Iranian Queer Organization
|Origins||Persian Gay and Lesbian Organization (PGLO)|
|Key people||Saghi Ghahraman, Niaz Salimi, Amir Bahar, Hamid Parnian, Sam Kosha, Ferdous Bamdad, Roshan Borhan|
|Focus(es)||Advocacy for LGBT rights in Iran|
The Iranian Queer Organization (abbreviated IRQO, also known as the Persian Gay and Lesbian Organization) is an advocacy group for LGBT rights in Iran based in Toronto, Canada. The organization was founded by human rights activist Arsham Parsi and monitors violations of gay rights in Iran. Under the Islamic laws of Iran, homosexuality is punishable by death.
While living in Iran in 2001, Parsi founded an internet group that later became known as the Persian Gay and Lesbian Organization. The organization produces a monthly email newsletter called Cheraq (light) and has 6000 members in Iran.
IRQO provides an avenue for homosexuals in Iran to communicate with like minded activists around the world. Following the Iranian election protests in 2009, IRQO distributed an open letter from university students in Iran deploring the state of gay rights in the country. The organization also published a letter from gay Iranian Mehdi Kazemi after his boyfriend was executed and he was at risk for deportation to Iran.
In 2008, IRQO was one of the two winners of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission's (IGLHRC) Felipa de Souza Award and Arsham Parsi received that award at the New York's ceremony.
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