The Global LGBTQ Community Is Reeling Over Brutal ‘Honor Killing’ of Young Iranian Man
A 20-year-old Iranian man was allegedly murdered by three of his male family members because of his sexual orientation. Alireza Fazeli Monfared’s murder is believed to be an “honor killing”: the murder of a family member when they are believed to have brought shame on the family. News of this Iranian honor killing has been making the rounds on social media here in the West, and has left many members of the LGBTQ community reeling.
Alireza was outed by the Iranian military service, after it sent him a letter notifying him of his exemption from the country’s two-year mandatory enlistment. The exemption card specifically cited a clause in Iranian law that excuses those with “moral and sexual depravities such as transsexualism” from serving. However, before Alireza himself — who had already moved out of his home, reportedly in fear of his own family members — could open the letter, his half-brother and two other male relatives got to it.
6rang, the Iranian Lesbian and Transgender Network, in a recent statement wrote of the purported Iranian honor killing:
Alireza’s killing as a result of his sexual orientation being stated on his military service [exemption] card has once again provided proof for our warning several years ago about the risks caused by the military service exemption process for gay Iranian men and underlines the need for legislation to prevent these safety risks.
Alireza’s partner Aghil Bayat explained how the three men drove Alireza to a remote location, beheaded him, left his body and called his mother — who was then hospitalized due to the shock.
Human rights lawyer Gissou Nia wrote on Twitter, “Cultural attitudes in society towards homosexuality are a literal life or death problem. What compounds the problem is when the laws of a state do not provide any protection.”
RIP Alireza Fazeli Monfared 💔
Brutally killed and disposed of by his family because of his sexuality.
Cultural attitudes in society towards homosexuality are a literal life or death problem. What compounds the problem is when the laws of a state do not provide any protection. pic.twitter.com/rycx8WdELm
— Gissou Nia/ گیسو نیا (@GissouNia) May 8, 2021
Alireza Fazeli Monfared had plans to move out of Iran and into Turkey, where many LGBTQ Iranian asylum-seekers go. From there, he wanted to move to Europe.
Unfortunately, this case of an Iranian honor killing is not an isolated incident. A report published by 6rang in September 2020 revealed that 62% of the Iranian LGBTQ community experience violence from their families. Additionally, 52% of participants had experienced violence in public spaces, and 69% reported they rarely sought assistance from the police.