‘I want to see the rainbow flag raised in Iran’

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09/10/2022

For the first time, two women known to have been lesbian have been sentenced to death in Iran. It marks a new stage in the Islamic republic’s persecution of LGBT people. “My biggest hope in life is to raise the rainbow flag in Iran and shout this fact that we exist.” So said Zahra Sadiqi Hamedani, also known as Sareh, talking to BBC Persian in May 2021. Five months later she was arrested by Iran’s revolutionary guard. Now she has been tried and sentenced to death, at the age of 31, along with another woman, Elham Choubdar, 24. The two women were friends and had a business relationship, as both sold beauty products. Originally from the small city of Naqadeh, in north-western Iran, Sareh married young and had two children, a boy and a girl, before divorcing her husband and leaving Iran to live in Iraqi Kurdistan.

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