An Iranian gay man was brutally murdered and beheaded by his family in a horrific “honour killing” after they found out he was gay.

Alireza Fazeli-Monfared, 20, was reportedly murdered by his brother and cousins on Tuesday (4 May) after they discovered the Iranian military exempted him from service because of “sexual depravities”.

At around 7pm on Tuesday evening, Alireza spoke to his mother on the phone for the last time, his best friend Aghil Abyat told Iran Wire.

Shortly afterwards, his half-brother arrived at Alireza’s residence and said their father needed to see him. Alireza was taken by car to the village of Borumi, near the capital of Ahvaz, where his brother and cousins murdered and beheaded him, before dumping his body by a tree.

Alireza had been planning to flee Iran and join his boyfriend as a refugee in Turkey before his death. His partner, activist Aghil Bayat, told Iranian LGBT+ network 6rang that the killers called Alireza’s mother directly after the murder and told her where to find his body.

Alireza’s mother was “hospitalised with shock” following the murder, Bayat said. He later told Radio Zamaneh that Alireza’s killers have been arrested.

LGBT+ people are often targeted with violence by family members in Iran

In a statement, 6rang hit out the the military exemption process that allowed Alireza’s family to identify 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,” 6rang said in a statement shared on Instagram, which was translated by Iran International.

The advocacy group had previously warned that the exemption process allows law enforcement officials, the judiciary, employers and educational institutions to “identify gay men with only one glance at the military service exemption card”.

The process endangers members of the LGBT+ community in Iran, where homophobia and transphobia are rife.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s