A gay Iranian man has been reportedly beheaded by his brother and two cousins after they discovered he had been exempted from military service due to his sexuality.
Alireza Fazeli Monfared, 20, was allegedly taken by the three male members of his family to the village of Borumi, western Iran, and murdered.
Afterwards, the three killers allegedly called Alireza's mother to tell them they had 'finished him off'.
Alireza had applied for an exception from the compulsory Iranian military service for being gay so that he could leave the country and move to Turkey to live with his partner Aghil Abyat, according to 6Rang, the Iranian Lesbian and Transgender Network.
But when the exception card arrived at his home in the city of Ahvaz, Alireza was not home and instead his half-brother is said to have discovered his sexual orientation after finding the card.
At 7pm on Tuesday Alireza spoke to his mother on the phone for the last time, Abyat told IranWire.
Shortly afterwards, his half-brother arrived at Alireza's home and said their father needed to see him and drove him to Borumi during the night.
It was here that his sibling and two male cousins allegedly murdered and beheaded Alireza, before dumping his body by a palm tree.
'There was no news of him until Wednesday, when Alireza's stepbrother called his mother and told her: 'We've finished him off',' Abyat said.
'In other works, he confessed to murdering Alireza,' Abyat claimed. 'They found his body under some palm trees. It's now with the medical examiner and his mother has been hospitalised because of the shock.'
Three men - believed to be Alireza's half-brother and two cousins by Iranian media - were arrested and they are facing trial for the murder.
In Iran, homosexuality is punishable by execution. It is thought that thousands of gays have been executed in the country since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
As a result, homosexuals are often targeted in 'honour killings' as their families believe they have brought shame to them.
A 2020 6Rang report found that six in 10 gay people in Iran have been assaulted by members of their family, while almost 50 per cent have been publicly sexually assaulted.