World

Gay man brutally murdered in Iran in ‘honour killing’ sent chilling death threats from own family

Patrick Kelleher May 17, 2021
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Alireza Fazeli-Monfared Iran honour killing

Alireza Fazeli-Monfared was killed and beheaded by family after they found out he was gay. (Twitter)

Alireza Fazeli Monfared, who was killed and beheaded by family for being gay, faced threats from his father’s side of the family prior to his death.

Iran’s LGBT+ community was left reeling earlier this month when news broke that the 20-year-old gay man had been killed by his half-brother and cousins after a military exemption letter revealed his sexuality.

Alireza Fazeli Monfared was killed on 4 May after his brother arrived at his residence and said their father needed to see him. He was subsequently taken by car to the nearby village of Borumi, near the capital of Ahvaz, where family members killed him before dumping his body by a tree.

Before his death, Monfared sent a voice note to a friend in which he detailed the threats he had received from his father’s family, INSIDER has revealed.

In the voice note, Monfared said: “I have been threatened by my father’s side of the family – murder and such. My father sided with them.”

Alireza Fazeli Monfared was afraid to wear make-up due to anti-LGBT+ attitudes in Iran

Monfared was ultimately killed just five days before he was due to leave Iran for good. He had been planning to claim asylum abroad.

In voice notes to friends, Monfared spoke about his love of make-up, but explained that he was afraid to experiment with his appearance because of culturally entrenched attitudes in Ahvaz.

His family was reportedly unhappy with the clothes he wore, which were not in line with the expectations of a young Iranian man.

It was this familial pressure, as well as pervasive anti-LGBT+ attitudes in his home country, that prompted Monfared to put in place plans to flee Iran.

Shadi Amin, the executive director of Iranian LGBT+ network 6rang, told INSIDER that Monfared “was not ready to continue this conflict with his family”.

However, he had to get an exemption from state-mandated military service before leaving the country – an exemption which he was granted on the basis of his sexuality, which Iranian officials consider a “sexual depravity”.

Alireza Fazeli Monfared’s shocking murder has sent shockwaves around the world, and queer people in Iran have been left devastated by the news.

LGBT+ Iranians have begun recording videos of themselves walking through the streets wearing Pride flags in Monfared’s memory, while high-profile figures such as Demi Lovato have paid tribute to the murdered gay man.

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