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Witness Testimony of Maryam Ahmadi

(February 5, 2013) - The life of a lesbian in Iran: Despite the claims of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the contrary, individuals with homosexual sexual orientation do live in the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI).

“In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your countries. We don’t have that in our country…I don’t know who has told you that we have it.” 

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – September 24, 2007, Columbia University, USA 

The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center has interviewed many members of Iran’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community about the government’s violation of their basic human rights and the discrimination they face in society.  The above video clip is part of a long audio interview with Maryam Ahmadi, an Iranian lesbian who was lashed and imprisoned for nine months on account of her sexual orientation.  In this clip she talks about her court case and her life in Iran—including the abuse she was subjected to by her family, who disapproved of her lifestyle.  Maryam also describes her eventual escape to Turkey, where she is currently living in difficult conditions while her application for asylum with the UNHCR—the United Nations Refugee Agency—is pending. 

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Imprisonment, LGBT, Witness Testimony