Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps Thursday announced the arrest of “a network of homosexuals and Satanists” in the western city of Kermanshah.
According to the announcement, which came via their official website, a number of foreign nationals, including Iraqis, were among those detained.
Kermanshah is close to the country’s border with Iraq.
The Revolutionary Guards claimed the group had been under surveillance for some time but did not state how many people were arrested, reported The Guardian on Friday.
The individuals had rented one of the city’s ceremonial halls for a birthday event, according to the website. The Revolutionary Guards added that they were dancing as the raid took place.
The Guardian was informed that the raid took place on Tuesday night when some 80 people gathered to celebrate a birthday.
According to an unnamed source quoted by The Guardian, at least 17 people who were wearing make-up, rainbow-colored bracelets or had tattoos were blindfolded and taken to an unknown location.
In Iran, same-sex sodomy is punished by flogging and in some cases the death penalty is applied. The punishment for lesbianism is 100 lashes, however, it can lead to the death penalty if the act is repeated four times, reported The Guardian.