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Judicial CP - January 2008

Corpun file 20006

ADN Kronos UPI, Italy, 10 January 2008

Iran: Two youths to be flogged and cast off a cliff

Tehran, 10 Jan. (AKI) - Iran's supreme court has confirmed that two youths, found guilty of rape will receive 100 lashes each before being cast off a cliff - an ancient Islamic punishment - local media reported. The reports named the youths as Tayeb and Yazdan.

"This is a chilling sentence," said Iranian human rights activist and lawyer Mohammad Ali Dadhkhah.

"Iranian jurisprudence allows alternative punishments to those prescribed by Islamic law, but many judges ignore them, " Dadhkhah said.

Iranian magistrates in recent weeks sentenced several people to punishments that had been in abeyance, he said. As recently as last week in Iranian Balochistan, five minority Sunnis had their hands and feet amputated, he noted.

All five Sunnis were found guilty of the crime of 'moharebeh' or enmity towards Allah. The highly vague definition of 'enemy of God' ranges from homosexuals and drug traffickers to supporters or members of armed groups opposed to the regime.

Iran in the past two days hanged seven people for drug trafficking. In 2007, it executed at least 297 people, according to campaign group Amnesty International.

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