By Dan Littauer, Editor of Gay Middle East
Tehran, Iran. Farsnews reported that on April 25th, 2010 police found a 24 year old woman dead in her apartment, on Shariati St. After an initial investigation it became apparent the woman was called Mahsa and was a transsexual that had undergone sex-change assignment (his name before sex-change was Masood). Mahsa was strangled, and the police found out that her brothers were perpetrators. In addition the brothers stole money they found on her. The two brothers confessed to the killing of Mahsa, and mentioned the reason as “opposing her immorality”. Their father, who in Iranian Shari’a law is the Vali’ye Dam (Masa’s blood-owner), forgave his two sons for the murder. One brother was sentenced to 8 years in prison, with five years suspended jail time and the other for three with two years suspended jail time. In other words the brothers would only serve three and one year respectively in prison for murder!
This is a painful example of how Iranian law concedes if not indirectly sanctions honour killings in defense of any family “dishonour.” This is further proof that for all of Iran’s trumpeting of their so called “progressive” policies towards sex-change, many of the laws of the Iranian Islamic Republic actively encourages terror, violence and murder. Such policies terrorises LGBT minorities in Iran and incites direct violence that damages families and whole communities. GME calls upon the Iranian Supreme Leader and the judicial system to repeal these laws and decriminalise homosexuality and any discrimination against sexual minorities. In an exclusive interview to GME, Saghi Ghahranman, CEO of the Toronto based Iranian Queer Organization (IRQO) stated that “it is possible to advocate and educate parents to understand and accept their children if the law is not supporting murder, and if it does not force a fabricated morality over loving family bonds.” She added that: “this is why we think it is most crucial for the penal code to change in a way that preserves rather than destroys a loving family.” Saghi believes that such imposed morality is at the core of the legislations that encourages Honour Killings that are becoming common place Iran.