‘Gay men arrested in Iran get a reprieve’

Gay rights groups say all detainees frogmarched from a private birthday party near Iraq border last week have been released on bail

‘Gay men arrested in Iran get a reprieve’
19 October 2013

Nearly two dozen people arrested by elite Iranian security forces from a private birthday party near the Iraq border last week and charged with homosexuality and Satanism have been released on bail, gay rights groups said.

The Iranian Lesbian and Transgender Network said the detainees arrested in Kermanshah, a village in Iran near the border with Iraq, have all been reportedly released on bail.

The claim was repeated by others like Iranian Gay Rights and We Are Everywhere.

While there were no further details immediately about the charges, however a little more information emerged about the incident featuring a community that has been driven underground by the hardliner Islamic country’s crackdown on it.

According to reports, the arrests were made not by police but the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The captives included Iraqi man as well as expatriates from other neighboring countries. They had been under surveillance before the Revolutionary Guard raided the Kermanshah residence last week and arrested at least 17 people.

The group included eight gay couples who, the Revolutionary Guard said were married to each other.

The Iranian authorities blamed foreigners, saying they were “deploying people from Satanic and homosexual groups in an attempt to spread disgusting behavior”.

While the exact dates of the arrests or release were not know, the news about the raid came out after the Revolutionary Guard posted a brief account on its web site on 10 October.

6Rang, the Iranian Lesbian and Transgender Network, which dedicates itself to raising awareness on LGBT issues in Iran, says the arrests mark the first time the Islamic republic officially declared and confirmed arrests for charges regarding same-sex relations.

It says this is also the first time the Revolutionary Guard, formed after the 1979 Islamic revolution to defend the state from external and internal threats, has openly declared responsibility for keeping in check a community described as belonging to “homosexuals” and “Satanists”.

In the past, police and Basij forces, the religious militia, were reportedly responsible for raiding house parties and arresting guests for same-sex relations or “actions against chastity”.

Earlier this year, after UN Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed came down on violation of human rights in Iran, saying among other things, it continued not to recognize gays and lesbians.

The report elicited an angry retaliation from Mohammad Javad Larijani, head of Iran’s Human Rights Council, saying: ‘None of our human rights obligations requires us to do so.’

Larijani also called homosexuality ‘the imposition of a special lifestyle, which is practiced by some western communities, on all other nations of the world regardless of their culture differences and valuable human experiences’.

Later, he told the state media: ‘In our establishment, homosexuality is a very bad disease. Gathering or promoting (homosexuality) is completely illegal and there are strict consequences and laws against it.’

Lavat, a penetrative or non-penetrative sexual act between men, is listed as a crime in Iran’s Islamic Penal Code.

While consensual intercourse between men carries mandatory death penalty, between women it is punishable by 100 lashes; and by death if repeated for the fourth time.

6Rang said it is deeply worried about the well-being and fate of individuals in Iran who belong to the LGBT community.

‘They are at high risk of long-term detention, psychological and physical torture, and death,’ it said.

It is asking the international community to help spread awareness on LGBT-related issues in order to prevent the persecution and deaths of members of the LGBT community in Iran.
 

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Watch justice get instantly served to anti-gay motorcyclist

Biker attacks reporter for filming as he goes down the wrong way on a road near the Golden Gate Bridge
No thumbnail available

Mob hurls petrol bombs at British and Haiti gay couple during engagement ceremony

Anti-gay violence is 'out of control' in Haiti as a gay couple's private event was ruined by a gang wielding rocks and molotov cocktails
No thumbnail available

Jon Stewart to Rick Perry: ‘Being gay is not a choice, but being a Texas Republican is’

Host of The Daily Show rips into Texas governor for comparing homosexuality to alcoholism
No thumbnail available

Three reasons to spend Thanksgiving in Puerto Vallarta

Ditch the turkey and Black Friday stampedes... come to a five-day gay and lesbian culture festival held on one of Mexico’s most beautiful beaches
No thumbnail available

Gay movies are coming of age, claims UK paper

A new wave of directors are choosing to reject stereotypical roles and predictable plots by creating films that deal with real life scenarios.
No thumbnail available

Former Irish President says Catholic Church drives gay teens to suicide

Mary McAleese says the Church's homophobic teachings makes kids feel ashamed when they find out they' are gay
No thumbnail available

Gay couple accused of child abuse go to trial to clear their names

A Connecticut gay couple will stand trial in an attempt to clear their names after two of nine boys they adopted claimed they abused them
No thumbnail available

Major US sports leagues and celebs to go purple in show of support for LGBT youth

This week's Spirit Day to combat bullying getting unprecedented support
No thumbnail available

Nominate your business stars who are Out at Work

Out at Work Top 50 will reveal Britain’s rising LGBTI business heroes
No thumbnail available

Malaysia responds to gay guidelines with National Wear V-neck Day

Tongue-in-cheek responses come out after Education Ministry endorses guidelines for spotting gay ‘symptoms’