Iran executed two gay men on sodomy charges on Sunday, local human rights groups and media organizations have reported.
The two men, Mehrdad Karimpou and Farid Mohammadi, were allegedly arrested about six years ago for “sodomy by force,” according to Iran’s Human Rights Activists News Agency. The organization reports the two were killed in the Maragheh prison in northwestern Iran.
“The two Iranian men were executed today after being found guilty of charges related to homosexuality,” Iran Human Rights Monitor tweeted, reported The Jerusalem Post. “Human rights websites identified the men as 32-year-old Mehrdad Karimpour & Farid Mohammadi. They were arrested 6 years ago & were in Maragheh prison until their execution.”
Same-sex sexual activity is outlawed in Iran; for women, it is punishable with lashing, for men with the death penalty.
The theocratic state has previously used its sodomy charge to execute LGBTQ+ people, according to The Jerusalem Post. The outlet cited research from a 2008 British dispatch that Iran has executed 4,000 to 6,000 LGBTQ+ people since its 1979 Islamic revolution. Since the revolution, Iran’s laws are dictated by an ultraconservative interpretation of Islam.
“The Ayatollah regime in Iran just executed two gay men for the crime of sodomy in Iran. This is Mehrdad Karimpour and Farid Mohammadi who were executed by hanging,” journalist Karmel Melamed tweeted with images of the two men.
Melamed added, “Where is the outrage…to this horrific crime?!” He called out the U.S. government and U.S. LGBTQ+ rights groups for being silent on the killings.
In October, a woman identified as Sareh was arrested by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to the Iranian Lesbian and Transgender Network (6RANG). She had been living in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region and was attempting to enter Turkey to seek asylum, but she had to cross through Iran, which has draconian anti-LGBTQ+ laws. She had previously been detained for three weeks by police in Kurdistan after giving an interview to the BBC about the oppression of LGBTQ+ people there.