UN experts ask two LGBT rights activists to be women – Global issues

“We strongly condemn the sentencing of Ms. Sedigi-Hamadani and Ms. Choubdar and call on the authorities to stay their execution and cancel their sentence as soon as possible,” they said in a statement.

‘Corruption on Earth’

Iran’s legal system explicitly prohibits homosexuality, and according to the country’s penal code, people are punished with death.

The women were convicted of “corruption on earth” and “trafficking in people”.

Although the court’s decision and sentencing order were not made public, experts were told that the allegations related to LGBT people’s words and actions in support of human rights are discriminated against in Iran. based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Reports reveal that human trafficking allegations related to women’s efforts to assist those at risk of leaving Iranian territory.

“Iranian judicial authorities prosecuted human rights defenders Zahra Sedigi-Hamadani and Elham Choubdar in August 2022 and informed them on September 1, 2022 that they had been arrested by the Urumieh Islamic Revolutionary Court. convicted and sentenced to death”.

Worried about the way defenders are treated

Experts have expressed concern to the Iranian Government that the two women may have been arbitrarily detained, mistreated and prosecuted on the basis of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, including including the criminalization of LGBT people whose human rights they support through peaceful words and actions.

To date, no response has been received.

“Authorities must ensure the health and well-being of both women, and promptly release them from custody.”

Mahsa Amini protested

The appeal comes as the country is engulfed in protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by the so-called ethics police on September 13 for allegedly violating strict rules. strict about dress.

Protests on behalf of the 22-year-old woman who died in police custody have been met with violence and communication restrictions affecting phone and internet services,

Arrest and detention

Members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps arrested Sedigi-Hamedani on October 27, 2021 near the Iranian border with Türkiye.

From October to December of last year, she was held in a detention center in Urumieh, where she was forcibly disappeared almost two months after her arrest and suffered abuse and discrimination.

“We call on the Iranian authorities to investigate the alleged ill-treatment of Ms. Sedigi-Hamadani while in custody, her forced disappearance for 53 days and the failure of the judicial authorities to ensure due process in both cases of women, which may well have violated their rights. right to a fair trial, among other human rights,” said UN experts.

Ms. Choubdar was arrested at a late but unknown date.

End the death penalty

Experts called on Iran to “abolish the death penalty and reduce its scope to only offenses that meet the threshold of the most serious crimes”.

“Authorities have an international obligation to ensure that all human rights defenders in Iran can conduct peaceful and lawful activities without fear of repression or retaliation, including those working on sensitive issues such as sexual orientation and gender identity,” said the 22 signatories.

About the experts

UN experts are closely monitoring the situation and keeping in touch with the Iranian authorities.

Click here to see which experts endorsed the statement.

Special rapporteurs and independent UN-appointed experts are based in Geneva Dong Nhan Quyen Association arrive check and report back about a particular human rights topic or a country situation. The positions are honorary and professionals are not paid for their work.

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