Good news: Sareh Sedighi-Hamadani’s death sentence overturned

Sareh Sedighi-Hamadani’s death sentence for defending LGBTQIA+ rights has been overturned after facing unjust imprisonment and charges from Iranian authorities. Today, thanks to the support of passionate people like you, she has been released on bail.

What happened?

Zahra Sedighi-Hamadani, known as Sareh, was targeted by Iranian authorities after speaking out in support of LGBTQIA+ rights on social media and in a BBC documentary.

She was trying to cross the border and seek asylum in Turkey when she was arrested on 27 October 2021. She was held in solitary confinement for 53 days. During this time, the Revolutionary Guard subjected her to intense interrogations, insulted her identity and appearance, threatened to execute her and to take away custody of her children.

On 16 January 2022, Sareh was accused of ‘spreading corruption on earth,’ including through ‘promoting homosexuality. This led to Iranian authorities charging her with the death sentence in September 2022.

How did Amnesty respond?

After she was imprisoned and faced with unjust charges, Amnesty started a petition calling on Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Sareh.

46,000 Amnesty supporters in Australia took action and rallied for Sareh’s justice. Thousands of supporters emailed the Iranian Embassy in Australia calling for the Iranian authorities to release her. Months later, a Court overturned Sareh’s death sentence and sent her case to a lower court for retrial.

I hope to achieve freedom… I hope the day will come when we can all live in freedom in our country.

Sareh Sedighi-Hamadani

On 18 March 2023, Sareh was released from Urumieh prison, West Azerbaijan province, on bail.

LGBTQIA+ rights in Iran

Right now, LGBTQIA+ people in Iran face systematic violence, persecution, and discrimination. Iranian law requires gender non-conforming people to undergo gender reassignment surgery and sterilisation. Iranian law also criminalises same-sex sexual conduct.

As a result, they are facing unjust imprisonment, torture and charges at the hands of Iranian authorities.

What’s next?

Brave people like Sareh stand up for LGBTQIA+ rights despite facing extreme discrimination, torture and unjust charges. They shouldn’t face the death penalty for standing up for equality.

Together, we are powerful enough to challenge injustice and use our voices to advocate for positive changes in human rights.

  • Learn more about our individuals at risk and our LGBTQIA+ rights campaign work.
  • Sign the petition to call on Iranian authorities to release others at risk of execution for courageously standing up and exercising their right to protest.
  • Become a Human Rights Defender by by making a donation to ensure that we can continue supporting Sareh and others like her suffering from unjust imprisonment.