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Home > impact on women / resistance > Iran: Save Sareh and Elham’s lives - on death row for loving each (...)

Iran: Save Sareh and Elham’s lives - on death row for loving each other

Thursday 6 October 2022, by siawi3


Iran: Save Sareh and Elham’s lives

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Sareh and Elham were sentenced to death because of their activism. Help save their lives.

Update – 05 September 2022: Today, following public outrage over their arrest, Iranian authorities justified the ruling by claiming that Sareh and Elham have been involved in “trafficking women to a neighbouring country” and denied they were being sentenced to death because of their activism. We must dial up the pressure right now to help save Sareh and Elham’s lives.

Update – 01 September: Today, Sareh has been sentenced to death by the dictatorship in Iran for “Corruption on Earth”. Her friend Elham Choubdar has been sentenced to death for the same reason. Sometime after Sareh’s arrest, Elham was also arrested while in Iran and, similarly to Sareh, was charged with “encouraging corruption and prostitution.” The forced confessions of other detainees were used as evidence against her. Sareh is 31 years old and Elham is only 24! We must dial up the pressure right now to help save Sareh and Elham’s lives.

In October 2021, Zahra Sedighi-Hamadani, a gender equality activist also known as Sareh, was arrested by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in Iran while she was attempting to cross the border to seek asylum in Turkey. She was charged with crossing the border illegally and targeted for participating in an interview with BBC Persian and speaking up on the situation of LGBT+ persons in Erbil, Iraq.

In a statement, the IRGC accused Sareh of: “Promoting homosexuality, gambling, fraud, and promoting illicit sexual relations and publishing them on the Internet." No evidence has been offered by the IRGC to substantiate these baseless accusations, nor has Sareh benefitted from any due process. Reports indicate that Sareh was coerced into confessing to these “crimes,” potentially through acts of torture, including solitary confinement and threats that the State will take custody of her two children.

These accusations can lead to capital punishment.

It is clear to all of us that what has taken place is not due process, but a re-run of a show familiar to many of us who grew up in the suffocating atmosphere of the Islamic Republic. Sareh and Elham must be released immediately and unconditionally.

We ask you not to ignore Sareh and Elham’s detention and sign this petition for their freedom.

This campaign is run by 6Rang and ILGA Asia, in conjunction with 55 organisations that signed this statement.


people have signed
Goal: 100,000

To Chief Justice of Iran, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje’i:

We expressly condemn the unjust and cruel arrest and detention of Sareh and Elham by the IRGC, and equally condemn the accusations of ‘spreading corruption on earth,’ including through ‘promoting homosexuality.’ We are aware and alarmed that these accusations can lead to a criminal conviction in Iran that could lead to capital punishment.

Sareh and Elham have been charged with “spreading corruption on earth” which carries the death penalty. Their life is at great risk and therefore we call for all charges against Sareh and Elham to be dropped and for their immediate release from Urmia prison in Iran.

Campaign started by ILGA Asia