Man is tied to tree and flogged EIGHTY times in Iran – a decade after drinking alcohol at a wedding when he was 14 years old
A man in Iran has been publicly flogged 80 times, a decade after being convicted of consuming alcohol at a wedding when he was about 14 years old.
Amnesty International has condemned the punishment as ‘horrific’, after local media outlets posted a photograph showing the young man tied to a tree as he was flogged on his back by a masked man, while a crowd watched on from a distance.
The lashings were carried out yesterday (Tuesday) when the man – identified only as ‘M.R.’ – was flogged 80 times in Niazmand Square in the city of Kashmar, in Iran’s north-eastern Razavi Khorasan province.
According to Kashmar’s public prosecutor, M.R. had consumed alcohol during a wedding more than a decade ago where an argument caused a fight that resulted in the death of a 17-year-old.
He said that while M.R. was not involved in the murder, the man’s flogging sentence was for drinking alcohol.
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The ‘offence’ took place in the Iranian year of 1385 (March 2006 to March 2007) and the sentence was issued more than ten years ago.
Amnesty said that it remains unclear why the sentence was carried out so long afterwards.
M. R. was born in the Iranian year of 1370 (March 1991 to March 1992), which means he would have been 14 or 15 years old at the time of the alleged alcohol drinking incident.
‘The circumstances of this case are absolutely shocking, representing another horrific example of the Iranian authorities’ warped priorities,’ said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa research and advocacy director.
‘No one, regardless of age, should be subjected to flogging; that a child was prosecuted for consuming alcohol and sentenced to 80 lashes beggars belief.
‘The Iranian authorities’ prolific use of corporal punishment, including on children, demonstrates a shocking disregard for basic humanity.
‘As a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Iran is legally obliged to forbid torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.
‘It’s simply unacceptable that the Iranian authorities continue to allow such punishments and to justify them in the name of protecting religious morals,’ he said.
Offences punishable by flogging in Iran
More than 100 ‘offences’ are punishable by flogging under Iranian law.
These include theft, assault, vandalism, defamation and fraud.
They also cover acts such as adultery, intimate relationships between unmarried men and women, ‘breach of public morals’ and consensual same-sex sexual relations.
Article 265 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code states that the punishment for consumption of alcohol by a Muslim is 80 lashes.
However, under its international legal obligations Iran is obliged to forbid such punishments.
Iran’s judicial authorities have already imposed and carried out various forms of cruel punishments so far this year, including the amputation of a man’s hand for stealing.
In January 2016, the Committee on the Rights of the Child urged Iran to ‘immediately repeal all provisions which authorise or condone cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of children’.