Two LGBT activists have been sentenced to death in Iran, rights groups say.

A court in Urmia found Zahra Seddiqi Hamedani, 31, and Elham Choubdar, 24, guilty of “corruption on Earth”.

The Hengaw Organization for Human Rights reported that they were accused of promoting homosexuality, promoting Christianity and communicating with media opposed to the Islamic Republic.

Iran’s judiciary later confirmed the sentences, but said they were connected to human trafficking and not activism.

“Contrary to the news published in cyberspace and the rumours that have been spread, these two individuals have been accused of deceiving women and young girls and trafficking them to one of the countries of the region,” the judiciary’s news outlet Mizan reported.

Amnesty International previously described her as a “gender non-conforming human rights defender” who it said had been detained “solely in connection with her real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity as well as her social media posts and statements in defence of [LGBT] rights”.

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