Iran’s anti-LGBT military law blamed for murder of gay man

Three Iranian males, one who was his half-brother, kidnapped the victim and went to the village of Borumi near the capital of Ahvaz and murdered him during the night.

LGBT flag on Jerusalem's King George Street, July 31, 2018 (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
LGBT flag on Jerusalem's King George Street, July 31, 2018
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Three men murdered 20-year-old Alireza “Ali” Fazeli-Monfared on Tuesday in the Iranian city of Ahvaz allegedly because they learned the Iranian military exempted him due to “moral and sexual depravities such as transsexualism.”
Iranian news organizations outside of the Islamic Republic reported on Friday and Saturday about the anti-gay and anti-transgender murder of Fazeli-Monfared after at least two members of his family became aware of a letter from the Iranian regime’s conscription military organization declaring him ineligible because of his sexual orientation.
According to a report on the website of IranWire, “At 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Alireza had a phone conversation with his mother for the last time,” Aghil Abyat, Alireza’s closest friend, told IranWire. “Then his half-brother came to him and on the pretext that their father wanted to see him, got him into the car and drove him outside the city.”
The three males took Fazeli-Monfared, who is a member of the Iranian Arab minority in the Khuzestan province, and went to the village of Borumi near the capital of Ahvaz and murdered him during the night.
The London-based Iran International news website wrote that “LGTB (lesbian, gay, transsexual and bisexual) activists have blamed Iran’s compulsory military service laws and regulations for the alleged ‘honor-killing’ of the gay, transgender man in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz on May 4.”
The activist group 6Rang (six colors), which campaigns for Iranian lesbians and transsexuals, wrote in a series of social media posts on Friday that the three men lured Fazeli-Monfared “to a deserted place” and killed him.
Iran International, the London-based Persian language TV station, reported that Aghil Bayat, an Iranian LGBT rights activist and Fazeli-Monfared’s partner, said that Fazeli-Monfared’s half-brother and two others killed Fazeli-Monfared.
“Fazeli-Monfared’s partner told 6Rang that the alleged killers had called Fazeli-Monfared’s mother and told her where to find her only son’s beheaded body. According to Bayat, Fazeli-Monfared’s mother was “hospitalized with shock,” reported Iran International.
Amsterdam-based Persian language Radio Zamaneh reported the Iranian authorities arrested the three men.
Iran’s regime has codified the death penalty in its Sharia law system for same-sex relations. The Islamic Republic of Iran has executed 4,000-6,000 gays and lesbians since the nation’s 1979 revolution, according to a 2008 British WikiLeaks diplomatic cable.
“Alireza’s killing as a result of his sexual orientation being stated on his military service [exemption] card has once again provided proof for our warning several years ago about the risks caused by the military service exemption process for gay Iranian men and underlines the need for legislation to prevent these safety risks,” 6Rang wrote on Friday.
The organization 6Rang also wrote that it had warned that Iran’s anti-gay military law permits government and private institutions “to identify gay men with only one glance at the military service exemption card,” and allow targeting of the men for bias.
BBC Persian reported that it secured audiotapes that Fazeli-Monfared said he was in grave danger and was about to depart for Turkey and then to Europe.
According to 6Rang, Fazeli-Monfared’s partner, Bayat, said that Fazeli-Monfared planned to flee to Turkey and secure asylum in Europe.