The international LGBTQ + community has been gripped by the horrific death of a 20-year-old Iranian man, who was reportedly murdered and beheaded by his half-brother and two cousins after discovering his sexual orientation. Various Iranian media write this based on conversations with friends and family members. The victim’s mother has been hospitalized in shock, an influential LGBTI organization confirms in a press release. In Iran, gays still face torture and the death penalty.
Ali Fazeli Monfared, 20, known to family and friends as Alireza, was a gay man who lived near the western Iranian city of Ahvaz. He planned to flee the city because he feared for his life, BBC Persia reports based on audio conversations. Alireza planned to move to his friend in Turkey, who wanted to apply for asylum in Europe.
Body under tree
It never could get that far, and according to Iranian media, that has to do with a letter that Alireza received from the army. It stated that he was exempt from military service because of his sexual orientation. His half-brother intercepted the letter and picked up Alireza from his home, saying that his father urgently wanted to see him.
Not much later, the twenties was brutally killed as part of an honor killing, writes, among others, a well-known Iranian journalist on Twitter. After decapitating him, the family threw this poor man’s body outside under a tree. Alireza was about to flee Iran to join his friend, a refugee waiting for him in Turkey, tweeted Masih Alinejad, who has nearly a quarter of a million followers. Various Iranian news sites, including IranWire, endorse the story.
Mother in shock
The victim’s mother was informed by the perpetrators after the murder. They told her where to find the body. She is “understandably in shock,” reports 6Rang, Iran’s best-known LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex) organization. “She suffers tremendous grief over the death of her only child and has been hospitalized as a result,” said a statement. Alireza’s partner has announced that all three men have been arrested and charged with first-degree murder.
“We will work tirelessly to ensure that there is a thorough investigation into Alireza’s murder,” the advocacy group concludes.
The LGBTQ + community has responded with great sadness to the death of the twenties. There are hundreds of comments on social media such as Twitter and Instagram. “My heart is broken,” writes Jackie Cox, a well-known Canadian drag queen, on Twitter. “Only twenty years old. Imagine what his life would have been like if he had escaped?”
Homosexuality in Iran
Earlier this year, British-Pakistani professor Javaid Rehman, UN rapporteur for Iran, expressed concern at reports that Iran “is exposing gay, bisexual and transgender children to electric shocks, the administration of hormones and strong psychoactive drugs.”
“The practices amount to torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. They violate the state’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child,” Rehman told The Jerusalem Post.