DUBAI (Reuters) – Two women have been sentenced to death in Iran on charges of “corruption on earth” and human trafficking over the last few days, Iran’s official IRNA news agency reported on Monday.
Advocates and rights group took to social media to share pictures of the two women, saying they are LGBT rights activists and are innocent. The pictures could not be verified by Reuters.
“Contrary to news published online, the sentenced have deceived and trafficked young women and girls out of the country by promising them educational and work opportunities, thus leading to the suicide of several of their victims,” IRNA said.
“Corruption on earth” is a term Iranian authorities use to refer to a broad range of offences, including those related to Islamic morals.
In March, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei described homosexuality as part of a “moral deprivation” widespread in Western civilisation.
Western rights groups have often criticised Iran for its treatment of LGBT issues. Under Iran’s legal system, homosexual acts can be punished by the death penalty.