Iran has long been flog-happy in its imposition of medieval Sharia laws. Now, it has sentenced cartoonist Mahmoud Shokraye to receive 25 lashes for drawing a caricature of Iranian MP, Ahmad Lotfi Ashtiani, that the MP found insulting. As you can see, it is a pretty mild cartoon but Iranian officials stand by the punishment.
Ashtiani is depicted in a football stadium with a congratulatory letter in one hand and his foot resting on soccer ball. The MP’s forehead has a dark mark of a pious Shia Muslim. Ashtiani is unpopular with many for his interference with the country’s sports teams.
Esmail Kowsari, a member of the parliamentary committee on national security, explained: “[A cartoonist] should be persecuted if the cartoon is not ordinary and ridicules someone … Any crime has its own punishment, including lashing, imprisonment or being fined.”
I suppose it is only appropriate that a legal system that is little more than a caricature of the real thing should concern itself with flogging cartoonists.