The IRQR asked a representative in the city of Sari (the capital of the northern Iranian province of Mazandaran) to find out more.
Here is his report:
Reza, 23, and Alireza, 28, are boyfriends and live together in a small rented apartment in Sari. Alireza works at his father’s real estate office. Reza stays at home, as his more outwardly ‘feminine’ behavior attracts homophobic comments from the neighbors. Neither of the men’s families accepts Reza and Alireza’s sexuality or their consequent decision to live together as a loving couple.
On May 27, 2010, Iranian security forces raided Reza and Alireza’s apartment and arrested both men, along with some guests who were visiting. Their computer and personal belongings were confiscated as evidence.
The guests were released by the security forces a few days later, after being forced to testify that Reza and Alireza live together as lovers. They say that during their arrest they heard rumors that the police were responding to a complaint by Reza and Alireza’s families about their sons.
Reza and Alireza were sent to the Revolutionary Court of Sari located in Artesh Blvd. We do not know what sentence they have received, but there are rumors that they have been sentenced to death.
Also in Sari in May 2010, a well known businessman, Hamid, 40, was arrested for having a sexual relationship with a 17 year old man. The arrest took place after Hamid’s wife called the police.
Hamid received 74 lashes. There are some reports that he has also been sentenced to death, but we have been unable to confirm this. There is no news regarding the 17 year old man.
Amir Hossein, 23, known among his friends in Sari for his bisexuality, was arrested by Basij security force while having dinner with his girlfriend. While in the custody of the Iranian security forces, he was beaten to death.
IRQR condemns the arrest, torture and murder of Iranian queers by the Iranian security forces as a breach of internationally recognized human rights and we urge the Iranian government to take action to stop these abuses. We also ask international organizations, especially Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to support IRQR in conducting further investigations into all of these cases.