‘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

Morehouse College to offer its first LGBT course

Next spring, Morehouse College will offer its first LGBT themed course.
No thumbnail available

Radio DJ apologizes for telling man to have daughter 'raped' straight

Dominic Dieter says his comments were 'inexcusable, and just downright stupid'
No thumbnail available

Parents call for boycott of LGBTI Day of Silence

Keep your children home from school on LGBTI Day of Silence, urge 'pro-family’ groups
No thumbnail available

Ski week won’t leave you Alp in the cold

We check out a bargain ‘all inclusive’ Club Med ski trip in the French Alps
No thumbnail available

Zimbabwe police storm hotel to arrest gay group leaders

After Robert Mugabe hinted to a further crackdown of LGBTIs in his country, police have accused a gay rights group of holding meetings without permission
No thumbnail available

Love without censorship

Internet-released short films, that by-pass the censors, are all the rage in China right now. We talk to the director of one of the most popular 'mini-films' that happens to have a gay storyline
Gay teen, 14, 'hanged from tree' at boys' summer camp in Iran

Gay teen, 14, 'hanged from tree' at boys' summer camp in Iran

Unconfirmed reports: Cleric told the boys' camp the young teen was 'deserving of death'
No thumbnail available

My gay Barcelona: Allan Acho on life in Spain's hottest city

Rainbow Barcelona marketing guru on his hometown treasures
No thumbnail available

Rapper Bow Wow has Twitter drama over picture of two cuddling men

Alleged Twitter picture of rapper/actor Bow Wow spooning another man is actually a photo of another couple
No thumbnail available

US man guilty of shooting trans woman he met on Craigslist

After leaving his wife, Jason Roy Borkowskiwent on Craigslist and met a trans woman who he shot after sexual activity