A gay man has been brutally murdered by his family in Iran.

According to reports, 20-year-old Alireza Fazeli Monfared was killed by his brother and cousins in an “honour killing,” which still occurs in several countries around the world after the victim is believed to bring ‘shame’ or ‘dishonour’ upon their family.

In Alireza’s case, it was because the Iranian military turned him down after discovering his homosexuality. In Iran, same-sex activities are punishable by imprisonment, corporal punishment or execution.

Speaking with Iran Ware, Alireza’s partner Aghil Abyat revealed that he spoke to his mother for the last time around 7pm on Tuesday 4 May.

According to Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad, he was then lured to a desert location and “beheaded” by his half-brother and cousins.

“After beheading him, the family dumped this poor man’s body under a tree outside of the city of Ahwaz,” tweeted Masih. “Alireza was about to flee Iran to join his boyfriend, who’s a refugee waiting for him in Turkey.

“Through its homophobic laws, anti-gay propaganda, and light sentences for honour killings, the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for facilitating the murder of countless members of the LGBTQ community in Iran.

“This community is yearning to be heard by the world.”

After the murder, Alireza’s killers called his mother and told her the location of the body. In an interview with Iranian LGBTQ+ network 6rang, Aghil said Alireza’s mother was “hospitalised” from shock.

In a statement shared on Instagram, translated by Iran International, 6rang condemned the military for allowing Alireza’s family to discover his sexuality.

“Alireza’s killing as a result of his sexual orientation being stated on his military service [exemption] card has once again provided proof for our warning several years ago about the risks caused by the military service exemption process for gay Iranian men and underlines the need for legislation to prevent these safety risks,” they wrote.

6rang said they previously warned the exemption process that allows law enforcement, judiciary, employers and educational authorities “to identify gay men with only once glance at the military service exemption card,” could result in gay men being “diagnosed” with “depravities”.

Aghil, an LGBTQ+ rights activist in Iran, told Radio Zamaneh that Alireza’s half-brother and two others have been arrested.

On social media, the LGBTQ+ community paid tribute to the “beautiful” Alireza and demanded justice for his death.

Drag Race season 12 alum Jackie Cox, who hails from Iran, tweeted: “My heart is broken for #Alireza – beheaded in Iran by his own brother for being gay. He was attempting to seek asylum in Turkey with his boyfriend.

“Only TWENTY years old. Imagine what his life would have been had he escaped?”

Masih later revealed that she’s received “many videos” from the LGBTQ+ community in Iran who have confided in her about their “harrowing stories of brutality by security forces”.

“The world must hear the cries for help of Iran’s LGBTQ community. The Islamic Republic of Iran both directly and indirectly brutalises them,” she wrote.