A new study says that the lifestyle of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people has exposed them to brutal punishments in Iran.
The first ever report on Iran's LGBT community has revealed that these people lived under social and state repression, with some forced to exile or even sentenced to death.
According to The Guardian, the study conducted by Small Media, a non-profit group based in London revealed that punishment for mosahegheh (lesbianism) was 100 lashes, but it could lead to death penalty if the act is repeated four times.
The study also said that though transsexuality was legalised in Iran in 1987, "the social stigma attached to trans-sexualism was unwavering and transphobic abuse was prevalent".
Homosexuality is punishable by death, according to fatwas issued by almost all Iranian clerics.
LGBT Iranians were also victims of the confusion prevailing within the society with regard to differences between being a homosexual and a transsexual.
The report said: "LGBT issues are particularly taboo and are seldom discussed in Iran's public sphere. Even if Iran decriminalised homosexuality, it could take decades for it to become socially acceptable in the Islamic Republic of Iran."
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said: "[The Iranian LGBT community] show that, despite state repression and the frequent compromises they are forced to make to protect themselves, many Iranian LGBTs manage to get on with their lives and to forge a sense of community and solidarity."