Two journalists have been given lashes in the Iranian provinces of Isfahan and Semnan, the latest in what Amnesty International describes as a “spree of cruel punishments.”
On January 17, a criminal court sentenced a journalist in Shahrud in Semnan province to 40 lashes as punishment for the publication of a single article. The journalist, who is editor-in-chief of local news website Shahrud News, was accused of “spreading lies.” He has appealed the decision.
This followed news that another journalist was lashed 40 times in Najaf Abad in Isfahan province on January 5. According to an Amnesty International report, he had been accused of inaccurately reporting on police confiscations of motorcycles.
Criminal courts handled both cases, despite the fact that their offences should have been resolved in press courts.
Authorities and the Iranian press did not release the names of the journalists.
The Amnesty report, published on January 18, says that Iran has not let up on its use of corporal punishment against journalists and ordinary citizens, often as punishment for offences that include vandalism and fraud as well as “breach of public morals,” attending mixed gender parties and engaging in sexual relations outside of marriage.