Amnesty International has ince again condemned the recent honor killing of a gay man in Iran, renewing its calls on the country to repeal laws criminalizing consensual same-sex relations.
Marking the the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersex-phobia, and Transphobia (LGBT), Amnesty said Monday that the horrifying murder of 20-year-old Alireza Fazeley Mobfared by his own relatives shows “how the criminalization of consensual same-sex sexual conduct and gender nonconformity perpetuates systemic violence and discrimination” against LGBT people.
It also “highlights the urgent need for the Iranian authorities to enact and implement laws to protect the human rights” of LGBT people in Iran and the rest of the countries that outlaw same-sex relationships.
Alireza was killed on May 4 by his half-brother and cousins, who slit his throat and dumped his body under a tree near the Ahvaz, the capital of the southwestern Khuzestan Province. He was reportedly planning to flee Iran over fears that his family would harm him or just hand him over to the authorities.
Police have reportedly opened an investigation but so far no arrests haven’t made.
Amnesty International urged the authorities to “promptly conduct an independent, impartial and effective criminal investigation into the murder” and “bring those responsible to account in fair trials and without recourse to the death penalty.”
“Investigations must examine whether the crime was motivated by hostility and prejudice on the grounds of his gender identity and sexual orientation.”
The sources said Alireza had endured years of harassment but went to police because he knew he would be arrested and possibly executed.
Iranian laws criminalize consensual same-sex relations, including through the application of the death penalty, and flogging, and ban clothing, hairstyles, and other forms of gender expression that do not conform to strict gender “norms” enforced by the establishment, according to Amnesty International.
“These laws foster a permissive climate for homophobic and transphobic hate crimes and legitimize violent, including deadly, attacks against people on the grounds of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity,” Diana Eltahawy, deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa at the group, said in a statement.
“The Iranian authorities’ brazen disregard for the lives and safety of LGBT people and the prevailing climate of impunity for such crimes raise the alarm that his murder could go unpunished.”