Human rights in Iran

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The Islamic revolution is thought to have a significantly worse human rights record than the Pahlavi Dynasty it overthrew. According to political historian Ervand Abrahamian, "whereas less than 100 political prisoners had been executed between 1971 and 1979, more than 7900 were executed between 1981 and 1985. ... the prison system was centralized and drastically expanded ... Prison life was drastically worse under the Islamic Republic than under the Pahlavis. The state of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran has been criticized by Iranians and international human right activists, by writers, and NGOs. The United Nations General Assembly and the Human Rights Commission[1]

LGBT issues[change | change source]

In Iran, Homosexual acts can be punished by execution.

Homosexual acts and adultery are criminal and punishable by life imprisonment or death after multiple offenses, and the same sentences apply to convictions for treason and apostasy. Iran is one of seven countries in the world that apply the death penalty for homosexual acts; all of them justify this punishment with Islamic law. The Judiciary does not recognize the concept of sexual orientation, and thus from a legal standpoint there are no homosexuals or bisexuals, only heterosexuals committing homosexual acts.[2] For some years after the Iranian Revolution, transgender people were classified by the Judiciary as being homosexual and were thus subject to the same laws. However, in the mid-1980s the Judiciary began changing this policy and classifying transgender individuals as a distinct group, separate from homosexuals, granting them legal rights. Gender dysphoria is officially recognized in Iran today, and the Judiciary permits sexual reassignment surgery for those who can afford it.[3] In the early 1960s, Ayatollah Khomeini had issued a ruling permitting gender reassignment, which has since been reconfirmed by Ayatollah Khamenei.[4] Currently, Iran has between 15,000 and 20,000 transsexuals, according to official statistics, although unofficial estimates put the figure at up to 150,000. Iran carries out more gender change operations than any country in the world besides Thailand. Sex changes have been legal since the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, spiritual leader of the 1979 Islamic revolution, passed a fatwa authorising them nearly 25 years ago. Whereas homosexuality is considered a sin, transsexuality is categorised as an illness subject to cure. While the government seeks to keep its approval quiet, state support has increased since Ahmadinejad took office in 2005. His government has begun providing grants of £2,250 for operations and further funding for hormone therapy. It is also proposing loans of up to £2,750 to allow those undergoing surgery to start their own businesses.[5]

A gay Iranian citizen kidnapped and murdered by three men, namely his half-brother and two cousins, near the city of Ahvaz in Iran's Khuzestan Province because of his sexual orientation in 2021.

References[change | change source]

  1. Iran rejects UN report on 'rights abuses' Archived 25 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine 20 October 2011
  2. Ahmadinejad speaks; outrage and controversy follow Archived 6 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine,, 24 September 2007
  3. "The story of Maryam Hatoon Molkara (Iran)". Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  4. Iran's sex-change operations, BBC Newsnight, 5 January 2005.
  5. Sex change funding undermines no gays claim, The Guardian, 26 September 2007.