On October 6, 2009, Rahim Mohammadi was executed in Tabriz, a city in northwest Iran, after being convicted of sexual abuse and rape during sexual relations between males (a homosexual act called Lavat).
According to Rahim’s lawyer (here), Mr. Mohammad Mostafayi, there was not enough evidence presented to the court to prove such accusations; the court nevertheless decided that once a person is convicted of Lavat, he must be executed. Mostafayi, who had not been informed of the court’s decision once it was handed down - and was only contacted after his client Rahim had been executed - wrote a letter of further explanation to the authorities.
"Rahim Mohammadi was first arrested for blackmail in June 2008; over the years, due to financial problems, he had used his wife to seduce men, inviting them to their house in order for them to have sex with her. He would record the encounters on tape and use these tapes to blackmail them. There was no witness or evidence to prove that Rahim had committed a homosexual act; a complainant who had claimed that he’d been raped by Rahim withdrew the charges," says Mostafayi. In Iran, in the case of an accusation of Lavat (based on the Islamic punishment code stated here), even if there are no witnesses or evidence, the judge can decide at his own discretion to condemn the accused.
Many European countries are continuing to refuse queer asylum seekers’ applications, stating that there are no life-threatening risks involved in their cases. These governments still believe that even though such laws exist in Iran, these laws are not being put into practice; however, as we can see in Rahim’s case, the judiciary does not hesitate to execute an accused person of Lavat, let alone a queer person.
Iranian Railroad for Queer refugees (IRQR) requests all international organizations and governments to support Iranian Queer asylum seekers by granting them refugee status, since it is evident that they face
death in Iran.