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Judicial CP - July 2002


San Francisco Chronicle, 15 July 2002

Iranian court sentences 45 to flogging, fines after dancing at birthday party

(07-15) 09:53 PDT TEHRAN, Iran, (AP) --

Police arrested 45 men and women at a birthday party in Tehran where young people were drinking alcohol and dancing, and a court sentenced them to flogging and fines, an official Iranian newspaper reported Monday. Iran, a Farsi-language daily, reported the arrests were made Friday night after a neighbor called police.

The youths, aged 17-26, were held until Sunday, when they were brought before a court on charges of "illegitimate relations, promoting corruption and drinking alcohol." They denied the charges, and apart from a "few organizers," most were released, the newspaper said.

It was not immediately clear whether those released had been flogged and paid fines before being freed.

Judicial officials could not be reached for comment on the newspaper report.

Mixing of the sexes, drinking alcohol and premarital sexual relations are banned under Iran's strict Islamic laws.

Last week, a Tehran court banned an Iranian-American dancer from teaching for life and sentenced him to a 10-year suspended jail term for promoting moral corruption by holding dance classes in the United States. Mohammad Khordadian was arrested after returning to Iran for a visit.

Iranian officials have recently launched a crackdown on "acts of social immorality." Young Iranians driving around with loud music blaring from their car radios have been charged under the social immorality rules. Reformists have protested that "acts of social immorality" have not been clearly defined.

Sweeping social restrictions imposed after the 1979 Islamic revolution have gradually been eased since the election of President Mohammad Khatami in 1997.

After losing control of parliament in February 2000 legislative elections, hard-line followers of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have tried to protect their eroding power by thwarting Khatami's growing reform movement.

--------------------------- Copyright 2002 AP

logo Yahoo! News/Reuters, 15 July 2002

Soccer Players Flogged for Moral Corruption

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Two members of the Iranian national soccer team have received dozens of lashes for "moral corruption," the state-owned Iran newspaper said Saturday.

It said unnamed players had been identified by videos and photographs found in a raid on an illegal Tehran brothel. One of the players received 170 lashes and the other 70. Six players were given cash fines.

Prostitution is illegal in Iran, which is governed by strict Islamic Sharia law. Flogging is a common form of punishment for moral crimes.

The players confessed their crimes and vowed to lead an honorable life. They said they had been invited to a party after their elimination from the 1998 World Cup finals in France where they had been "trapped" in the "vice network."

The newspaper said the court procedures took 15 months to complete, but did not say when the sentences were carried out.

Copyright 2002 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

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