Two gay men executed in Iran over sodomy charges

Mehrdad Karimpour and Farid Mohammadi had been held in prison for six years after being found guilty of charges related to homosexuality.

Images of Mehrdad Karimpour and Farid Mohammadi, the two men executed in Iran.
Image: Twitter: @KarmelMelamed

Content Warning: Contains descriptions of violence and homophobia.

Two men have reportedly been executed in Iran after being found guilty of sodomy charges. The Iran Human Rights Monitor identified the victims as Mehrdad Karimpou and Farid Mohammadi, both just 32 years-old.

The pair had been arrested six years prior and accused by authorities of “sodomy by force”, according to The Human Rights Activist News Agency. They spent the rest of their lives in the Maragheh prison where they were then hanged this past week.

The arrests and executions occurred under Sharia law, as Iran is considered one of the most repressive places in the world for LGBTQ+ people.

Journalist Karmel Melamed who covers Iranian news, took to Twitter to express his thoughts on the situation, saying: “The Ayatollah regime in Iran just executed two gay men for the crime of sodomy in Iran […] Where’s the outrage from @StateDept @SecBlinken @glaad & other LGBT groups in U.S. to this horrific crime?!”

Activist Peter Tatchell stated: “The execution of these men follows a long-standing regime policy of the state-sanctioned murder of gay men, often on disputed charges after unfair trials that have been condemned by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.”

Just last week, Amnesty called upon Iran to release queer activist Zahra Sedighi-Hamadani from custody, who was arrested in October 2021 for “spreading corruption on earth” through “promoting homosexuality”. 

The human rights organisation is becoming increasingly concerned for Zahra, as they reported the activist was put in solitary confinement, mocked, and threatened by authorities. Furthermore, the charges that Zahra is facing are punishable by death.

Last October, the UN’s independent investigator on human rights in Iran, Javaid Rehman, told the UN General Assembly that the country was implementing the death penalty “at an alarming rate”. Iran uses the death penalty as punishment for multiple crimes, and according to reports, executed 299 people in 2021, and sentenced a further 85 people to death.

If you have been affected by this story or are looking to reach out to someone for support or advice or just to talk, there are numerous services available for LGBTQ+ people, listed below, and many offer instant messaging support.

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