Authorities fired their guns earlier this month during a violent raid on a private party in Iran’s Bahadoran District. According to Canadian non-profit Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees, more than 30 men were arrested and charged with sodomy, as well as for drinking alcohol and using psychedelic drugs.
IRQR also reports that the men, who are between the ages of 16 and 30, will be sent to a medical facility “for anal examination in order to provide evidence of homosexual acts to the court.”
The beaten prisoners were forced to write down full names of all their LGBT friends and acquaintances. Iran’s paramilitary forces notified relatives of the detainees days later that their sons had been arrested for sodomy.
Although a special persecutor has been assigned to their cases, the prisoners are not expected to receive a fair trial. Under Sharia law in Iran, homosexuality is punishable by death, and capital punishment for homosexuals is also mandated in the Islamic religious writings known as the Hadiths.
“It is outrageous that the European Union is cozying up to the Iranian regime for trade and ignores the deadly homophobia, the overall disastrous human rights situation, the latest execution and arrest waves and the regime’s promotion of antisemitism and support for terrorism,” LGBT rights activist Stefan Schaden tells the Jerusalem Post. “Iran’s Islamist regime with [Hassan] Rouhani as President is anything but ‘moderate.'”
In 2007, former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad famously told an American audience, “In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like in your country.”