As thousands commemorate International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) on social media today, they also mourn the recent death of Alireza Fazeli Monfared, a 20-year-old Iranian man who was allegedly murdered by family members who discovered he was gay.
According to Monfared's partner Aghil Abiat and Iranian LGBTQ organization 6Rang, Monfared had immediate plans to escape Iran and join Abiat in Turkey, having received a military exemption card on the basis of his sexuality. (While homosexuality is forbidden in Iran and punishable by death, the law allows gay men to forgo military service.)
Tragically, however, his life was cut short just days before he could flee. A family member is said to have intercepted the card before Monfared could open it—he told Abiat that he thought its envelope had been opened and resealed before shrugging it off—triggering the decision to murder him.
On May 4, Monfared was met outside of a shop where he had gone to sell his cell phone by a half-brother and two male cousins, who claimed they had been sent by his father to bring him home. Once he had entered their vehicle, [graphic content]they drove him to a rural village where they beheaded him, leaving his body to be discovered by his mother the following day.
thinking about this beautiful boy —— matt (@mattxiv) May 10, 2021
alireza fazeli monfared, an iranian 20 year old, was recently killed by his family for being gay. after being exempted from the military for having a “sexual disorder,” his family beheaded him and left him under a tree. rest in heaven pic.twitter.com/tnygFq51qk
—Matt Bernstein, Photographer
tw: death/murder/homophobia— Ricky Dillon (@RickyPDillon) May 11, 2021
this story is so devastating and a reminder of how sick and disturbed so much of the world still us. i think sometimes people forget when they live in an area that is safe and accepting. RIP alireza fazeli monfared https://t.co/DbtfFjTk2E
—Ricky Dillon, YouTuber
Absolutely heartbreaking.— o l i v i a (@oliviamunn) May 11, 2021
Rest in love Alireza Fazeli Monfared. 😞❤️❤️❤️⛅️ https://t.co/3M6cPUlkf7
—Olivia Munn, Actress
Just in case you need a reminder why #IDAHOBIT is still vital in 2021.— Tom Knight (@TJ_Knight) May 17, 2021
Normunds Kindzulis 29, died after a cruel arson attack in Latvia.
Lindolfo Kosmaski 25, shot and burnt to death in Brazil.
Alireza Fazeli Monfared 20, beheaded by his family in an ‘honour killing’ in Iran. pic.twitter.com/XLhfHU4uD8
—TJ Knight, Producer
Alireza Fazeli-Monfared's future was brutally cut short last week when members of his family allegedly murdered him due to his sexual orientation, according to his partner and a LGBTQ rights group. https://t.co/s9vGDJB4VX— CNN International (@cnni) May 16, 2021
[Sources]Source 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Rest in Peace, Alireza 💔