I walk down the street, schoolboys throw trash at me. And once, when I was walking downtown, the police wanted to arrest me because they said I looked like a Russian prostitute. Police officers made fun of me and called me names. As they were forcing me into their car, I screamed and hit them with my handbag. I said: “You have no right to treat me like dirt because I am trans.” Finally, other officers intervened. They said it was a case of mistaken identity and I could go. I complained about how I was treated by their colleagues. They told me: “Quit making a big deal out of it. Nothing happened. They didn’t rape you, did they? Now go home!”

A social worker from a local NGO that supports refugees tells me how difficult it is to get assistance for LGBT Iranians:
We have a couple of well-organized faith-based Islamic charities. They mainly support the local needy population but occasionally also reach out to refugees…. The party line is that they don’t discriminate but when I send gay people their way, they say: “We will review you case and call you back.” Then after giving them a good run around, they say: “Sorry, we have no resources”…. I had one case of an Iranian gay man who really needed help. I told him go to those charities, but act straight so they might feel sorry for him and give him some help. It worked.

The local NGO does what it can to coordinate the minimal local support that is available and distribute it among the refugees. But with only one full-time staff member, the organization is ill-equipped to deal with the needs of close to 1,000 refugees in Kayseri.

As I get ready to leave this beautiful city and its forgotten refugee population, I can’t help wonder who, in Turkey, will look out for my fellow LGBT Iranians. To many locals, they are a bunch of moral degenerates en route to the sinful West. To many Turkish officials, they are a financial burden only adding to the problems of this country’s fragile economy. To many local and international relief and refugee agencies, they are yet another part of the endless flow of migrating people needing assistance. But to me, they are decent, inspired, and extremely courageous human beings. Despite on-going challenges, they have consistently fought for dignity and human rights. And they are willing to keep fighting as long as needed. I should know; I am a gay Iranian refugee myself.

July 10, 2009 – From: Peter Tatchell

BBC Radio Talk: Gay Life After Saddam–Life easier for gay Iraqis under Saddam Hussein

According to the programme makers, this harrowing BBC radio documentary about the persecution of LGBT people in Iraq was made with the assistance and cooperation of the underground gay rights movement, Iraqi LGBT. It includes interviews with the Iraqi Prime Minister, religious leaders and ordinary people on the streets of Baghdad, where homosexuality is still viewed by many as an illness or deserving of death – as well as LGBT victims of arrest, jailing, torture and rape, and brave gay Iraqis who run a ‘safe house’ in Baghdad. .

In Gay Life After Saddam, presenter Aasmah Mir discovers how life for the country’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community (LGBT), has got much worse since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Human rights campaigners claim hundreds of LGBT people have been killed or tortured while others have fled the country fearing for their safety since Saddam was toppled from power six years ago. Meanwhile, in the UK, gay Iraqis seeking asylum are struggling to persuade the Labour government to let them stay. A few have been granted refugee status. Others have been refused.

Through some harrowing testimonies, Aasmah hears from campaigners and those who’ve been persecuted to see how life has actually changed for LGBT Iraqis. Producer Ashley Byrne, Creative Director of the programme production company, Made in Manchester, said: "We’re proud to be making our 5Live debut with such an important documentary which tackles a subject that doesn’t usually feature as part of the usual narrative from Iraq.

"The programme includes an interview with a gay Iraqi who was kidnapped and raped before fleeing the country, we hear from a young man who fled to Paris after being tortured and we get exclusive access to a so-called ‘safe house’ harbouring vulnerable LGBT Iraqis on the outskirts of Baghdad," said Ashley. He adds: "Some of the evidence is very difficult to comprehend, especially a form of torture involving glue and diarrhoea-inducing drugs."

Programme presenter Aasmah Mir also meets a now London-based gay Iraqi whose life is under threat for the work he’s doing to help LGBT people in his homeland. Ali Hili (a pseudonym), who founded Iraqi LGBT, reports that he has had two fatwas issued against him from extremists in Iraq. As well as securing asylum himself, Mr Hili has assisted fellow Iraqi gay refuges to win asylum in the UK.

Co-producer Gail Champion says: "What becomes clear throughout this programme is that not one person, one group or another, is responsible for this persecution. It seems like it’s chaos in Iraq with the authorities struggling to keep control. What surprised me more than anything was how much life was easier for LGBT people under Saddam Hussein." As part of the programme, the US Government is put on the spot over the issue.

Ashley Byrne says: "It was our reporter who managed to illicit a response from the US Government during a State Department Briefing in Washington earlier this month. The Obama administration’s reaction to the recent killings and violence can be heard during this programme." Gay Life After Saddam is produced by Ashley Byrne and Gail Champion and is A Made in Manchester Production for BBC Radio 5Live. It will air from 9-10pm London time this Sunday, 12 July 2009.

For further information:
Ashley Byrne on 07702 155397 (from within the UK) or +44 7702 155397 (from outside the UK).

Made in Manchester is a radio and television production company which was formed in May 2005 by broadcaster and former commercial radio boss Ashley Byrne and 5 Times World Swimming Champion James Hickman. The company has had commissions for BBC Radio 2, Radio 4, 5Live, the World Service, 1Xtra, BBC Local Radio and ITV1. MIM also has a corporate productions and PR/Marketing arm with clients including Speedo, Finnair and Red Bull.

12 September 2009 – Iranian

The complexities of human sexuality, and Islamic laws and regulations in Iran

by Azad Moradian – The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Los Angeles,California – In the following paper, the complexities of human sexuality are explored as it occurs within the present day Iran. Attention is given to the Islamic laws currently demanded and practiced in Iran, as well as issues such as the existence of Lesbian,Gay, Bisexual, and Transgenders (LGBT) and gender identity within the culture. ?Historical and cultural relevance is given to each issue examined while remaining sensitive to the present day laws and regulations in Iran.

Interpersonal relationships in Iran
Currently under Iran’s theocratic Islamic Government, based on Islamic law (Shari’ah), all interpersonal relationships are clearly expressed. As a rule the relationship between the sexes are narrowly restricted to lawful (Hallal) or illegal (Haram) categories. A relationship is considered to be legal only between a brother and sister, a parent and his or her children, and an uncle or aunt with his or her sibling’s children. Every other relationship, be they sexual on non sexual, outside of these narrow boundaries is forbidden and illegal.

A sexual relationship is only permitted within a heterosexual marriage. Homosexuality is completely forbidden (Duran, Khalid 1993), and the proximity of persons of opposite sex outside of marriage is authorized only within the limits set under Islamic law. All sexual relations that occur outside of a traditional, heterosexual marriage (i.e. sodomy or adultery) are illegal and no legal distinction is made between consensual or non-consensual sexual activity.

As a result, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) rights described under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UN, 1948). "Sexual rights are universal human rights based on the inherent freedom, dignity, and equality of all human beings…Was states that sexual health is the result of an environment that recognizes, respects and exercises the rights of sexual freedom." (Britton Patti PhD 2005).

In Iran since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 have come under overt governmental persecution. International human rights groups have reported public floggings and executions of lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals. (

Read the entire article here

October 4, 2009 – daily queer news

Neda Magazine is Out

Posted by Daily Queer News

Iranian Queer Railroad

Neda is Iranian queer online magazine in Farsi. you can visit our website at (you can download it by clicking on the blue link below this email)
If you do not speak Farsi, please visit IRQR website

Salam Dostan-e Aziz,
Shomareh jadide Neda hamaknoon be sorate online ghabele dastras ast. (
Mitavanid an ra dar website ma motale konid. CHenanche ba filter movajeh hastid mitavanid file PDF Neda ra mitavanid ba estefade az linke erae shode dar zire in email, download konid. (Link chamd radif paeentar az emzaye paeine email gharar darad.)

Montazere pishnahadat, enteghadat va hamkarihaye shoma hastim.

Lotfan Neda ra be digar dostane khod moarefi konid

Neda Magazine
Iranian Queer Railroad – IRQR
(001) 416-548-4171
414-477 Sherbourne St.
Toronto, On – M4X 1K5

October 6, 2009 – daily queer news

Interview: Arsham Parsi of Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees

Posted by Daily Queer News
Johnny Simpson Digital Journal
Arsham Parsi, a gay Iranian activist, fled Iran for his life in 2005. He settled in Canada in 2006 and founded IRQR, an NGO that helps LGBTs flee Iran or fight their deportation back to certain death.

In early 2005, Arsham Parsi was engaged in perhaps the most hazardous profession in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Then a 24-year-old native of Shiraz, Iran’s sixth-largest city, Mr. Parsi was working secretly in the city of his birth as a gay activist promoting LGBT rights in the Islamic Republic. In that capacity, Arsham operated a clandestine Yahoo chat room called Voice Celebration, counseled suicidal gay teens online, and had been assisting a doctor since 2002 with a study of HIV among local gay and bisexual men. In 2001, Mr. Parsi had formed a small LGBT Internet group called Rangin Kaman, or the Rainbow Group, which was renamed the Persian Gay and Lesbian Organization in 2004. As the PGLO would not be recognized in Iran, a friend of Mr. Parsi’s officially registered PGLO in Norway. The PGLO later became the foundation for Mr. Parsi’s Toronto-based Iranian Queer Organization (IRQO) in 2006. IRQO would later be reinvented and renamed as the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees, or IRQR, in 2008.

Read mor

October 22, 2009 – Daily Queer News

Iranian Transgenders are Not Secure in Iran…..Iranian Queer Railroad

Posted by Daily Queer News
Iranian transsexuals in fact experience humiliation, assault and abuse, if not outright death – and not just by government agents, but also by neighbours, family members, and those considered friends.
We have received reports very recently from our contacts in Iran exemplifying the torment endured by transgendered persons. On Saturday October 10, members of Basiji forces fired a gun at Sahar, an Iranian transgender, in the Abbasabad Street of Tehran. Sahar was hit in the shoulder and was taken to hospital by her friends. Once she is out of hospital, however, her safety is not assured.

According to another report, on Wednesday October 14, Iranian transgender Mahsa was knifed by two motorcyclists at an intersection in Tehran. Her lung injured, Mahsa was taken to hospital by a friend. So far no one knows who attacked her. We asked one of our representatives in Tehran to see Mahsa at hospital, but she is not allowed to accept visitors now. Our representative did talk to her by phone and reported that she may be well enough for release from hospital in the near term.

Like their gay and lesbian friends, transgenders are always in danger of being beaten and arrested by Basiji forces, which are loosely organized volunteer militias supported by local clerics. Basiji forces are not required to show their identification, and cannot be held accountable for their actions. Transgendered people are also the targets of special government police forces. Even when these police forces do not have specific orders to arrest transgendered people, they can easily fake a reason for arrest, take them into custody, and form a criminal file on them.

Once this criminal file is created, the accused can be taken to Mafased (a government organization responsible for dealing with moral “corruption”), imprisoning him/her for days and subjecting him/her to physical and psychological torture. The incarceration and abuse can be extended simply by having him/her sent to the judicial system for trial. At that point, the judge arbitrarily decides whether to set the person free or not. This court process is by itself a horrifying and tormenting process, with the accused transgendered persons forced to endure the judges’ and officers’ often sexist, brutal and demoralizing words and deeds.

1 November 2009 –

Iran prepares to execute a young man accused of sodomy

Source: Tetu

by Blaise Gauquelin
(Google translation) – Nemat Safavi was 16 when Iranian police arrested him. Convicted of sodomy, was sentenced to death and still awaiting his execution.

Reportedly, Iran is preparing once again to execute a young man arrested while he was a minor. Nemat Safavi, who was convicted of having practiced "sex acts that are not admitted, was sentenced by the court of Ardabil in Iranian Azerbaijan, the death penalty. Detained for over three years, he now expects that the supreme court approves the sentence and no information is given by the justice of his fate.

Iran has signed two international treaties on the protection of children. The country has pledged not to execute any citizen minor when the facts repprochés. Nemat Safavi is part of the list maintained by Amnesty minors tried and awaiting execution in Iran. The European Parliament, the UN, the Nobel Peace Shirin Ebadi urged Iran to end juvenile executions in vain.

Two other young men disappeared
Furthermore, in February 2008, two young men, ages 18 and 19, were arrested under the same conditions and in the same region. Identified as the Loghman Hamzeh-for and Hamze Tchave initially, these two Iranians have since given most of their new friends.ouvelles à leurs amis.

December 10, 2009 – Gay City News

Twelve Men Face Execution for Sodomy in Iran
– For first time, activist confirms queer organizing on university campuses

by Doug Ireland
Ten young Iranian men, including eight teenagers, are currently awaiting execution for sodomy, and two more are being re-tried on the same capital charge. And, in an exclusive interview with Gay City News, an Iranian student gay rights activist confirmed for the first time the existence of queer organizing on multiple university campuses throughout Iran.

The information about the ten youths currently under sentence of death for sodomy (lavaat in Persian) was released on November 25 in a joint appeal by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), the Iranian Queer Organization (IRQO), and COC of the Netherlands, the world’s oldest LGBT rights group, founded in 1946. The three organizations called on Western countries “with significant diplomatic and economic ties to Iran, including Germany, France, Canada, as well as the European Union, to pursue diplomatic efforts to cease these executions.”

It is extremely difficult to obtain information about death penalty cases involving homosexuality under today’s repressive theocratic regime in the Islamic Republic of Iran, where the press is heavily censored and journalists, regime critics, and human rights advocates are routinely persecuted and arrested and where the subject of same-sex relations is officially considered a political and religious taboo. Defendants in sodomy cases are denied open trials. Last month, Human Rigths Watch, basing its finding on an Iranian newspaper report, told of the execution of two men for sodomy.

Most of the new information about the 12 defendants now threatened with execution for sodomy was provided by lawyers and activists with the Committee of Human Rights Reporters (CHHR) in Iran, according to Hossein Alizadeh, the Middle East and North Africa program coordinator for IGLHRC, while contacts in Iran provided by IRQO yielded additional information, he told Gay City News.

CHRR, founded in 2005, has become one of the most important sources of information about human rights violations in Iran and recently became the first Iranian human rights organization to officially recognize the LGBT rights struggle by creating a Queer Committee to deal with persecution of sexual minorities. (“Queer” is the translation preferred by Alizadeh and other gay Iranians for the Persian word “degar-bash,” a term meaning “different” and which embraces gays, lesbians, and transpeople.)

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