A young gay man was beheaded by his brother and two cousins who then called his mother to say they'd "finished him off", reports say.
Alireza Fazeli Monfared, 20, was executed after they discovered a letter saying he had been exempted from the military service due to his sexuality, according to 6Rang.
The NGO said the three male members of his family took him to the village of Borumi, western Iran, and murdered him there.
His partner Aghil Abyat led the tributes from scores of activists and friends of Alireza which have flooded in since learning of his death.
He said: "Nothing is more difficult than to expect to see somebody you love in a few days, and suddenly you hear he is dead.
"Nothing is more difficult than to never be able to see him, or hear his voice, forever. This is an excruciating pain that will remain in my heart to the end of time."
Alireza had applied for an exception from the compulsory Iranian military service for being gay so that he could leave the country and move to Turkey to live with his Aghil.
The exception card arrived at Alireza's home in the city of Ahvaz when he was not home.
Instead his half-brother is said to have discovered his sexual orientation after finding the card.
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At 7pm on Tuesday Alireza spoke to his mother on the phone for the last time, Aghil told IranWire.
Shortly afterwards, his half-brother arrived at Alireza's home and said their father needed to see him and drove him to Borumi during the night.
It was here that his sibling and two male cousins allegedly murdered and beheaded Alireza, before dumping his body by a palm tree.
Aghil said: "There was no news of him until Wednesday, when Alireza's stepbrother called his mother and told her: 'We've finished him off'.
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"In other works, he confessed to murdering Alireza
"They found his body under some palm trees. It's now with the medical examiner and his mother has been hospitalised because of the shock."
Three men – believed to be Alireza's half-brother and two cousins by Iranian media – were arrested and they are facing trial for the murder.
Alireza had a difficult relationship with his half-brother who would often complain to their father about how Alireza looked and how he dressed.
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He was accused of "dishonouring" and "shaming" their family.
Gay men are sent a homosexuality exemption card from the military.
The NGO 6 Rang, the Iranian Lesbian and Transgender Network, said in a statement: "Alireza's killing as a result of his sexual orientation being stated on his military service (exemption) card has once again provided proof for our warning several years ago about the risks caused by the military service exemption process for gay Iranian men and underlines the need for legislation to prevent these safety risks."
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