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Fri Mar 4, 2016, 09:39 AM

Gay Poet Persecuted in Iran Looks For New Home In Israel

Gay Poet Persecuted in Iran Looks For New Home In Israel

Three months ago Israel granted a temporary visa to Iranian poet Payam Feilli. It was then that Feilliís personal hell came to an end. After decades of persecution, the poet finally made it to only place he could ever imagine living outside of his native Iran.

Feilli, who is openly gay, fled to Turkey in 2014 after getting blacklisted and detained by Iranís morality militia. Today Feilli is safely ensconced in the Israeli metropolis of Tel Aviv where he can publish his writings without the threat of censorship or intimidation.

Coming of age in Karaj (Iranís fourth largest city) in the post-Islamic Revolution era, Feilli found life as a gay man in the mullah-run illiberal theocracy unbearable. Since 1979, Khameinite clerics masquerading as civic administrators have married Quranic mandates with state law, plaguing the country with puritanical Shiite religious morality. To this day, homosexuality is not just a cardinal sin, but a capital offense punishable by death or flogging.


With the iron fist of state law, the Islamic Republicís moral ministers made Feilli pay a heavy price for his apparent insolence. Strochlic explains:

In 2011, he was arrested the first of three times. The first two he was detained by plainclothes agents for nearly a month, and the third lasted for 44 days. That last began in February 2014: He was at home alone when three bearded men forced their way into his house, wrapped him in tape, blindfolded him, and brought him to a garden where he was kept in a shipping container.


May your new home bring you health, love and happiness.

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