Powerful new mural outside The George calls for release of Iranian LGBTQ+ activists

The pair were sentenced to death for "spreading corruption on Earth" through the promotion of homosexuality.

The George mural showing two activists and text.
Image: Instagram: @emmaleneblake

A new mural from queer artist Emma Blake has been painted on the wall of The George, calling for the release of two Iranian LGBTQ+ activists, Zahra Sedighi-Hamadani and Elham Choubdar. The pair were detained by Islamic officials and sentenced to death on September 1 by the Revolutionary Court in Urmia for “spreading corruption on Earth” through the promotion of homosexuality, among other things.

Zahra and Elham have remained in Urumieh prison since the ruling was issued, waiting for their appeal to be heard by the Supreme Court. 

In Blake’s latest mural at The George, the two victims are captured in black and white spray paint, accompanied by the text “Zahra Sedighi Hamadani & Elham Choubdar Iranian LGBTQ activists sentenced to death. Release them now!” The artist took to social media to add to this statement, urging people to sign Amnesty Ireland’s petition calling for their freedom.

In light of the ongoing protests in Iran, Blake also explained that while EU officials and the Irish government have condemned the country’s human rights abuses, more urgent action is needed. She included contact information for current Taoiseach Micheál Martin, incoming Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, and encouraged followers to reach out and demand action from the politicians.

The revolution began in Iran after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died at the hands of the nation’s ‘Morality Police’ on September 16 for having worn the hijab improperly. Since then, thousands of brave people, mainly women, girls and LGBTQ+ folk, have protested against the Islamic Republic, with at least 326 having died and 15,300 having been arrested, according to reports.

It also emerged that Iran’s Revolutionary Court in Tehran has allegedly sentenced one activist to death, as a result of their involvement in the unrest. The defendant is accused of setting fire to a government facility and was found guilty of “enmity against God”. According to Norway-based organisation, Iran Human Rights, at least 20 people are currently facing charges punishable by death.

In addition, five people have reportedly been handed down prison sentences of between five to 10 years on national security and public order charges.

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