Iran's Military Service Law Blamed For Killing Of Transgender Gay Man | Iran International

Iran's Military Service Law Blamed For Killing Of Transgender Gay Man

Alireza (Ali) Fazeli-Monfared, 20, was allegedly killed by three male members of his family after they opened a letter from Iran’s conscription organization saying he had been exempted from compulsory two-year military service due to his sexual orientation. The card clearly referred to a clause in the law exempting those with "moral and sexual depravities such as transsexualism."

LGTB (lesbian, gay, transsexual and bisexual) activists have blamed Iran's compulsory military service laws and regulations for the alleged ‘honor-killing’ of the gay, transgender man in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz on May 4.

6Rang (six colors), an activist group campaigning for Iranian lesbians and transexuals, in social media posts Friday said that three male members of the family tracked down Fazeli-Monfared after discovering why he had been exempted from military service, luring him to a deserted place and killing him. Aghil Bayat, an Iranian LGBT rights activist and Fazeli-Monfared's partner told Iran International on Saturday that Fazeli-Monfared's half-brother and two others were responsible for the killing.

Fazeli-Monfared's partner told 6Rang that the alleged killers had called Fazeli-Monfared's mother and told her where to find her only son's beheaded body. According to Bayat, Fazeli-Monfared's mother was hospitalized with shock. The three men accused of the killing had been arrested, the partner told Radio Zamaneh.

"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 on Friday. 6Rang also wrote that it had warned earlier that the laws allow the law enforcement, judiciary, employers and educational authorities "to identify gay men with only once glance at the military service exemption card," thereby depriving those "diagnosed" with such "depravities" from employment in government organizations and the private sector.

The BBC Persian website on May 7 reported that it had acquired audiotapes in which Fazeli-Monfared said he was in imminent danger from family members and planned to go to Turkey and then a European country. BBC Persian website cited sources claiming Fazeli-Monfared had been forced to leave Ahvaz under pressure from family members and had returned only to collect his military service exemption card.

Fazeli-Monfared's partner confirmed to 6Rang that Fazeli-Monfared planned to move to Turkey and seek asylum in Europe. There are many Iranian LGBT asylum-seekers in Turkey, many of whom have been waiting for years for applications to be processed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Pressures on these asylum-seekers, according to Radio Zamaneh, have increased in the past year as application procedures have been hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic. Turkey ended free healthcare, other than for Covid-19, to asylum-seekers in February 2020.

A British-Iranian journalist, political analyst and former correspondent of The National and journalist at Iran International
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