Gay Iranian, 20, ‘is beheaded by his brother and cousins after they discovered he was exempted from military service due to his sexuality’
‘Cultural attitudes in society towards homosexuality are a literal life or death problem. What compounds the problem is when the laws of a state do not provide any protection.’ – notes an Iranian NGO that advocates LGBTQ rights after the ghastly murder of Alireza Fazeli Monfared on Tuesday‘
Ali Fazeli Monfared, aka ‘Alireza’, was allegedly lured from his home in the city of Ahvaz to the remote village of Borumi on the night of May 4, by his brother and two cousins on the pretext that their father wanted to see him
There they killed and beheaded him and left the body under a palm tree, to be discovered the next day
20-year-old Monfared had applied for an exception from the compulsory Iranian military service for being gay so that he could leave the country for Turkey
His half brother had discovered his oreintation because the card arrived when he was not home, then set up the killing
Afterwards, the three killers allegedly called the victim’s mother to gloat that they had ‘finished him off’
The three alleged killers have been arrested and are facing murder trials
Centre for Human Rights in Iran condemned the killing, describing it as a ‘despicable murder’
In Iran homosexuality is punishable by execution, as a result LGBTQ people are often targeted in ‘honour killings’ as their families believe they have dishonored the family name
A gay Iranian man in the city of Ahvaz was beheaded by his brother and two cousins after they discovered he had been exempted from military service due to his sexuality.
Ali Fazeli Monfared allegedly, was lured by the three male members of his family to the village of Borumi, western Iran and decapitated.
The young ethnic Arab, a native of Khuzestan’s provincial capital was reportedly taken by members of his own family to the nearby village of Borumi, and killed there in the dead of night. His body was found a day later.
Afterwards, the three killers allegedly called the victim’s mother to gloat that they had ‘finished him off’.
To avoid military conscription, 20-year-old Ali Fazeli Monfared, known as Alireza, had applied for an exception from the compulsory Iranian military service on the basis of being gay.
His ultimate plan was to leave the country and emmigrate to Turkey to live with his partner Aghil Abyat, according to 6Rang, the Iranian Lesbian and Transgender Network.
His request was granted.
However, when the exception card arrived at his home in Ahvaz, Alireza was not home and instead his half-brother is said to have discovered his sexual orientation after finding the card.
At 7pm on Tuesday Alireza spoke to his mother on the phone for the last time, Abyat told IranWire.
Shortly afterwards, his half-brother arrived at Alireza’s home and said their father needed to see him and drove him to Borumi during the night.
Arriving there, his sibling and two male cousins allegedly murdered and beheaded Alireza, before dumping his body by a palm tree.
‘There was no news of him until Wednesday, when Alireza’s half-brother called his mother and told her: ‘We’ve finished him off’,’ Abyat said.
‘In other words, he confessed to murdering Alireza,’ Abyat claimed. ‘They found his body under some palm trees. It’s now with the medical examiner and his mother has been hospitalised because of the shock.’
The three men, believed to be Alireza’s half-brother and two cousins, according to Iranian media, were arrested and they are facing trial for the murder.
Ali Fazeli Monfared always had a rocky relationship with his eventual killer, his half-brother, who would often complain to their father about how Alireza looked and how he dressed, claiming he ‘dishonoured’ and ‘shamed’ their family.
Abyat said that before his death, Alireza had plans to sell his mobile phone and travel to Turkey to join him.
BBC Persian reported on Friday that they had acquired leaked audio recordings in which the 20-year-old said he his life is ‘threatened by the family’.
In Iran, gay men are excepted from military service under Paragraph 7 Sectopm 5 of the military’s bylaws. Therefore, any mention of this paragraph in an exception card, would indicate that the recipient is gay, a policy which ultimately outed Alireza.
The dangers facing Iran’s LGBTQ community was highlighted in a statement from 6 Rang. ‘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,’ the NGO said in a statement.
The group had previously warned in 2016 that the exemption process allows police, educational institutions, employers and relatives to ‘identify gay men with only one glance at the military service exemption card’.
Scores of activists and friends of Alireza have paid tribute to him since learning of his death.
‘Nothing is more difficult than to expect to see somebody you love in a few days, and suddenly you hear he is dead,’ said his partner.
‘Nothing is more difficult than to never be able to see him, or hear his voice, forever. This is an excruciating pain that will remain in my heart to the end of time,’ Abyat said.
Human rights activist Gissou Nia tweeted: ‘RIP Alireza Fazeli Monfared. Brutally killed and disposed of by his family because of his sexuality.
‘Cultural attitudes in society towards homosexuality are a literal life or death problem. What compounds the problem is when the laws of a state do not provide any protection.’
‘LGBTQI persons face abuse at home but legal protection against abusive family members is slim,’ Nia added.
‘The law gives parents extensive discretion in disciplining their children. Filing a complaint against abusive family can further endanger LGBTQI persons, so abuse is often unreported.’
The Centre for Human Rights in Iran has condemned the killing, describing it as a ‘despicable murder’.
‘The despicable murder of Alireza Fazeli Mondared, 20, in Iran – reportedly for his sexual orientation – is the result of the Iranian government continuing to perpetuate falsities about homosexuality,’ the NGO said in a statement.
‘No human should be discriminated against or harmed for their sexual orientation.’
In Iran, homosexuality is punishable by execution. It is thought that thousands of gays have been executed in the country since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Consequently, members of the LGBTQ community often become the target in ‘honour killings’, as their families believe they have brought shame and dishonor on the family.