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.
- Witness Statement of Siamak Ghaderi: Accounts from a Journalist in Evin Prison
- Denied Identity: Human Rights Abuses Against Iran's LGBT Community
- Witness Statement of Raha
- English Translation of Books I & II of the New Islamic Penal Code
- IHRDC's Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review