Mohsen Lorestani, a Kurdish-Iranian musician, has been accused of homosexual conduct after allegedly flirting with a man in a private chat conversation on social media. Authorities have charged Lorestani with “corruption of the Earth,” which carries the death penalty.
Iran, a fundamentalist Muslim state, remains one of the most antagonistic nations on Earth when it comes to queer people. Iran imposes particularly harsh laws regarding homosexuality. Sex outside of marriage is illegal, and although executions are rare, leaked documents in 2008 estimated that several thousand LGBT people have been killed by authorities since the the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
In recent years, the execution of two men made international headlines. Police arrested Hasan Afshar, age 17, for homosexual conduct in 2014. Authorities held him in captivity for two years before a public hanging. Alireza Tajiki, only 15, was also executed in 2016, after confessing to being gay under torture.
Iran is one of around a dozen nations that mandate the death penalty for homosexuality, and others include nearby countries like Qatar, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia.
Stop this barbarism!!! #SaveLorestani