Two LGBTQ+ activists have been sentenced to death for spreading corruption, according to the Hengaw Organisation for Human Rights.
Zahra Seddiqi Hamedani and Elham Choubdar were found guilty of “spreading corruption on earth” by a court in Urmia, northwest Iran.
The activists were accused of promoting homosexuality and Christianity in the country.
They were also said to have communicated with media opposed to the Islamic Republic.
Hamedani, who is also known as Sareh, is a prominent LGBTQ+ activist in the region.
In October 2021, the 31-year-old was arrested by Iranian security forces whilst trying to flee to Turkey. She was held in solitary confinement for almost two months.
Before she attempted to leave the country, she recorded a video which stated: “I hope the day will come when we can all live in freedom in our country.”
“I am journeying toward freedom now… If I don’t make it, I will have given my life for this cause.”
Following the imprisonment, Amnesty Iran tweeted: “The criminalisation of LGBTI people perpetuates violence & discrimination against them.”
We renew our calls on Iran's authorities to decriminalize same-sex sexual conduct; immediately release all those detained on the basis of their identity or for defending LGBTI rights; and adopt legislation to respect and protect the human rights of LGBTI people. pic.twitter.com/otkxsBIhe8
— Amnesty Iran (@AmnestyIran) December 9, 2021
“We renew our calls on Iran’s authorities to decriminalize same-sex sexual conduct; immediately release all those detained on the basis of their identity or for defending LGBTI rights; and adopt legislation to respect and protect the human rights of LGBTI people.”
Choubdar and Hamedani’s death sentences were confirmed by Iran’s judiciary. They stated the women were charged for human trafficking offences.
They are currently being held in the women’s wing of Urmia Central Prison.