Iran’s Use Of Electric Shocks On LGBT Children Is “Torture”

On Wednesday, February 10th, the United Nations released a report describing the heinous human rights violations in Iran. The report reveals appalling details of electric shock and other means of torture that the Islamic Republic of Iran uses against LGBT children while claiming their intent is to “cure” them.

Some reports leaked to the United Nations expose how senior officials express bigotry toward gays, and refer to the LGBT community as “diseased” and “sub-human.” Iran’s penal code impose the death penalty on men who engage in consensual sex with others of the same sex.



Peter Tatchell, a famed British LGBT+ campaigner, equated Iran's electric shock torture to the medical experimentation the Nazis performed on LGBT+ people. He recommended that Iran be excluded from Twitter’s International Medical Associations and conferences. 

Javaid Rehman, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Iran, issued a damning report confirming the oppression and systemic torture of LGBT people, women, human rights defenders, trade unionists, regime critics, and ethnic/religious minorities. Tatchell stated that Rehman “rightly condemns these abuses as a form of torture and in violation of international human rights law.”

The Jerusalem Post examined a 2008 WikiLeaks cable that stated, “Iran’s clerical regime has executed between 4,000 and 6,000 gays and lesbians since the country’s Islamic revolution in 1979.” In January 2021 alone, 27 people were executed by the clerical and dictatorial regime. 

Javaid Rehman said he is "concerned at reports that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children were subjected to electric shocks and the administration of hormones and strong psychoactive medications. These practices amount to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and violate the State’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child."

The Committee on the Rights of a Child wrote, “The reported treatment of these individuals violates their rights to liberty, fair trial, integrity, privacy, dignity, equality before the law, non-discrimination and the absolute prohibition on torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment, as enshrined in international law.”

Same-sex consensual sex is forbidden in the Islamic Republic of Iran, punishable by flogging and, in some cases, death. In Iran, the law “does not distinguish between consensual and non-consensual same-sex intercourse.” 

In July 2019, the human rights non-governmental organization (NGO) 6Rang reported that Iran operates an increasing number of “private and semi-governmental psychological and psychiatric clinics” throughout the country engaging in “corrective treatment” or “reparative therapies” on LGBT people. 

6Rang reports anincreased use at such clinics of electric shock therapy to the hands and genitals of LGBT persons, prescription of psychoactive medication, hypnosis, and coercive masturbation to pictures of the opposite sex.” 

In January 2019, officials in Iran’s southwestern city of Kazeroon publicly hanged a man “based on criminal violations of ‘lavat-e be onf’ – sexual intercourse between two men, as well as kidnapping charges,” reports the state-controlled Iranian Students’ News Agency.

In 2019, a reporter at the German tabloid Bild asked why Iran executes homosexuals. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif replied, “Our society has moral principles. And we live according to these principles. These are moral principles concerning the behavior of people in general. And that means that the law is respected and the law is obeyed.”

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