The Intelligence Organization of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has arrested Zahra Hamadani, a defender of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights, on a charge of “trafficking” Iranian women to Iraq.

An IRGC statement accused Hamadani of “promoting homosexuality, gambling, fraud, and promoting illicit sexual relations and publishing them on the Internet.” It did not give any evidence backing up the claim.

Neither Hamadani nor her supporters have commented on the allegations, but she has previously been targeted by authorities for her activities related to LGBT rights.

She was arbitrarily detained in October 2021 for her social media posts defending LGBT rights. A month later, she was arrested while trying to leave the country and authorities threatened to convict her of “spreading corruption on earth,” a charge which carries the death penalty.

Gays and lesbians are forced to hide their sexual orientation in Iran, where homosexuality is punishable by death.

According to a 2020 poll published by the Iranian Lesbian and Transgender Network 6rang, 62 percent of LGBT respondents said they had experienced one or more forms of violence by their immediate family. Some 77 percent said they had been subjected to physical violence of some sort due to their sexual orientation.

Source » rferl