London, 27 May – Iran’s so-called morality police have flogged 35 young men and women for attending a mixed-gender party after their graduation ceremony, it was announced on Thursday, 26 May.
The party was held in Qazvin, 140 km north-west of Tehran.
Iran’s prosecutor in Qazvin, Ismaeil Sadeqi Niaraki, said: “After we received information that a large number of men and women were mingling in a villa in the suburbs of Qazvin … all the participants at the party were arrested”.
He was speaking to the Mizan news agency, affiliated to Iran’s judiciary.
He claimed: “[The mixed-gender celebrations] required a firm response by the judiciary in quickly reviewing and implementing the law”.
The morning after the party, all of the attendees received 99 lashes.
Shahin Gobadi of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) on Thursday said: “This barbaric act once again proves that moderation during Hassan Rouhani’s Presidency is nothing but a myth. Three years after Rouhani’s Presidency the human rights situation in Iran is deteriorating in every aspect”.
Niaraki said that the regime would not tolerate “law-breakers who use excuses such as freedom and having fun in birthday parties and graduation ceremonies” and warned the young people to mind their conduct as this type of behaviour could hurt their future education or employment opportunities.
He said: “Thank God that the police questioning, investigation, court hearing, verdict and implementation of the punishment all took place in less than 24 hours”.
Gobadi said: “This also shows the regime’s fragile state and total isolation among the Iranian people, in particular among the youths. The notion advocated by some in the West that this regime has a future is totally naive”.