Sareh (Zahra) Sediki Hamedani was arrested by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for “propaganda of homosexuality” in October 2021. (YouTube/6rangIran)

Two LGBTQ+ activists have been sentenced to death in Iran for “promoting homosexuality”.

According to the Kurdish human rights organization Henga, Zahra Sediki Hamedani, 31, also known as “Sare”, and Elham Choubdar, 24, were sentenced to death for “corrupting the Earth” by promoting homosexuality.

Their joint case was decided by the Revolutionary Court in Urmia, Iran, part of the country’s special Islamic court system.

They are now in Urmia Central Prison.

In January of this year, the two women were convicted of “propaganda of homosexuality” as well as “propaganda of Christianity” and “contact with media opposing the Islamic Republic.”

At the time of Hamedani’s arrest when she tried to flee the country in October 2021Amnesty International’s Iran office said: “The criminalization of LGBTI perpetuates violence and discrimination against them.

“We again call on the Iranian authorities to decriminalize same-sex sexual behavior; immediately release all those detained on the basis of their identity or for the protection of LGBTI rights; and adopt legislation on respect and protection of LGBTI human rights.”

Amnesty International later demanded the release of the LGBTQ+ activist in a letter to the Chief Justice of Iran, but to no avail.

Talking to The Jerusalem Post, British LGBTQ+ human rights activist Peter Tatchell said: “Zahra Sediki Hamedani and Elham Choubdar are both accused of being LGBTQ+ activists and have been sentenced to death on charges of ‘corrupting the Earth’ by advocating homosexuality.

“This very serious general accusation is often used against critics of the regime and those who express opinions that do not correspond to Islamic orthodoxy. This usually results in a shooting.”

Tatchell noted that Hamedani “reportedly did not have access to a lawyer during her 10 months in detention” and called Iran “a notoriously unfair trial”.

He added: “They will probably be hanged by the barbaric long, slow method of strangulation; greatly favors the Iranian regime in order to maximize victim suffering.”

Under Iran Islamic Penal Code 2013same-sex behavior between men and women is criminalized and punishable by flogging or the death penalty.

Even if there was no sex, LGBTQ+ people can also be arrested for affectionate behavior “such as kissing or lascivious touching.”

LGBTQ+ activists sentenced to death in Iran for ‘promoting homosexuality’

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