The finance website Insider Monkey listed the Islamic Republic of Iran as the most dangerous country for gay travelers following the regime’s execution of a man last year based on an anti-gay law.
The September 13 article said that Iran topped “the list of the 15 most dangerous countries for gay travelers, with the death penalty imposed for such acts. Again, it’s hard to confirm how many executions have actually been carried out, but there are reports of such executions taking place.”
According to a 2008 British WikiLeaks cable examined by The Jerusalem Post, Iran’s clerical regime has executed between 4,000 and 6,000 gays and lesbians since the country’s Islamic revolution in 1979.
The Post first reported in 2019 that Iran's regime publicly hanged a man for violating the country's Islamic Sharia anti-gay law.
US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus tweeted on Sunday: "On what legal basis does Iran execute homosexuals? How many have been executed since you've been in your office? Why does your government hang gay men from cranes? Questions for Zarif."
Ortagus proposed a question for Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif ahead of his webinar interview with the Council of Foreign Relations. The journalist who interviewed Zarif did not ask him about his defense last year of the executions of Iranian gays.
There has been an international outcry since early this month over Iran's use of the death penalty in connection with the case of the reportedly innocent Greco-Roman wrestler Navid Afkari. Human rights organizations and decorated wrestlers across the world say Afkari was executed on September 12 for peacefully protesting against the political and economic corruption of the Iranian regime.
Former US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, who later became acting director of national intelligence, launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality. Grenell's initiative has played a key role in contributing to the elimination of capital punishment for gays and raising awareness about lethal homophobia as a global human rights crime.
SAUDI ARABIA was ranked as the second most dangerous country. “No surprise to see Saudi Arabia on the list of the most dangerous countries for gay travelers. 100 whips or 1 year in prison is the starting sentence, while Sharia implementation can see the death penalty imposed as well. There are no confirmations on whether this has been carried out, but Saudi Arabia executes a lot of people, mostly for drug crimes, so this wouldn’t be very surprising,” wrote the article’s author Ty Haqqi.
Nigeria was listed third followed by Afghanistan.
Mauritania is the fifth most dangerous nation for the LGBTQ community. “If you’re a homosexual in Mauritania but you’re a non Muslim, then you don’t have to worry. But if you’re a Muslim, then you can be sentenced to death by stoning. However, the country has a moratorium on the death penalty, and no one has been executed in this respect,” wrote Insider Monkey.
The article also appeared on the highly visited website Yahoo finance.
Additional Middle East countries that were classified as dangerous for their lethal homophobia were Qatar and Yemen. Qatar was ranked the eighth most dangerous state for gays.
“Qatar law imposes several years of imprisonment for such acts. However, it also has Sharia courts which can impose the death penalty,” noted the article.
In Yemen, “f you're unmarried and engage in homosexuality, then you can receive a 100 lashes and one year in prison. If you're married and do it, then a death sentence awaits you. Luckily, there are no reports of said law being enforced at this point.”
The article noted that, "in most Muslim countries, homosexuality is outright illegal and sometimes even punishable by death."
This is why you will see our list dominated by Muslim countries. I am not saying that only Islam condemns homosexuality: Most religions do. But their laws, if any, against homosexuality are not as strict as most Muslim countries and their interpretation of Shariah, or Islamic law.”
The report added that “ Our list is based on the most restrictive and dangerous laws for gay travelers, taken from here, and any updates made to this, such as the recent change in law in Sudan removing the death penalty for homosexuals. We would have used physical attacks against LGBTQ travelers to compile this list, but, unfortunately, there is no such reliable data.”
The other countries that made the top 15 most dangerous nations for gay travelers were Barbados, Malawi, Malaysia, Sudan, Tanzania, Somalia, Brunei and St. Lucia.