The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have arrested lesbian activist Sareh in the West Azerbaijan Province of Iran.
Twenty-eight-year-old Sareh, was detained for 21 days by the Iraqi Kurdistan police after her interview with BBC Persian about the situation of the LGBTQI community in Iraqi Kurdistan.
After release, she made an attempt to cross the Iranian border to seek asylum in Turkey. Sareh was arrested on October 27, 2021 while attempting to cross the borders to Turkey.
Tasnim News Agency, an agency affiliated with security forces, reported that IRGC had arrested individuals in West Azerbaijan on charges of “communicating with and supporting homosexual groups”.
IRGC is a branch of Iran’s armed forces that was set up after the 1979 Iranian revolution to defend the country’s Islamic Republic political system, according to the report by BBC. Iran criminalises sex between men with the death penalty and sex between women with a hundred lashes.
Hours before leaving for Turkey, Sarah [sic] made three short videos and sent them to a trusted person. according to 6Rang. Sareh’s intention was to make her voice heard by the media and human rights organisations in case she got arrested.
“I arrived in Iran yesterday. They found out today that I am here,” she said in the video clip in Arabic. “I may be arrested any moment. They have all the information about me. They are after me. I have to get out immediately.”
“I reached the border somehow. I filmed the route,” she said in the same clip. “I wanted to send you this clip to make you understand how much we are suffering, as part of the LGBTQI community. We will resist till the end. We will remain true to ourselves. I hope a day comes when we can all live freely in our country,” she said.
“I was kept in solitary confinement because I am homosexual. I was electrocuted. Those 21 days felt like 21 years,” she said, about ways in which IRGC tormented her.
Continue reading: https://www.starobserver.com.au/news/lesbian-activist-arrested-in-iran-faces-death-penalty/208023 (source)