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Iran LGBT Laws

Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

On 06 May 2015, Iran’s religious authorities were reported to determined that spiky and feathered haircuts encourage homosexuality and Satanism. Ponytails and mullets have been banned previously and tattoos, solarium treatments and plucking eyebrows are also forbidden [R1.1].

R1.1 Metro: Iran bans ‘homosexual’ hairstyles (and ones which make you worship Satan)
Gender Identity, Intersex,
Transgender, Transexual
1. National

In October 2007, it was reported that sexual reassignment surgery for transsexuals was legal [R1.2].

In March 2001, two teen boys dressed as women were arrested in Iran for prostitution [R1.1].

Both prostitution and homosexuality are forbidden in Iran.

2. Courts & Tribunals

In September 2009, a woman, known only as Shaghayegh, told Tehran’s family court she wanted to marry her best friend from school, who recently underwent gender reassignment to become male [R2.1].

R1.2 MCV: No Gays Yes Transsexuals 04 OCT 07
R1.1 The Advocate: Transgendered Teens Arrested in Iran 27 MAR 01
R2.1 Iran may allow trans marriage 11 SEP 09
HIV Aids Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

In March 1997, it was reported that all visitors to Iran would be tested for HIV/Aids [R1.1].

R1.1 Queensland Pride: Compulsory Aids Tests MAR 97
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

Consensual sex between same-sex couples is unlawful [R1.7].

In October 2008, a moratorium was placed on death sentences for people who were under 18 when they committed capital crimes in Iran [R1.6].

Islamic Penal Code of Iran of 1991 [L1.1]

Part 2: Punishment for Sodomy

Chapter 1: Definition of Sodomy

Article 108: Sodomy is sexual intercourse with a male.

Article 109: In case of sodomy both the active and the passive persons will be condemned to its punishment.

Article 110: Punishment for sodomy is killing; the Sharia judge decides on how to carry out the killing.

Article 111: Sodomy involves killing if both the active and passive persons are mature, of sound mind and have free will.

Article 112: If a mature man of sound mind commits sexual intercourse with an immature person, the doer will be killed and the passive one will be subject to Ta’azir of 74 lashes if not under duress.

Article 113: If an immature person commits sexual intercourse with another immature person, both of them will be subject to Ta’azir of 74 lashes unless one of them was under duress.

Chapter 2: Ways of proving sodomy in court

Article 114: By confessing four lashes [quaere “times”] to having committed sodomy, punishment is established against the one making the confession.

Article 115: A confession made less than four lashes [quaere “times”] (to having committed sodomy) does not involve punishment of “Had” but the confessor will be subject to Ta’azir (lesser punishments).

Article 116: A confession is valid only if the confessor is mature, of sound mind, has will and intention.

Article 117: Sodomy is proved by the testimony of four righteous men who might have observed it.

Article 118: If less than four righteous men testify, sodomy is not proved and the witnesses shall be condemned to punishment for Qazf (malicious accusation).

Article 119: Testimony of women alone or together with a man does not prove sodomy.

Article 120: The Shariajudge may act according to his own knowledge which is derived through customary methods.

Article 121: Punishment for Tafhiz (the rubbing of the thighs or buttocks) and the like committed by two men without entry, shall be hundred lashes for each of them.

Article 122: If Tafhizand the like are repeated three lashes without entry and punishment is enforced after each time, the punishment for the fourth time would be death.

Article 123: If two men not related by blood stand naked under one cover without any necessity, both of them will be subject to Ta’azir of up to 99 lashes.

Article 124: If someone kisses another with lust, he will be subject to Ta’azir of 60 lashes.

Article 125: If the one committing Tafhiz and the like or a homosexual man, repents before the giving of testimony by the witnesses, his punishment will be quashed; if he repents after the giving of testimony, the punishment will not be quashed.

Article 126: If sodomy or Tafhizis proved by confession and thereafter he repents the Sharia judge may request the leader (Valie Amr) to pardon him.

Part 3: Lesbianism

Article 127: Mosaheqeh (lesbianism) is homosexuality of women by genitals.

Article 128: The ways of proving lesbianism in court are the same by which the homosexuality (of men) is proved.

Article 129: Punishment for lesbianism is hundred (100) lashes for each party.

Article 130: Punishment for lesbianism will be established vis-a -vis someone who is mature, of sound mind, has free will and intention.
(Note: In the punishment for lesbianism there will be no distinction between the doer and the subject as well as a Muslim or non-Muslim.)

Article 131: If the act of lesbianism is repeated three lashes and punishment is enforced each time, death sentence will be issued the fourth time.

Article 132: If a lesbian repents before the giving of testimony by the witnesses, the punishment will be quashed; if she does so after the giving of testimony, the punishment will not be quashed.

Article 133: If the act of lesbianism is proved by the confession of the doer and she repents accordingly, the Sharia judge may request the leader (ValieAmr) to pardon her.

Article 134: If two women not related by consanguinity stand naked under one cover without necessity, they will be punished to less than hundred (100) lashes (Ta’azir). In case of its repetition as well as the repetition of punishment, hundred (100) lashes will be hit the third time.

Part 4: Punishment for Pimping

Article 135: Pimping means that someone brings two individuals together or puts them in contact with each other for fornication or homosexuality.

Article 136: Pimping is proved by two confessions if the confessor is mature, of sound mind has free will and intention.

Article 137: Pimping is proved by the testimony of two righteous men.

Article 138: Punishment of a man for pimping is seventy (70) lashes and exile from the place of (his) domicile for a period of 3 months up to one year and punishment of pimping by a woman is seventy five (75) lashes only.

In January 2010, five human rights groups launched a worldwide ‘346 No Executions’ campaign to abolish the death penalty in Iran [R1.5].

In 2009, The Amnesty International Report stated that at least 346 people were executed, including at least eight juvenile offenders sentenced for crimes committed when they were under 18 for a wide range of offences, including murder, rape, drug smuggling and corruption [R1.4].

In January 2008, unconfirmed reports said two young men would be excuted in the southern city of Shiraz [R1.3].

On 19 July 2005, Mahmoud Asgari, 16, and Ayaz Marhoni, 18, were hanged publicly in the city of Mashhad on charges of raping younger boys. Marhoni was a minor when he was arrested [R1.2].

In January 1998, Ali Sharifi was reportedly hanged in the western city of Hamadan having been found guilty of having gay sex [R1.1].

2. Courts & Tribunals

On 03 August 2016, it was reported that Hassan Afshar was hanged in Arak’s Prison in Markazi Province on 18 July, after being convicted of ”lavat-e be onf” (forced male-to-male anal intercourse) in early 2015. Hassan Afshar was a 17-year-old high school student when he was arrested and he maintained that the sexual acts were consensual [R2.5].

On 18 January 2011, Ayub and Mosleh, 20 and 21 years old were reportedly sentenced to death by stoning for having filmed themselves having sex [R2.4].

On 11 January 2011, it was reported that the Fourth Branch of the Criminal Court of Fars province, in Shiraz, found Ehsan, a 19-year-old Iranian man, guilty of attempted sodomy and sentenced him to death by hanging – even though the allegation was withdrawn by the accuser. Ehsan withdrew his ‘confession’ in court, saying that it was extracted under torture [R2.3].

In August 2010, 18-year-old Ebrahim Hamidi was facing execution over a false sodomy charge having been sentenced to death two years ago at the age of 16 for an unspecified assault on another man. Although the allegation was withdrawn and the Iranian Supreme Court has rejected the guilty verdict and execution order, a lower provincial court is insisting on Mr Hamidi’s execution [R2.2].

In November 2007, Iran’s chief justice, Ayatollah Seyed Mahmoud, halted the execution of a 21 year old man sentenced to death for allegedly committing acts of homosexual rape when he was 13 years old on the ground that the man was forced to sign a fabricated confession [R2.1].

L1.1 Iran Human Rights Documentation Center: Islamic Penal Code of Iran PDF 45.76kb, (Accessed 11 JAN 11)
R1.7 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 382.87kb, MAY 08
R1.6 Iran Declares Moratorium on Executions of Juveniles 20 OCT 08
R1.5 346 No Execution: Five human rights groups launch worldwide ‘346 No Executions’ campaign 28 JAN 10
R1.4 Amnesty International: Amnesty International Report 2009: Iran 03 MAY 10
R1.3 bnews: Iran, Iraq Execute Gays 10 JAN 08
R1.2 Sweden to Review Gay Asylum Policy After Iranian Teens Executed for Raping Minors 05 AUG 05
R1.1 MSO: Iranian Gay Hanged 16 JAN 98
2. Courts & Tribunals
R2.5 AmnestyInternationalUK: Iran hangs teenage student in first child offender execution of the year 03 AUG 16
R2.4 PinkNews: Iranian men to be stoned to death over gay sex 18 JAN 11
R2.3 PinkPaper: Teenage Iranian faces execution over withdrawn sodomy ‘confession’ 11 JAN 11
R2.2 PinkNews: Iranian teenager faces execution for ‘false’ gay assault charges 04 AUG 10
R2.1 MCV: Execution Stayed in Iran 22 NOV 07
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
1. Courts & Tribunals

In September 2009, a woman applied to Tehran’s family court, seeking to marry a trans man, in what is thought to be a first for the country [R1.1].

R1.1 Iran may allow trans marriage 11 SEP 09
Military Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

In January 2010, the military reportedly would no longer classify discharged transgender people as “mentally disturbed” [R1.1].

R1.1 Iranian transgender people reclassified by military 14 JAN 10
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