Iranian Lesbian & Transgender Network
Original Article: bit.ly/1u1LGqw
During the 31 October UN session of the 2014 Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on Iran, member states presented a total of 291 recommendations to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Eleven of those recommendations, which were offered by Argentina, Spain, Italy, Iceland, Uruguay, Israel, Denmark, Chile, Canada, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, addressed the rights of sexual minorities.
As an example, Iceland recommended repealing laws that criminalise consensual same-sex sexual relations; amend laws and policies that treat homosexuality as a mental disorder and outlaw forced sterilisation and reparative therapies against LGBT individuals and protect those individuals against torture and other ill-treatment. Another recommendation was given by the Italian representative who asked Iran to end discrimination and violence on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and ensure that forced sterilisation does not take place on grounds of gender identity.
The Iranian Network for Lesbians and Transgenders (6Rang) and Justice for Iran (JFI) presented a detailed research report and recommendations on the situation of LGBT individuals during meetings and preparatory sessions ahead of the 2014 Iran UPR. Different countries were invited to consider offering recommendations, which were adopted by those countries and given to the Islamic Republic.
Shadi Amin, the Coordinator of 6Rang stated: “We are delighted to see an increase both in the number and content of relevant recommendations compared to the previous UPR, when only three recommendations addressed the rights of the LGBT. The recommendations focused on issues of criminalization of same sex relations as well as banning forced operations, procedures, torture and harassment of citizens based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.” Furthermore, she declared that “the manner in which the Iranian authorities approached the session imparted the impression that they will not accept any of the eleven recommendations. However, for the Iranian LGBT community, the fact that their challenges were addressed at the international level and presented by various state members in order to hold the Islamic Republic responsible, is a significant victory.”
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