Insider news & Analysis in Iran

Forty people in Iran’s northwestern Ardabil province have been given flogging sentences, according to a judicial official, most of them for “disturbing public order”.

The state-run Fars News Agency quoted Naser Atabati, the head of the Ardabil Judiciary, as saying that three of those sentenced were charged with “financial crimes”

Atabati said that the other 37 people, who were tried for taking part in fights and “disturbing public order” by brandishing knives, were sentenced to fines and prison terms in addition to the flogging.

Iran’s Regime does not consider flogging to be a form of torture and regularly hands down the sentence for a wide range of so-called “crimes”.

There are also increasing reports that Iran is using flogging sentences to suppress protests against the regime, which is why they are targeting activists.

Yesterday, the Iran Workers’ Free Union reported that one of its members, labour activist Azam (Nasrin) Javadi Khezri, was sentenced to seven years of prison, 74 lashes, and was banned from using a smartphone and similar devices. She was arrested during a Labor Day demonstration

Earlier, the head of the Tehran Teachers’ Association, Mohammad Taghi Falahi, was sentenced to eight months of prison and 10 lashes for his union activities. The sentence has been suspended for three years.

While on August 13, seven workers of the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Factory in Shush, southwest Iran, were given a sentence of eight months in prison (suspended) and 30 lashes each. One of the charges brought against them was “disrupting public order by leading and being present in illegal gatherings and preventing the company’s activities”.

In late July, Peiman Mirzazadeh, a Kurdish singer and political activist, was lashed 100 times in prison. He was sentenced to two years in prison and 80 lashes for “blasphemy” and another 20 lashes for “drinking alcohol”, by the 110th Branch of the Urmia Public Court.

Earlier still, Hamidreza Rahmati, who is a member of the Isfahan Teachers’ Association, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and 74 public lashes by the 103rd branch of the Shahreza Penal Court.

His crime was holding a sit-in protest outside the Education Department building in protest to the widespread arrest of teacher activists. He was charged with “disrupting public order by carrying out an abnormal act”.

However, despite the Regime's brutal suppression of activists, these protests calling for Regime change will continue until the people see a Free Iran.

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