Iranian Director Faces Death For LBGT Film


Kiana Firouz is a 27-year-old Iranian filmmaker, actress, and LBGT rights activist. Her film, Cul de Sac will premiere in London in a few days. Firouz might not be able to see it.

The trailer for the film (NSFW), which features Firouz in a starring role and is heavily based on her life, was posted on YouTube in 2009. Even from the trailer, it is clear that this is not something the Iranian government would enjoy. It shows Firouz in several explicit sex scenes, and features Firouz discussing her views on human rights in Iran.

Firouz has requested asylum from the British government, but the British Home Office has rejected her application. Is she is forced to return to her home country, she faces severe punishment. Meredith Yayanos from Coilhouse says Firouz will “most likely be sentenced to torture and death after being found guilty of the ‘unspeakable sin of homosexuality.'” In Iran, the punishment for homosexuality consists of up to 100 lashes, which can be applied up to three times. After the fourth violation, a woman can be convicted of “unrepentant homosexuality” and executed by hanging.

Firouz filed for a court appeal after receiving the judge’s decision, but it was swiftly overruled. She can appeal the decision, but as of now, Firouz is facing deportation. The international human rights organization the EveryOne Group is asking concerned British citizens to send an email to the British Home Office asking them to reconsider Firouz’s case ([email protected]). There is also an online petition circulating, which could help save Firouz from corporal punishment in her home country.

On the other side of the Atlantic, filmmaker Ishita Srivastava has also set out to raise awareness about LGBT rights. Her new documentary Desigirls! is about South Asian lesbians living in America. Although they don’t face the same imminent risks as Firouz, they, too, are pushed aside and made invisible by a lack of representation in popular culture and media. Trailer below.

Save The Life Of Kiana Firouz [Coilhouse]

Campaign To Save The Life Of Kiana Firouz At Risk Of Deportation From The U.K.
[EveryOne Group]
Documentary Desigirls! Follows South Asian Lesbians In America [AfterEllen]

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