By Kayhan Life Staff
By Kayhan Life Staff
Seyyed Alireza Fazeli Monfared, a 20-year-old man from the city of Ahvaz, capital of the southwestern province of Khuzestan, was allegedly killed by three male members of his family for being gay.
Mr. Monfared, who was better known as Alireza Javan (young Alireza), was murdered two days before leaving Iran for Turkey.
Despite a handful of laws protecting members of the LGBT community, including being allowed to undergo gender reassignment surgery or receiving an exemption from serving in the military, many are still victims of homophobic discrimination and attacks.
Many members of the LGBT community in Iran, who fear for their safety and security, leave the country and settle abroad.
Several male members of Monfared’s family had reportedly taken him to the Koreyt-e Borumi District near Ahvaz Country on May 4, where his dead body was found the following day.
According to several of his friends on social media, Monfared’s sexual orientation enabled him to receive his military service exemption certificate recently. He planned to leave Iran for Turkey to join his friend “Aghil Abiat, an ethnic Arab and LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] activist, who had been in contact with Alireza since late 2019.”
However, two days before his departure for Turkey, Monfared was reportedly killed by three male family members after they discovered that he was gay.
According to Mr. Abiat, Monfared’s stepbrother had discovered his sexual orientation after checking his military service exemption certificate. Monfared had reportedly gone out to sell his mobile phone before his trip to Turkey and was not home when the letter from the military arrived.
On May 7, Aghil Abiat tweeted: “As time passes, I realize I was not ready for such an excruciating heartache and devised no method to console myself. I did not expect to open up this much. I guess this is the only thing that no one truly knows about themselves. The power of his loving embrace. #Homoseual-Homocide. #Homophobia.”
Monfared’s stepbrother and several of his male relatives had reportedly met him at the store where he had gone to sell his mobile phone on May 4. They had allegedly lured Monfared to their car under the pretext of taking him to see his father. They had subsequently murdered him.
The killers had reportedly contacted Monfared’s mother the following day, saying she could find his body under a palm tree. Monfared’s mother had collapsed upon hearing about her son’s death and had to be rushed to a hospital.
Authorities have reportedly arrested and charged all three men with murder.
There are some reports that Monfared was killed by his stepbrother and two of his stepsister’s sons. Nima Nia, a member of the “Queer Society,” recently tweeted that a group that was in touch with Monfared’s family and Arab activists in Ahvaz had told him that Alireza had been killed by his stepbrother and two of his stepsister’s sons.
Iranian authorities and media have not commented on or reported Monfared’s murder.
“Alireza’s murder, which occurred after he disclosed his sexual orientation on his military service exemption form, once again confirmed our previous warning about the dangers posed to gay men who are exempt from military service,” 6-Rang, an Iranian lesbian and transgender website, said on May 7. “It highlights the need for tougher laws to prevent such incidents.”
The website had previously reported that “recent changes in the law have enabled police, security forces, the Judiciary, businesses, and educational institutions to discover people’s sexual orientation by examining their military service exemption certificates.”
After Monfared’s murder, many gay Arabs have discussed the issues confronting them on the invitational social media app, ClubHouse.