According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, there are about 15 inmates imprisoned on LGBTQ+ related charges in Wards 2 and 10 of Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj.
Ironically named the “cultural ward” by its residents, Ward 10 is where inmates convicted of crimes such as robbery, murder and membership in ISIS are housed. Ward 2, known as “Dar-al-Quran”, houses inmates convicted of violent crimes.
In contrast, the 15 LGBTQ+ prisoners being held in these notorious wards have largely been detained on charges related to having consensual same-sex relationships, known as “Lavat”, which are forbidden under Islamic Law.
“From the very moment they come to prison, (these prisoners) are harassed and intimated by inmates convicted of violent crimes,” an informed source told HRANA. “Some of them are still waiting for legal proceedings after two to five years.”
In Iran, rather than serving to protect sexual minorities, the law is weaponized against them. Under Chapter 1, Section 2 of the Islamic Penal Code, adult men have been sentenced to flogging and even death, just for engaging in sexual intercourse with other adult men.
“Some of them have been long time held in prison without holding any court and conviction,” the informed source added. “They are living in hard conditions worsened by the treatment of fellow inmates.”
Honoring International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, HRANA published an extensive report on the violation of the rights of sexual minorities in Iran during the last year, which includes a list of individuals and institutions who have violated the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. This list has been collected by Spreading Justice, a database of human rights violators in Iran.