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The Iranian authorities have imprisoned LGBTQIA+ activist Sareh and threatened to charge her with ‘spreading corruption on earth’ – a charge which carries the death penalty.

Zahra Sedighi-Hamadani, known as Sareh, was targeted after speaking out in support of LGBTQIA+ rights on social media and in a BBC documentary.

She was trying to cross the border and seek asylum in Turkey when she was arrested on 27 October 2021.

She was held in solitary confinement for 53 days. During this time, the Revolutionary Guard subjected her to intense interrogations, insulted her identity and appearance, threatened to execute her and to take away custody of her children.

On 16 January 2022, Sareh was accused of ‘spreading corruption on earth,’ including through ‘promoting homosexuality.

LGBTQIA+ people in Iran face systematic violence, persecution, and discrimination. Iranian law requires gender non-conforming people to undergo gender reassignment surgery and sterilisation. Iranian law also criminalises same-sex sexual conduct.

Brave people like Sareh stand up for LGBTQIA+ rights despite this discrimination. They shouldn’t face the death penalty for standing up for equality.

In a video Sareh shared with the Iranian Lesbian and Transgender Network, she spoke of her hope for the future. "I hope to achieve freedom … I hope the day will come when we can all live in freedom in our country.”

Sareh has bravely stood up for the rights of others. She urgently needs help to be free. Will you call on Iranian authorities to release Sareh?

*Sareh uses she/her pronouns