Reports: Young Gay Iranian Murdered, Beheaded by Brother, Cousins

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday May 11, 2021
Originally published on May 10, 2021

Alireza 'Ali' Fazeli Monfared
Alireza 'Ali' Fazeli Monfared  (Source:Twitter)

A 20-year-old gay Iranian preparing to flee the country to be with the man he loved didn't have the chance: He was murdered. His corpse was beheaded by his half-brother and two cousins in an honor killing, IranWire has reported.

Alireza "Ali" Fazeli Monfared was killed May 4 "in the dead of night" after "his half-brother came to him and on the pretext that their father wanted to see him, got him into the car and drove him outside the city," the outlet detailed of the events leading up to the murder, which took place in the village of Borumi.

"There was no news of him until Wednesday," Aghil Abyat, a close friend of the victim, recounted to IranWire, adding that Alireza's half-brother phoned their mother and said: "We have finished him off."

"In other words, he confessed to murdering Alireza," said Abyat. "They found his body under some palm trees. It's now with the medical examiner and his mother has been hospitalized because of the shock."

According to the story, Alireza's "half-brother, born of his father's second wife, is understood to have discovered his sexual orientation from his military service exemption card, which had arrived a few days earlier." That document stated that Alireza would not be required to serve his mandatory time in the military. IranWire noted, "Gay men are exempted from military service in Iran under to Paragraph 7 of Section 5 of the military's Draft Bylaws, and as such any reference to this paragraph on an exemption card indicates the holder is homosexual."

The military code dismisses LGBTQ people as having "moral and sexual depravities," reports noted.

Iranian LGBTQ advocacy organization 6Rang has spoken out against the capacity for such documents to out LGBTQ Iranians to police or to their families.

But Alireza's half-brother had already decided that Ali was bringing "shame" to the family, IranWire noted, because of his manner of dress.

Social media users decried the brutal killing. One such Twitter thread declared, "Iran's LGBTQ community is brutalized both by the regime & by bigotry in certain families" and noted that Ali "was about to flee Iran to join his boyfriend, who's a refugee waiting for him in Turkey."

"Through its homophobic laws, anti-gay propaganda, and light sentences for honor killings, the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for facilitating the murder of countless members of the LGBTQ community in Iran," the tweet continued.

"Iran's regime has codified the death penalty in its Sharia law system for same-sex relations," noted The Jerusalem Post. "The Islamic Republic of Iran has executed 4,000-6,000 gays and lesbians since the nation's 1979 revolution, according to a 2008 British WikiLeaks diplomatic cable."

It has since been reported that Alizera's half-brother and the two cousins were arrested for the killing.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.