Testimony of Mina Dehghani Sarkazi: A Child Unprotected
The Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)—a human rights treaty that requires that states act in the best interests of the child and safeguard the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children.
In many jurisdictions, including that of the IRI, properly implementing the CRC would require significant revision of child custody and guardianship laws, as well as laws protecting against abuse and exploitation. Article 19 of the CRC provides that the state should protect children against abuse and mistreatment—however according to evidence collected by the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center the IRI judiciary and legal framework often falls short in this regard. In this short video testimony, Mina Dehghani Sarkazi—a survivor of child abuse who fled Iran last year—explains how Iranian courts offered her no legal recourse when she was abused by her father. She also describes the challenges of her new life as a refugee in Turkey.
Testimony of Maryam Ahmadi: The Life of a Lesbian in Iran
“In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your countries. We don’t have that in our country…I don’t know who has told you that we have it.”
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – September 24, 2007, Columbia University, USA
Despite the claims of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the contrary, individuals with homosexual sexual orientation do live in the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI).
The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center has interviewed many members of Iran’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community about the government’s violation of their basic human rights and the discrimination they face in society. The video clip below is part of a long audio interview with Maryam Ahmadi, an Iranian lesbian who was lashed and imprisoned for nine months on account of her sexual orientation. In this clip she talks about her court case and her life in Iran—including the abuse she was subjected to by her family, who disapproved of her lifestyle. Maryam also describes her eventual escape to Turkey, where she is currently living in difficult conditions while her application for asylum with the UNHCR—the United Nations Refugee Agency—is pending.