LAS VEGAS — (05-11-21) — A young 20 year-old gay man by the name of Ali Fazeli Monfared, was beheaded by family members in what is being called an “honor killing” in the Middle East. LGBTQ Human Rights Group were quick to condemn the action and demand that the perpetrators to brought to justice.
The 6Rang, the Iranian Lesbian and Transgender Network. reported that …”Fazeli Monfared, who was known as Alireza by friends and family, lived in a city in southwest Iran. He had applied for an exemption from compulsory military service so he could leave the country and move to Turkey to live with his close friend, Aghil Bayat.”
RIP Alireza Fazeli Monfared 💔
Brutally killed and disposed of by his family because of his sexuality.
Cultural attitudes in society towards homosexuality are a literal life or death problem. What compounds the problem is when the laws of a state do not provide any protection. pic.twitter.com/rycx8WdELm
— Gissou Nia/ گیسو نیا (@GissouNia) May 8, 2021
Though homosexual conduct is criminalized in Iran, part of the military exemption law allows gay and transgender people to receive a medical exemption from service for their identity.
The law also says that in part, “a person can be freed from his military service duties, if he is ‘mentally ill’ (homosexual).”
Fazeli Monfared received an exemption card in the mail from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps after disclosing his homosexuality, but one of his male relatives found it and discovered he was gay, according to 6Rang. The organization reported the relative had previously told Fazeli Monfared’s father that the young man had dishonored the family due to the way he dressed.
BBC Persian reported Friday that it received audio recordings of Fazeli Monfared saying his family had threatened to kill him.
After finding the exemption card, a group of male relatives took Fazeli Monfared to a rural village near Ahvaz on May 4 and beheaded him, Shadi Amin, executive director of 6Rang, told NBC News.
The card issued by the Military that exempted Fazeli from military service by claiming homosexuality as a disease, put the young 20 year-old’s life in danger.
“We think that because of his gender expression and his behaviors, they knew that he is homosexual, but it was proof that shows he wants to leave the country, and he is a gay man,” said Amin. “We are trying to use this story to challenge the Iranian government … to remove this paragraph [in the exemption law] and the reason on the exemption cards.” said Amin.
Bayat told 6Rang the alleged killers had called Fazeli Monfared’s mother and told her where to find her only son’s beheaded body.
But Amin said she thinks arrests will be made in the case because Fazeli Monfared comes from a wealthy family, and his father is angry about his death. She added that though Iran criminalizes homosexual conduct, it isn’t illegal to be gay. If Fazeli Monfared’s alleged killers had caught him having sex with a man, then they might receive lesser punishments for his death.
Iran is one of an estimated 11 countries where same-sex sexual acts are punishable by death, according to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, and one of almost 70 countries where it is criminalized, according to Human Rights Watch, an international human rights group based in New York. In Iran, punishments for homosexual conduct range from 31 to 100 lashes to death, according to Human Rights Watch.
Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
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