238 to 240, the punishment for which is flogging, regardless of circumstance. 5 There are no
official, readily available statistics on the number of executions for same-sex relations.6
However, NGO reports have shown that it occurs and suggest the incidence rate is high.7 8 9 10 11
Besides the criminalization of same-sex conduct, a number of other legal provisions directly
impact on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals, particularly
Iranian laws related to public decency. For instance, Article 639 of the 2013 Islamic Penal Code
criminalizes the facilitation or encouragement of “people to immorality or prostitution”.12 Article
6 of the Press Law (1986) prohibits the dissemination of material “which violates public
chastity”, including “forbidden practices”13 such as same sex relations. Similarly, Article 14 of
Law on Computer Crimes criminalizes the distribution of “immoral content”.14 Governmentalmandated organizations set up to preserve “public morality”, notably the Basij militia, reportedly
harassed, arrested, detained and abused LGBT individuals on the basis of the aforementioned
regulations.15 16 17 Similarly, law enforcement forces have been reportedly arresting and
detaining transgender individuals for appearing cross-dressed in public, an act considered haram
(forbidden under Islamic law) until a ‘disorder’ could be medically and legally established.18
Additionally, Article 638 of the 2013 Penal Code provides that all women must appear in public
wearing the mandatory hijab,19 a provision that has been reportedly used against both
transgender men pressured into wearing a hijab and transgender women accused of “crossdressing” in public, regardless of whether their change in gender has been legally recognised. 20
5
Islamic Penal Code 2013, Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, https://iranhrdc.org/english-translation-of-books-i-ii-ofthe-new-islamic-penal-code/
6
Small Media, 2018, https://smallmedia.org.uk/media/projects/files/BreakingTheSilence_2018.pdf
7
Amnesty International, 2017, https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/08/iran-hanging-of-teenager-shows-brazendisregard-for-international-law/
8
Amnesty International, 2018, https://www.amnesty.org.uk/urgent-alireza-arrested-15-tortured-confession-be-executedtomorrow
9
Iran Human Rights, 2019, https://iranhr.net/en/articles/3611/
10
Human Dignity Trust, https://www.humandignitytrust.org/country-profile/iran/
11
International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), 2019,
https://ilga.org/downloads/ILGA_State_Sponsored_Homophobia_2019.pdf
12
Islamic Penal Code (2013), Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, https://iranhrdc.org/islamic-penal-code-of-the-islamicrepublic-of-iran-book-five/
13
International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), 2019,
https://ilga.org/downloads/ILGA_State_Sponsored_Homophobia_2019.pdf
14
International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), 2019,
https://ilga.org/downloads/ILGA_State_Sponsored_Homophobia_2019.pdf
15
Iranian Lesbian & Transgender Network (6Rang), 2014, http://6rang.org/english/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/PathologizingIdentities-Paralyzing-Bodies.pdf
16
Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees (IRQR), 2018, https://irqr.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/IQW-Report.pdf
17
OutRight International, 2016,
https://outrightinternational.org/sites/default/files/OutRightLesbianReport.pdf?_ga=2.78516692.1992181521.1595330838780871412.1595330838
18
Outright International, 2016, https://outrightinternational.org/sites/default/files/OutRightTransReport.pdf
19
Outright International, 2016, https://iranhrdc.org/islamic-penal-code-of-the-islamic-republic-of-iran-book-five/
20
Outright International, 2016, https://outrightinternational.org/sites/default/files/OutRightTransReport.pdf

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