Man flogged in public for robbery in southeast Iran

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A man was publicly flogged on January 6, in the country’s southern Sistan-Baluchistan province.
The man identified as Esmail Arbabi was flogged for the second time on charges of robbery in Iranshahr.

According to human right groups, this is the fourth public flogging sentence in one month in Iranshahr, in the impoverished province.

Eye witnesses said the man was taken to hospital as he collapsed unconscious after the frenzied beating. He was also sentenced to two years of prison.

Before this, a man identified as Hamed Karamzehi was sentenced to 74 lashes in public and 10 months of prison for armed robbery in this town.

Under the regime’s laws, at least 148 crimes are punishable by flogging and 20 others are punishable by amputation. Sentences which are considered torture by human rights defenders and the international law.

Adultery, kissing in public, theft, homosexual acts, drinking or selling alcohol, and blasphemy are all grounds for flogging in Iran. Offenders are usually sentenced to between 10 and 100 lashes across the back, carried out with a one-metre (three-foot) whip. The pain is so severe that they often faint after seven or eight strokes.

Hadi Sadeghi, Deputy Chancellor of the Judiciary was quoted by the state-run ISNA news agency on May 30, 2018, as saying, “There is no precepts of imprisonment in Islam, so we need to seek alternative punishments. Physical punishment is much more effective than imprisonment, and the punishment of flogging is much more effective in Islam. But, the human rights agencies do not have a good idea on this matter.”

The chairman of the Parliament’s Committee on Industries and Mines recently encouraged the use of flogging and execution for “economic offenders”.
“If two people are thoroughly flogged and if two people are executed in a timely manner for controlling the market, it will be a lesson for everyone else,” Aziz Akbarian said in an interview with the state-run Alborz Radio in later December 2018.

According to Amnesty International’s Philip Luther, “The use of cruel and inhuman punishments such as flogging, amputation and blinding are an appalling assault on human dignity and violate the absolute prohibition on torture and other degrading treatment or punishment under international law.”

“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,” he said in July 2018 in a statement condemning the lashing of young man for drinking alcohol.

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