Iran: Prisoner of conscience flogged 100 times for ‘drinking alcohol and insulting Islam’
The flogging of Kurdish singer and prisoner of conscience Peyman Mirzazadeh 100 times demonstrates the shocking brutality of Iran’s justice system, said Amnesty International.
Peyman Mirzazadeh had been sentenced to two years in prison and 100 lashes after being convicted of “drinking alcohol” and “insulting Islamic sanctities”. The flogging was carried out on 28 July and left him in agonizing pain with a severely swollen back and legs. He is currently on hunger strike in protest at his treatment and sentence.
“It is appalling that Peyman Mirzazadeh was subjected to such an unspeakably cruel punishment. His flogging highlights the inhumanity of a justice system that legalizes brutality. He is a prisoner of conscience detained merely for exercising his freedom of expression and the Iranian authorities must release him immediately and unconditionally,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“There can be no justification for carrying out flogging, which amounts to torture and is therefore a crime under international law. As a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Iran is legally obliged to abolish the practice, as well as other forms of corporal punishment such as amputations and blinding.”
According to the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), an Iranian human rights group, Peyman Mirzazadeh had been sentenced to two years’ imprisonment and 80 lashes for “insulting Islamic sanctities” and 20 lashes for “drinking alcohol”. He had also been sentenced to two years in prison in a separate case on charges including collaborating with an opposition group.
He had also been arrested in December 2017, following which he was sentenced to six months in prison for “spreading propaganda against the system” through singing songs in support of opposition groups. He was released in June 2018 after completing this sentence.
He was arrested again in February 2019 and has since been in prison.