80 lashes for Iranian man who drank alcohol in childhood

06:30 PM | 14 Jul, 2018
80 lashes for Iranian man who drank alcohol in childhood
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TEHRAN - Amnesty International on Friday condemned the Iranian authorities for publicly flogging a man who was convicted of consuming alcohol when he was 14 or 15.

Iranian media published photographs of the victim, identified as "M R", being given 80 lashes in a square in the eastern city of Kashmar on Tuesday.

Prosecutors say he was arrested in the Iranian year of 1385 (March 2006-March 2007) and sentenced the next year. It is not clear why the punishment was carried out more than 10 years later.

"The circumstances of this case are absolutely shocking, representing another horrific example of the Iranian authorities' warped priorities," Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa Director, Philip Luther, said in a statement.

"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."

The Young Journalists Club website quoted Kashmar's prosecutor as saying M R consumed alcohol at a wedding where an argument caused a fight in which a 17-year-old boy was killed. He was not suspected of involvement in the death.

Article 265 of Iran's Islamic penal code states that the punishment for consumption of alcohol by a Muslim is 80 lashes.

In 2014, six Iranians were sentenced to prison and 91 lashes after being arrested for appearing in a video dancing to Pharrell Williams' song Happy.