Iran pushes ‘Islamic human rights’ excluding LGBT people

Kevin Schumacher, OutRight Action International’s program coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, reports:

Kazem Gharibabadi (Photo courtesy of YouTube)
Kazem Gharibabadi, international deputy for the Iranian High Council for Human Rights (Photo courtesy of YouTube)

The Iranian government plans to host an international human rights conference in the city of Qom in August to discuss Islamic Human Rights principles, which will exclude LGBT rights and other issues  “that are based on Western cultural standards and lifestyle,” as well as issues that ” are not universally accepted.”

The announcement about the upcoming conference was made [June 29] by Mr. Kazem Gharibabadi, the International Deputy for the Iranian High Council for Human Rights, affiliated with the Iranian Judiciary. During his comments, Mr. Gharibabadi’s was specifically critical of the inclusion of LGBT rights in various human rights treaties:

“Some countries refuse to acknowledge that the principles of human rights should be, at times, implemented based on the culture and dominant values of each country. For example, these countries consider homosexuality as a human rights issue, which is not accepted by Islamic countries. Those countries pressure others to follow their standards and seek the universality of human rights.

“Of course, we do not deny the universality of some aspects of human rights, but not everything that those countries want to promote should be considered as a human rights issue. Not all human rights principles are necessarily universal. We need to see if the prevailing culture of each country allows such issues to be seen as a human rights issue or not.”

Logo of Iran's High Council of Human Rights
Logo of Iran’s High Council of Human Rights

In his interview with the the official website of the Iranian Parliament, Mr. Gharibabadi clarified that Iran’s ongoing effort to promote the Islamo-centric human rights values is done through research, documentation, and facilitated discourse through a partnership with the Iranian Foreign Ministry. According to Mr. Gharibabadi, “The Council has commissioned several research and publication projects to various academic centers, and is expecting to launch one or two of these reports in multiple languages by March 2017.”

According to Mr. Gharibabadi, there are currently consultations with other Islamic countries underway on how to use Islamic Human Rights doctrines in interpreting and drafting international human rights documents, so that Islamic human rights principles can become universally acceptable.

For more information in Persian, read the full text of that story in

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, and editor / publisher of Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]


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  1. Every life has a human right to live as God or man created them to be. Every life is important and every life matters. I am a gay Christian man, who a divine illuminated solid entity appear to save my life. This was a very significant act of God. I am alive to testify of it, that I matter to God as I am. What happen to me is a significant revelation, that gay people matter to God, no matter what was said or said it in the past. God does what please Him and not what pleases man, period. Enough said, about this. The matter is close to God as I am alive to testify of it.

  2. UNIVERSAL Human Rights can’t have exceptions. It is always clear that theocracies want to redefine what that means. It is in itself already a violation of the Declaration of Human Rights. Another regime that should be ousted and punished for their violations, but isn’t.

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