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Public flogging in Iran

Iran - public floggings

With comments by C. Farrell

Four clips of public floggings in Iran.

Clip 1 of 4

This scene is from December 1991. The clip lasts a little over one minute. The picture quality is very degraded, probably through serial recopying of analogue videotape.

A crowd gathers. A man is heard ranting through the public address system; I have the impression that the soundtrack and the picture are not in phase.

A prisoner is brought forward; it is not clear whether this is the same person we then see being flogged.

There are about 40 lashes, inflicted so rapidly that one suspects the film has been somewhat speeded up. Unlike other Iranian flogging scenes we have seen, the man being punished does not appear to be tied up. He merely stands facing a wall, apparently held by his arms over the top of the wall. As far as one can tell, the strokes of the whip are mainly landing on the seat of his shorts.


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Clip 2 of 4

This lasts 1 minute 40 seconds and is said to have been filmed in Qom, on 13 Feb 2006 (24/11/1385 in the Iranian calendar). A man is flogged as he lies face down flat on a bench. His legs and head are being held down by officials. At times the proceedings are obscured from view by officials and observers. From time to time he can be heard yelling in pain. The caption at the end says the punishment was for armed robbery.

It is hard to see what part of the body is being whipped. It may be the whole of the man's back and legs, or the small of his back, or possibly just his buttocks and thighs. Different methods have been noted on different occasions and it is clear that there is no consistency of practice in Iran. The instrument here looks as if it is a cane rather than a whip. In this particular case the offender has been allowed to keep all his clothes on. Compare with these still pictures of other JCP scenes in Iran.


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Clip 3 of 4

This scene (20 seconds) is said to have been filmed in the Baluchestan province of Iran, although the modus operandi more resembles that of Saudi Arabia (offender simply lying flat on the ground). Twelve strokes with a whip are shown, seemingly rather more specifically focused on the recipient's buttocks than is common in that part of the world. A small crowd is watching from a distance.


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Clip 4 of 4

Rather similar to clip 2 above, here is a fully clothed man receiving a public whipping while lying flat face down on a sort of bed frame. Supposedly this is for consuming alcohol. The 30-second film is jerky and the picture quality not good, but it appears that the strokes are landing more or less on the miscreant's posterior, and possibly also on his legs.


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