ISRAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN: Young man flogged 80 times for drinking alcohol as a child

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18 Jul 2018
[International Secretariat]

The public flogging on Tuesday in Iran of a young man convicted of consuming alcohol when he was just 14 or 15 years old over a decade ago highlights the inhumanity of a justice system that legalizes brutality, said Amnesty International today.

“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,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

“The Iranian authorities’ prolific use of corporal punishment, including on children, demonstrates a shocking disregard for basic humanity. They should immediately abolish all forms of such punishment, which in Iran includes amputation and blinding as well as flogging.”

The public flogging took place on 10 July in Kashmar, Razavi Khorasan province. Domestic media outlets have posted a picture from showing the young man, M.R., tied to a tree as he was flogged by a masked man, with a crowd of people watching at a distance.

According to the Public Prosecutor of Kashmar, M. R. consumed alcohol during a wedding where an argument caused a fight that resulted in the death of a 17-year-old. The public prosecutor has conceded that M.R. was not involved in the murder and that the flogging sentence was only for drinking alcohol.

According to the prosecutor, when the “offence” took place, he would have been 14 or 15 years old. The flogging sentence was issued 10 years ago. It is not clear to Amnesty International why the sentence was carried out after over a decade.

Judicial authorities in Iran have imposed and carried out various forms of cruel punishments in 2018, including theamputation of a man’s hand for stealing.

“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.”


Article 265 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code states that the punishment for consumption of alcohol by a Muslim is 80lashes.

More than 100 “offences” are punishable by flogging under Iranian law. The offences include theft, assault, vandalism, defamation and fraud. They also cover acts that should not be criminalized, such as adultery, intimate relationships between unmarried men and women.

11 July 2018

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