Gay Iranians face stark decisions and slim hopes


After the election, gay community is scared 

The plight of many politically active gay Iranians is typified by Hamid, a 29-year-old who volunteered in the campaign of presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi. Hamid (an alias used to protect his identity) was arrested by police in 2007 during an entrapment campaign targeting gay chat rooms. While in custody his interrogators made him sign a document confessing his homosexuality.

So when Hamid was rounded up at a pro-Mousavi demonstration in Shiraz last month authorities wasted no time making an example out of him. He was held in detention for 48 hours, where he alleges he was beaten with an electric baton. At publication time he was trying to cross the border into neighbouring Turkey and seek asylum.