Two men have been executed in Iran after they were imprisoned for six years on anti-gay “sodomy” charges, according to human rights groups and reports.
Mehrdad Karimpou and Farid Mohammadi are said to have been killed in the Maragheh prison in northwestern Iran, according to the Human Rights Activist News Agency (HRANA).
According to HRANA, the two men were arrested six years ago on charges of “sodomy by force” and have been in prison ever since.
LGBT+ people in often face horrific violence and discrimination just for living their truth. Sex between people of the same gender is illegal in the country and can be punishable by death or imprisonment.
Iran currently criminalises sex between men with the death penalty or 100 lashes and sex between women with 100 lashes.
Karmel Melamed, a journalist covering Iran, wrote on Twitter that the “Ayatollah regime” in the country “just executed two gay men” by “hanging” for the “crime of sodomy”.
He also called out US secretary of state Antony Blinken, LGBT+ organisation GLAAD and “other LGBT groups” in the US for not being “outraged” by “this horrific crime”.
Human rights and LGBT+ rights campaigner Peter Tatchell told the Jerusalem Post that the execution of the two men “follows a long-standing regime” of “state-sanctioned murder of gay men”.
He added these executions often involve “disputed charges after unfair trials”.
According to Iran Human Rights, the executions have not been announced by state-run media.
The non-governmental organisation added that defended in cases involving “sodomy by force” are “usually tortured during detention to obtain a confession”; and in some cases, the case is “processed hastily without the presence of a lawyer or defence counsel”.
The Iranian Lesbian and Transgender Network (6Rang) reported that Sareh was arrested by the IRGC in October while she was in the West Azerbaijan province of Iran. She was reportedly attempting to flee across the border into Turkey.
According to 6Rang, a news agency reported in November that the IRGC had arrested people in West Azerbaijan on charges of “forming a gang for trafficking girls and supporting homosexuality”. 6Rang suspected this could be related to Sareh’s arrest.