Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Promoting tolerance and justice through knowledge and understanding

Public Flogging in Andimeshk: P. Papi, K. Mir Ali, and A. Shasti Flogged on Charge of "Illicit Relations and Acts Against Public Chastity other than Adultery" and "Making Threats with a Firearm"

Ministry of Justice Office of Khuzestan Province; Shushan News
January 25, 2010
Web article

ABC Summary: Three men were publicly flogged in Andimeshk in connection with harassment of motorists sometime in late January 2010, according to reports from the Ministry of Justice of Khuzestan Province (January 25, 2010) and Shushan News (January 31, 2010).

The Ministry of Justice statement, without giving names, notes that the floggings -"two counts of flogging" for the first-order defendant and 74 lashes each for the second- and third-order defendants - were implemented on January 24.

The Shushan News report quotes Law Enforcemet Commander Ali Akbar Sagha'i. It names the defendants as "P. Papi, K. Mir Ali, and A. Shasti," giving their charges as "illicit relations and acts against public chastity other than adultery" and "making threats with a firearm," and relates that the floggings were implemented on January 31. Accoridng to Shushan, Papi was sentenced to 193 lashes, while Mir Ali and Shasti were sentenced to 60.


The full translation of the Ministry of Justice statement appears below:

"According to Public Relations' Office of the Khuzestan Court House, the Deputy of the Revolutionary and Public Prosecutor's Office in Andimeshk announced that rulings against defendants of the harassment case in this city were carried out. Ali Ghiasvand said: ‘Last week, a young couple went to the Qal'eh Nur police station late at night and made a complaint of being harassed by some young men. In 12 hours, three men were arrested and confessed to the alleged crime....Based on what the young couple stated, they were traveling from Ahvaz to Arak.... When they stopped to help another car, three passengers in that car threatened them.... One of these three had lain down in the back and another covered his head [to pretend to be a women] and avoid suspicion by the couple. After the car stopped, they threatened the young couple with knife and dagger and intended to rape the young woman. However, when they saw the young woman's resistance and cries, they changed their minds and fled the scene.'...

According to Mr. Ghiasvand, ‘the court condemned the defendant in the first row to two years imprisonment, 10 years exile, and two times lashes. Defendants in the second and third rows of this case were condemned each to two years imprisonment and 74 lashes.' He thanked Branch 13 of the Provincial Appeal Court for expediting this case and said, ‘the issued rulings were confirmed by the Provincial Appeal Court and carried out in public on Sunday [January 24, 2010].'"

ABF Note


Findings of guilt in the Islamic Republic of Iran's Judicial Proceedings

The Islamic Republic of Iran's criminal justice system regularly falls short of the standards for due process necessary for impartiality, fairness, and efficacy. Suspects are often held incommunicado and not told of the reason for their detainment. Defendants are frequently prohibited from examining the evidence used against them. Defendants are sometimes prohibited from having their lawyers present in court. Additionally, confessions, made under duress or torture, are commonly admitted as proof of guilt. Because Iran's courts regularly disregard principles essential to the proper administration of justice, findings of guilt may not be evaluated with certainty.

Corporal Punishment: the Legal context in the Islamic Republic of Iran

The Islamic Republic's criminal code recognizes corporal punishment for a wide range of offenses: consumption of alcohol, theft, adultery, "flouting" of public morals, and mixing of the sexes in public. Judges have the latitude to mete out corporal punishment for those sentenced to death. In such cases, the flogging is carried out before death to maximize the suffering of defendant. Aside from flogging, the Islamic Republic also employs amputations as a punishment for theft. In such cases, the defendant is taken to a hospital and put under anesthesia as his hand or foot is amputated. In some cases the left foot and right hand are cut off, making it difficult for the condemned to walk, even with the assistance of a cane or crutches.

The Islamic Republic's Systematic Violation of its International Obligations under International Law

The use of corporal punishment is contrary to international law and is addressed in several international agreements. Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which Iran has ratified, states that, "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." Identical language is also used in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which Iran is also a party to. The strongest expression of international disapproval is contained in the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). This treaty defines torture as, "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as ... punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed." Although the Islamic Republic of Iran has yet to sign the CAT, the prohibition on torture is now considered jus cogens and, therefore, part of customary international law. Furthermore, even though the norm against corporal punishment is not yet a jus cogens, there is increasing evidence that it is illegal under international human rights law.[1] In Osbourne v. Jamaica, the Committee Against Torture (a body of experts responsible for monitoring compliance with the Convention) held that "corporal punishment constitutes cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment contrary to Article 7 of the Convention." The Islamic Republic of Iran's systematic violations of its obligations under international law have been addressed by the UN General Assembly multiple times, most recently in December 2007. In Resolution 62/168, the UN expressed deep concern with Iran's continued flouting of international human rights law, particularly, "confirmed instances of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including flogging and amputations."