ISRAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN: Wave of floggings, amputations and other vicious punishments

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24 Jan 2017
[International Secretariat]

Hundreds are routinely flogged each year, sometimes in public.
In the most recent flogging case, a journalist was lashed 40 times on 5 January after a court found him guilty of inaccurately reporting the number of motorcycles confiscated by police in the city.

“The latest flogging of a journalist raises alarms that the authorities intend to continue the spree of cruel punishments we have witnessed over the past year into 2017.”
Under Iranian law, more than 100 “offences” are punishable by flogging.

Many of those flogged in Iran are young people under the age of 35 who have been arrested for peaceful activities such as publicly eating during Ramadan, having relationships outside of marriage and attending mixed-gender parties.

As a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Iran is legally obliged to forbid torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. However, Iranian law continues to allow internationally banned corporal punishments including amputation, stoning and flogging and claims to justify it in the name of protecting religious morals.
In one case last April, an unmarried couple convicted of “having an illegitimate relationship” were sentenced to 100 lashes each. A month later 35 young women and men arrested for dancing, mingling and consuming alcohol at a party were sentenced to 99 lashes each.

Journalists and bloggers have also been sentenced to flogging in relation to their work.

A popular Iranian Facebook page has posted detailed accounts from several women who received lashes for consuming alcohol and attending mixed-gender parties.In one of the posts, a 28-year-old woman who received 80 lashes for attending a birthday party described the day she was flogged.

“With the impact of the first lash, I jumped out of my [seat] uncontrollably. I was so shocked that even my tears would not drop. I wanted to scream, but I could not even control my voice. Every time she hit me hard, she would ask me to repent so that God would forgive me,” she said.

“I don’t remember how many lashes I had received, but I reached a stage where I was just moaning and had become numb with pain. When I finally arrived home, I was afflicted with a terrible pain on my body while my soul was aching due to the feelings of humiliation and fear that I had lived throughout the entire ordeal.

In addition to floggings, a man was blinded in both eyes in in retribution for blinding a four-year-old girl in an acid attack.

Disturbingly, doctors from the Legal Medicine Organization of Iran provide the Supreme Court with “expert” advice on whether the implementation of a blinding sentence is medically feasible and how it can be carried out, seriously breaching medical ethics.

Amnesty International has also recorded at least four amputations carried out for robberies in Iran. The Iranian authorities should urgently abolish all forms of corporal punishment and take urgent steps to bring the country’s deeply flawed criminal justice system into line with international human rights law and standards,” said Randa Habib.

18 January 2017

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