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Iranian LGBTI rights defender sentenced to death

Zahra Sedighi-Hamadani, known as Sareh, was sentenced to death on September 4, 2022 on the spurious charge of “corruption on earth.” She has been arbitrarily detained in Urumieh, West Azerbaijan province, since her arrest on 27 October 2021 due to her real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity as well as her social media posts, statements in defense of LGBTQI rights, and her appearance in a BBC documentary that aired in May 2021 about the abuses that LGBTI people suffer in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

In January 2022 she was brought before the lead investigator of Branch 6 of the Office of the Revolutionary and Public Prosecutor in Urumieh who informed her that she is accused of “spreading corruption on earth” including through “promoting homosexuality,” “communication with anti-Islamic Republic media channels” and “promoting Christianity.” Her conviction was based on unfounded allegations of involvement in “smuggling women and girls for the purpose of corruption and directing and supporting homosexual groups.”

After her arrest she was held in solitary confinement in a detention center in Urumieh. During this period, she says a Revolutionary Guard agent subjected her to intense interrogations accompanied by verbal abuse and insults directed at her identity and appearance and threatened to execute or otherwise harm her and take away the custody of her two young children. These acts violate the absolute prohibition on torture and other ill-treatment.


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Head of the Judiciary
Mohseni Ejei
Islamic Republic of Iran