Iran’s penal code, known as the Islamic Penal Code, explicitly criminalizes same-sex sexual relations. Men convicted of sodomy could face the death penalty. Women convicted of same-sex acts would face flogging, but if they are convicted for the fourth time they could face execution as well. In addition to criminal liability, LGBT Iranians are also subject to a wide range of abusive discriminatory practices such as custodial rape, arrests at social functions, expulsion from educational institutions and denial of employment opportunities. LGBT persons who face abuse at home have limited legal recourse because Iranian law grants parents significant discretion in disciplining their children. In addition, filing a complaint against abusive family members could put LGBT persons at the risk of criminal prosecution.  While the Iranian government permits and even encourages sex-reassignment surgeries (SRS), transgender persons face unequal treatment. Transgender individuals are often pressured by healthcare professionals to undergo SRS, and they are subject to arbitrary arrest solely based on their appearance. The documents listed below provide more detailed information regarding violation of the rights of LGBT persons in Iran.

Denied Identity

Experts Predict: Iran Will Remain Deadly

Two reports indicate that despite a new president’s overtures to the contrary, Iran will remain a deadly place for LGBTs. ... Read more

Witness Statement of Raha

In this Witness Statement, Raha, an Iranian lesbian, describes the ordeals she faced in school as well as the harsh treatment she received in her family. Raha, who lived with her uncle’s family, fled the home of her uncle after he caught Raha and her girlfriend as they were having sex. She subsequently left Iran. ... Read more

Witness Statement of Shiva: An Iranian Transsexual

(November 19, 2013) - In this witness statement, Shiva describes the abuse she was subjected to as a male to female transsexual in Tabriz, including lashings and custodial rape. She also discusses her sex reassignment process during her time in Iran. ... Read more