A judicial official said that five people were flogged in northeastern Iran.
The Chief Justice of North Khorasan Province said that the “offenders” were sentenced to flogging for negligence and that the flogging sentences had been carried out.
The five men were administrators in the North Khorasan Medical Sciences University.
“In relation to the negligence in preserving public property and financial issues, five offending administrators at the Medical Sciences University were sentenced to flogging and the sentence was implemented,” Asdollah Jafari said on January 30 during a press briefing covered by Mehr state-run news agency.
No other details on the case were disclosed and it was not clear how many lashes each person had received.
The last report of flogging in Iran was that of a man who was flogged in public in southeastern Iran for robbery.
According to human right groups, the incident was the fourth public flogging sentence in one month in Iranshahr, in the impoverished province of Sistan and Baluchestan.
Iran does not consider flogging as torture or an inhumane punishment and uses it to “set an example”.
The chairman of the Parliament’s Committee on Industries and Mines recently encouraged the use of flogging and execution for “economic offenders”.
“If two people are thoroughly flogged and if two people are executed in a timely manner for controlling the market, it will be a lesson for everyone else,” Aziz Akbarian said in an interview with the state-run Alborz Radio in late December 2018.
According to Amnesty International’s Philip Luther, “The use of cruel and inhuman punishments such as flogging, amputation and blinding are an appalling assault on human dignity and violate the absolute prohibition on torture and other degrading treatment or punishment under international law.”
“As a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Iran is legally obliged to forbid torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. It’s simply unacceptable that the Iranian authorities continue to allow such punishments and to justify them in the name of protecting religious morals,” he said in July 2018 in a statement condemning the lashing of young man for drinking alcohol.
More than 100 “offences” are punishable by flogging under Iranian law. The offences include theft, assault, vandalism, defamation and fraud. They also cover acts that should not be criminalized, such as adultery, intimate relationships between unmarried men and women, “breach of public morals” and consensual same-sex sexual relations.