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Alireza Fazeli Monfared, who self-identified as a 20-year-old non-binary gay man, was brutally murdered in Iran by his own relatives simply because of his sexual orientation.

Alireza’s murder exposes the deadly consequences of state fuelled homophobia in Iran. It also highlights the urgent need for the Iranian authorities to enact and implement laws to protect the human rights of LGBTQIA+ people.

All LGBTQIA+ Iranians are at risk of harm because of laws that legitimise violence against them, including deadly attacks, such as:

  • the criminalisation of consensual same-sex sexual relations,
  • the use of corporal punishment - such as flogging - and the death penalty for same-sex sexual conduct,
  • the criminalisation of not conforming to stereotypical norms of ‘femininity’ and ‘masculinity’, and
  • the use of sexual orientation and gender identity conversion practices.

Alireza’s murderers have not been brought to justice, and are not likely to be due to laws that facilitate so-called ‘honour’ killings of LGBTQIA+ people. 

These laws exonerate or reduce the punishment for killings that are effectively related to the defence of “honour”, thereby justifying and normalizing violence against women, girls, and LGBTQIA+ persons engaging in conduct deemed as “religiously forbidden” (haram) and constituting a “crime against God”. Approximately 375 to 450 ‘honour’ killings occur annually in Iran. 

Iranian authorities must conduct an independent, impartial and effective criminal investigation into Alireza’s murder.

The Australian government should condemn Iran for perpetuating systemic violence and discrimination against LGBTQIA+ people and seek justice for Alireza’s murder.

We must stand with the Iranian LGBTQIA+ community and demand serious reform in Iran that protects them and their right to express their sexual orientation.