Iranian authorities have flogged a man convicted of consuming alcohol when he was 14 or 15 years old.
The man was flogged 80 times in a square in the eastern city of Kashmar on Tuesday, according to Iranian media. The flogging was witnessed by a few Iranians who gathered at the public square.
Prosecutors say the man was arrested between March 2006 and March 2007 for drinking alcohol and sentenced the next year.
The 27 year old man is now receiving his punishment 10 years after his conviction. The flogging has been condemned by rights groups.
The man known just as M. R. was captured in a picture being tied to a tree as he was flogged by a masked man. Amnesty International says the incident shows “the inhumanity of a justice system that legalizes brutality”.
The rights group’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Philip Luther says “The circumstances of this case are absolutely shocking, representing another horrific example of the Iranian authorities’ warped priorities.
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”.
Luther says “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.”
Iranian law on drinking
Iran’s Islamic Penal Code states that the punishment for consumption of alcohol by a Muslim is 80 lashes.
Under the Iranian law more than 100 “offences” are punishable by flogging. Some of these offences include theft, assault, vandalism, defamation and fraud.
The law on flogging also covers adultery, intimate relationships between unmarried men and women, “breach of public morals” and consensual same-sex sexual relations.