I. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community
68. The Special Rapporteur continues to share the concern of the Human Rights
Committee that members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community (LGBT)
face harassment, persecution, cruel punishment, and are denied basic human rights. The
new draft Islamic Penal Code criminalises same-sex relations between consenting adults.
Articles 232-233 of the new Penal Code would mandate a death sentence for the “passive”
male involved in sodomy, regardless of whether his role was consensual. Under the new
law, “active” Muslim and unmarried males may be subject to 100 lashes so long as they are
not engaged in rape. Married and/or non-Muslim males may be subject to capital
punishment for the same act. Men involved in non-penetrative same-sex acts or women
engaged in same-sex acts would also face 100 lashes according to the new Penal Code.
69. The Special Rapporteur is concerned that criminalising same-sex relations could
lead to violation of core human rights guarantees, including the right to life, the right to
liberty, the right to be free from discrimination as well as the right to be protected against
unreasonable interference with privacy, provided under international human rights
instruments, particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The
Special Rapporteur joins the United Nations Secretary-General and High Commissioner for
Human Rights in her call for ending violence and discrimination against all people,
irrespective of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
70. Interviews with 24 members of the Iranian LGBT community for this report
reinforce many of the concluding observations forwarded by the Human Rights
Committee’s periodic review of Iran. Fifteen interviewees believed that they were arrested
at least once for their sexual orientation or for associating with other LGBT persons.
Thirteen reported that once in detention, security officers subjected them to some form of
torture or physical abuse; including punches, kicks and baton strikes to the head or body
and, in a few cases, sexual assault and rape. Several people reported that they were coerced
into signing confessions. Iran’s criminalisation of same-sex relations facilitates physical
abuse in the domestic setting as well. A majority of these individuals reported that they
were beaten by family members at home, but could not report these assaults to theauthorities out of fear that they would themselves be charged with a criminal act.