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Iran’s use of electric shocks on LGBT+ children is torture and ‘echoes treatment by the Nazis’

Matilda Davies February 12, 2021
LGBT+ people in Iran face the death penalty or lashings for same-sex intercourse.

LGBT+ people in Iran face the death penalty or lashings for same-sex intercourse. (Bill Tompkins/Getty Images)

A United Nations report found the Islamic Republic of Iran imposed electric shock torture on LGBT+ children, among other human rights violations.

British LGBT+ campaigner Peter Tatchell told¬†The Jerusalem Post that the regime’s “abuses echo anti-LGBT+ medical treatments by the Nazis and other fascist regimes”.

Tatchell called for Iran to be expelled from international medical associations and conferences on Twitter.

Javaid Rehman, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Iran, reportedly wrote about “reports that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children were subjected to electric shocks and the administration of hormones and strong psychoactive medications”.

Iran currently criminalises sex between men with the death penalty and sex between women with 100 lashes.

According to a UN report, the Committee on the Rights of the Child expressed concern that these practices may be occurring back in 2016, “for the purpose of ‘curing‘” LGBT+ children.

It added: “International law is clear in affording the protection of human rights of all people, including LGB and intersex persons.

“The reported treatment of these individuals violates their rights to liberty, fair trial, integrity, privacy, dignity, equality before the law, non-discrimination and the absolute prohibition on torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment, as enshrined in international law.”

The UK Home Office has updated their Iran policies as a result of the recently resurfaced UN report from 2018.

It states that LGBT+ children in Iran report being subjected to physical and mental violence including “beatings and flogging as well as forms of psychological abuse such as enforced seclusion and isolation from friends and society, neglect and abandonment, verbal insults and death threats”.

For lesbians and trans men, it reports that “these abuses are often accompanied by threats or realities of being coerced into arranged marriages”.

The report states that each case “needs to be considered on its facts” but maintains “if an LGBTI person does not live openly as such, and a material reason for this is the fear of persecution that would follow if they lived openly, then they should also be considered as a refugee”.

Last year, it was reported that six in ten queer Iranians had been assaulted by family members and almost half had been sexually assaulted in public.

More: conversion therapy, Home Office, Iran, Peter Tatchell

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