Flogging and amputation sentences are among the cruelest punishments commonly used by the Iranian regime.
International human rights organizations and the UN have time and again censured Iran for issuing and carrying out such verdicts.
At least 19 flogging verdicts were carried out in 2020 against labor activists, religious and ethnic minorities, protesters and ordinary citizens. Dozens of others were sentenced to flogging because of posting comments critical of government officials in social media, participating in peaceful protests, following up on their basic rights, robbery or drinking alcohol.
The Iranian regime also continued to issue inhuman and cruel sentences last year for amputation of limbs.
Eight prisoners by the names of Reza, Hadi Rostami, Mehdi Sharafian, Mehdi Shahivand, Kasra Karami, Arash Ali Akbari, Shahab Taymouri, and Mehrdad Taymouri are facing imminent amputation of their fingers in Iranian prisons.
The International Convention Against Torture, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which are based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ban inhuman punishments such as amputation of limbs.
Flogging sentences against protesters
The Iranian regime issued an increasing number of flogging sentences for protesters last year to ramp up the atmosphere of repression and silence dissidents.
The flogging sentences of two protesters arrested during the protests in November 2019 were carried out on June 8 ,2020. Ali Azizi and Elyar Hosseinzadeh were sentenced to 20 lashes each and to pay fines for “disrupting public order.”
Foad Enayati was another citizen arrested during a protest gathering in October 2019. The First Branch of the Revolutionary Court of Sanandaj sentenced him to 72 lashes. The flogging sentence was carried out on July 27, 2020 at the first branch of the city’s court.
Ahmadreza Haeri was among the convicts involved in a case code-named “Black Thursday.” On July 25, 2020, he reported in to Evin Courthouse where he was arrested. He was transferred to the Intelligence Police Station and flogged 74 lashes. After carrying out this inhuman sentence, Ahmadreza Ha’eri was taken to the Great Tehran Penitentiary to serve his prison term.
On June 8 ,2020, the flogging sentence for Mohammad Baqer Souri was carried out in the Great Tehran Penitentiary. He was among the protesters arrested in November 2019 protests and sentenced to 5 years in prison and 80 lashes.
In addition, dozens of others were sentenced to flogging for participating in the protests in 2017 and 2019. Among them were student activists, political prisoners, women and even teenagers.
Mohammad Eghballi Golhin, Ayyub Shiri, Ali Nanvaii, Fatemeh Kohanzadeh, Marie Mohammadi, Seyed Mostafa Hashemizadeh, Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi, Mohammad Rajabi, Vahid and Habib Afkari, Saeed Dashtaki, and Siavash Norouzi, were among these protesters.
At the same time, six teenagers who had been arrested during the nationwide November protests were sentenced to a total of 468 lashes, payment of cash fines and forced labor in public services by the Penal Court of Shiraz. They included Mohammadreza Heydari, Amir Bavi, Jabbar Fiyouji, Ali Akbarnejad, Reza Akbarnejad, and Salar Fiyouji.
Flogging sentences against religious minorities
On Wednesday, October 14, 2020, Mohammadreza (Yuhan) Omidi, a new Christian convert, was given 80 lashes at the Prosecutor’s Office in Rasht, capital of Gilan Province, northern Iran. He received the flogging sentence in September 2017 for drinking the communion wine during a mass.
Evin Prison guards carried out the flogging sentence of Christian convert Zaman Fadaii on November 15, 2020. He had been sentenced to 80 lashes for drinking the communion wine during Christian rituals.
Punished by flogging for exercising freedom of expression
35 lashes were given to Mehdi Khayyeri in late November 2020. A resident of Naghadeh in West Azerbaijan Province, Mr. Khayyeri was sentenced to 35 lashes for insulting one of the Judiciary officials.
On June 6, 2020, a bakery worker was flogged in the city of Cheram, in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad Province, in southwestern Iran. Rouhollah Barzin was sentenced to 55 lashes for publishing an article in social media critical of the Friday Prayer Leader and the Friday Prayer.
Sajjad Sadeghi, a radio anchorman, was flogged 74 lashes on June 27, 2020. Mr. Sadeghi received the flogging sentence for publishing information about bribes received by the Ministry of Intelligence.
An Iranian athlete, Seyed Ali Mir-Miran received a flogging sentence for criticizing officials of the Ministry of Sport.
In January 2020, three physicians were sentenced to 60 lashes each for insulting the mullahs’ President, Hassan Rouhani. They had criticized him on social media for presenting himself as a physician.
Political activist Qassem Ataii Azimi was sentenced to 74 lashes for criticizing the practices of the Governor of North Khorasan Province in a Telegram group.
A teacher in Tehran was sentenced to 45 lashes for drawing a caricature. After the Minister of Education and his deputy filed a complaint against this teacher, the Penal Court No. 2 at the Judicial Complex for Tehran’s Government Employees, sentenced him to 45 lashes.
Flogging sentence against ethnic minorities
On April 12, 2020, the Revolutionary Court of Marivan sentenced Variya Delangiz to 4 months in prison and 24 lashes. Intelligence agents arrested Variya Delangiz during celebrations after a referendum for independence of Kurdistan.
Azeri activist Maysam Jolani who had been arrested during the November 2019 protests was sentenced to six months in prison and 74 lashes on June 15, 2020.
Ten Kurdish citizens were sentenced to 30 months in prison, 250 lashes and payment of 250 million Tomans for participating in September 2017 protests against killing of porters.
Flogging sentences against civil and political activists
On June 1, 2020, Rasoul Taleb Moghaddam was lashed 74 times. A labor activist and member of the Syndicate of the Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (SWTSBC), Mr. Taleb Moghaddam was arrested on May 1, 2019, for participating in the workers’ gathering on the International Labor Day outside the Iranian parliament.
Labor activist Davoud Rafii received 74 lashes in December 2020, after being fired from Pars Khodro Company and arrested for participating in workers’ protests. The sentence was carried out before being finalized and without prior notice.
In January 2020, seven teachers in North Khorasan Province were sentenced to imprisonment and flogging. Mohammad Reza Ramezanzadeh, Hossein Ramezanpour, Hamidreza Rajii, Ali Foroutan, Mostafa Robati, Saeed Haghparast, and Hassan Johari received prison sentences ranging from 3 years and 8 months up to 15 years. Some of them were sentenced to 74 lashes and banned from social activities for participating in nationwide tachers’ protests and strikes in October and November 2018
Also, Atena Daemi, Roham Yeganeh, Farid Lotfabadi, and Mohammad Nourizad were among political and civil activists who were sentenced to the cruel punishment of flogging in 2020 for their peaceful activities.
On July 14, 2020, Farzaneh Zilabi, lawyer of Haft-Tappeh workers, announced that Mohammad Reza Dabirian who worked in Haft-Tappeh Sugarcane Company, was sentenced to 222 lashes by the Penal Court No. 2 of Shush, in southwestern Province of Khuzestan.
Flogging sentences against ordinary citizens
The Prosecutor of Tabas announced in February 2020 that one of the tourists in this city had been sentenced to 80 lashes for drinking alcohol. He said the verdict had been carried out.
Amir Zare Hossini also said that it took only five hours to issue the warrant for arrest and indict the tourist.
On November 8, 2020, the flogging sentences for two persons accused of robbery were carried out in public in the town of Gol-Bahar, in Razavi Khorasan Province, in northeaster Iran.