U.N.: Iran Torturing LGBT Children with Electric Shocks, Hormones

A woman demonstrates against the situation in Iran during the Christopher Street Day (CSD) gay pride parade in Berlin on June 19, 2010. Gays and lesbians around the world celebrate the Christopher Street Day (CSD) gay and lesbian pride parade, arguably the most important date in their calendar. AFP PHOTO …
JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images

The United Nations (U.N.) has condemned reports from Iran that LGBT youth suffer electric shocks and other mistreatment from state authorities, saying the practices amount to “torture,” the Jerusalem Post reported on Friday.

The U.N. is “concerned at recent reports that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children [LGBT] were subjected to electric shocks and the administration of hormones and strong psychoactive medications,” in Iran.

“These practices amount to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and violate the State’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child,” U.N. Special Rapporteur for Iran, Javaid Rehman, wrote in a new report published on February 10.

Senior Iranian government officials describe the LGBT community “in hateful terms, including by labeling individuals as ‘subhuman’ and ‘diseased’,” the report stated.

Consensual same-sex sexual activity is outlawed in the Islamic Republic of Iran; it is punishable by flogging and, in extreme cases, death. The law in Iran “does not distinguish between consensual and nonconsensual same-sex intercourse,” nor does it prohibit discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation or “gender identity,” according to the U.S. State Department. Men who self-identify as gay or transgender women are classified as having mental disorders under Iranian law.

Iranian health authorities operate a growing number of “private and semigovernmental psychological and psychiatric clinics” across the country that allegedly engage in “corrective treatment” or “reparative therapies” of LGBT people, according to a July 2019 report by the human rights NGO 6Rang.

The NGO reported an “increased use at such clinics of electric shock therapy to the hands and genitals of LGBT persons, prescription of psychoactive medication, hypnosis, and coercive masturbation to pictures of the opposite sex.”

Authorities in Iran’s southwestern city of Kazeroon publicly hanged an unidentified man in January 2019 “based on criminal violations of ‘lavat-e be onf’ – sexual intercourse between two men, as well as kidnapping charges,” the state-controlled Iranian Students’ News Agency reported.

When asked by a reporter for the German tabloid Bild in June 2019 why Iran executes homosexuals, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif stated, “Our society has moral principles. And we live according to these principles. These are moral principles concerning the behavior of people in general. And that means that the law is respected and the law is obeyed.”

“Iran’s clerical regime has executed between 4,000 and 6,000 gays and lesbians since the country’s Islamic revolution in 1979,” according to a 2008 British WikiLeaks cable examined by the Jerusalem Post.

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