As the United Nations Human Rights Committee prepares to review Iran’s compliance with its civil and political human rights covenant, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and Iranian Queer Organization (IRQO) have issued a shadow report documenting widespread persecution of LGBT people:
- The Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran criminalizes all homosexual acts and actively punishes certain homosexual acts with death.
- Individuals perceived to have committed homosexual acts are subjected to arbitrary arrest, torture in state custody, and denial of the right to a fair trial.
- Iranian authorities at the highest levels have repeatedly issued homophobic statements that amount to incitement to discrimination and violence.
Although the U.N. has regularly addresses LGBT rights when investigating the state of human rights, Iran has refused to report on them, arguing that they are “beyond the mandate and subject matter of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently condemned homosexuality as “an ugly deed… shameful… one of the ugliest behaviours in our society (that is) against the divine teachings of every faith,” having previously said there are no homosexuals in his country. On Facebook, however, LGBT Iranians are making themselves known.