Jailed social media activist Zohreh Sarv was flogged 74 times on Monday, April 5, before temporary prison leave.
The flogging was carried out while the sentence has already been converted into a fine and after paying the fine, this part of the case was declared closed.
However, authorities at Gharchak Prison told the activist that she would not be allowed to be released on temporary leave before the flogging sentence is carried out.
Zohreh Sarv was arrested along with another activist Sina Monirzadeh in a joint case on December 24, 2019 for their activities on social media (Instagram) and transferred to the Revolutionary Guards Intelligence Detention Center in Tehran.
She was transferred to Gharchak prison in Varamin on January 11, 2020, at the end of the interrogation process.
The stood trial on February 22, 2020, and Zohreh Sarv was sentenced by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, presided over by Judge Iman Afshari, to three years in prison on charges of “insulting the leadership, propaganda against the state, assembly and collusion.”
In addition, she was sentenced to 74 lashes for “keeping alcohol at home”, four months of mandatory service in Basij forces and studying the interpretation of Surah Al-Hujurat.
Iran’s use of degrading punishments and torture
The Iranian regime is one of the few states that still uses degrading punishments, even though all international civil and political rights conventions have prohibited the use of inhumane punishments such as execution and flogging.
Flogging is regularly handed out by the regime to its political opponents including protesters, and dissidents. More than 100 “offenses” are punishable by flogging under Iranian law. The offenses include theft, assault, vandalism, defamation, extramarital relationships, and fraud. They also cover acts that should not be criminalized, such as adultery, intimate relationships between unmarried men and women, “breach of public morals” and consensual same-sex sexual relations.