Nearly 20 people have been arrested in Iran under suspicion of being gay.
According to British newspaper The Guardian, revolutionary guards revealed Thursday via their official website they detained a ‘network of homosexuals and satanists’.
The arrest took place in a hall in Kermanshah where a dance party of 80 people was taking place for a birthday.
The raid took place on Tuesday, and ended with at least 17 people blindfolded and arrested before being taken to an unknown location.
Police said the group had been under surveillance for some time. The arrested individuals reportedly had their phones confiscated, and it is not yet clear what they will be charged with.
In Iran, anyone suspected or confirmed of being gay, or being associated with homosexuality in any way, can be severely punished. Officially, same-sex attracted Iranians would have to be caught in the act by authorities to be prosecuted.
Of individuals charged with same-sex sodomy, the one playing the passive role would be put to death and the person playing the active role would be flogged 100 times.
Journalist Siamak Ghaderi is still serving jail time for publishing interviews with gay Iranians after then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied the existence of homosexuals in Iran.
Ghaderi, who was picked up by security officials after publishing his interviews online, received 60 lashes and is carrying out a four year prison sentence.