Iranian man, 20, 'beheaded by half-brother and cousins who discovered he was gay'

22:40, Thursday, 13 May, 2021
Iranian man, 20, 'beheaded by half-brother and cousins who discovered he was gay'

An Iranian man was allegedly beheaded by his own family for being gay.
     Ali Fazeli Monfared, 20, had applied for exemption from military service over his sexuality, reports say.
     But when the letter arrived informing him he had been successful he was not at home - and it was found by unaware relatives.

It is claimed that Mr Monfared's half-brother and two of their cousins then lured him into a car before carrying out the brutal murder.

The alleged culprits are said to have left the body under a palm tree in Borumi, a village, before calling his mum with the horror news.

Tragically, Mr Monfared - known as Alireza - had been planning to travel to Turkey to be with his partner just days before his death.

Three men have been arrested in connection with the case and are likely to be charged with murder, according to 6Rang, an Iranian LGBT+ organisation.

The group said that Mr Monfared had been killed over his military exemption - which can indicate homosexuality to officials.

"Unfortunately, in Alireza’s case, this selection cost him his life," a statement said.

"Alireza's mother is, understandably, in a state of shock.

"She is suffering an immense amount of grief because of the death of her only child, and has been hospitalised as a result."

Mr Monfared spoke to his mother on the phone for the last time on Tuesday, partner Aghil Abyat told IranWire.

He also led the tributes from scores of activists and friends which have flooded in since the shocking death.

"Nothing is more difficult than to expect to see somebody you love in a few days, and suddenly you hear he is dead," he said.

"Nothing is more difficult than to never be able to see him, or hear his voice, forever.

"This is an excruciating pain that will remain in my heart to the end of time."

It is said that Mr Monfared had a difficult relationship with his half-brother, who criticised the way he dressed.

Human rights campaigners have long spoken out about the discrimination and danger that LGBTQ+ people face in Iran.

Homosexuality is punishable by execution in the country.

Many gay people are also murdered in 'honour killings' carried out by their own families, who believe their sexuality brings shame.

Human rights lawyer Gissou Nia tweeted: "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."

6Rang added in a statement: "[The] exemption cards are issued through the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

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