LGBT Iranians Speak Out
Wednesday, 16 May 2012 from 18:30 to 20:30 (BST)
London, United Kingdom
Hear the voices of LGBT activists and (extra) ordinary LGBT Iranians
You are invited on the eve of IDAHO (the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia)
Wednesday May 16 at 6:30pm, Amnesty International's Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London, EC2A 3EA. How to get there.
Admission is free. But you need to reserve your attendance in advance by registering above.
Small Media and the Peter Tatchell Foundation are hosting an event the evening before IDAHO to celebrate the launch of "LGBT Republic of Iran", a Small Media report that documents the views of a diverse range of LGBT Iranians who have lived under the repressive and homophobic Iranian regime.
The event includes an overview of the report's findings by Small Media's Director of Operations, Dr Bronwen Robertson, a music performance from Iranian guitarist Ramtin Montazemi, a Q&A panel of Iranian experts moderated by the Guardian’s Brian Whitaker, a poetry reading of work by Iranian LGBT literary activists, a short video screening about LGBT asylum seekers in Turkey, and video messages from LGBT Iranians enduring the repression of the Iranian government. Plus lesbian activist Shadi Amin, human rights lawyer Mehri Jafari and journalist for the Guardian Saeed Kamali Dehghan.
Read the report online here or download it here
More information from firstname.lastname@example.org
The day after we launch the report is IDAHO Day (the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia), and our launch coincides with this day for a very important reason. On May 17, 1990, the World Health Organisation made the decision to remove homosexuality from the list of mental disorders. In stark contrast, a few months earlier Iran's Chief Justice Morteza Moghtadai outlined a new policy for those convicted of homosexuality in the Islamic Republic stating,
"They are either to be ‘beheaded by a sword’; ‘stoned to death’; ‘thrown down from a height such as a mountain or tall building’; ‘suffocated under the rubble of a wall demolished on their head’; or ‘burned alive’ … It is even permitted that in punishing such a despicable act, one of the first four punishments be implemented and then have their corpse burned"
Homosexuality is still very much considered to be a mental disorder in the Islamic Republic of Iran and it is a crime punishable by death. LGBT Iranians are routinely harassed both by society and by the state. Many have been physically tortured and punished because of their sexuality.
One of the few ways LGBT Iranians can express their true selves, find information, and build a sense of community is through the internet, the use of which is also inherently dangerous and restricted in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Although, tragic stories concerning LGBT Iranians are often in our news media, there are inspirational tales as well.
Over a period of five months, Small Media worked within online communities of LGBT Iranians to gather together their untold stories. The resulting report, "LGBT Republic of Iran", draws on case studies from diverse LGBT Iranians. All of our LGBT Iranian friends reflected an overwhelming sense of disconnect between the lives they live and the society around them. LGBT Iranians are not just repressed in their everyday interactions in physical spaces in the Islamic Republic, the oppressive regime of filtering means their online lives are also highly regulated.
Small Media is a non-profit based in London that aims to increase the flow of information in closed societies by conducting research, providing training and supporting the development of technology solutions. We focus on the belief that small media can affect big change.
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