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Iranian man executed for drinking alcohol, says rights group

Drinking alcohol can be punished by death in Iran [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 July, 2020

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A man was executed at Mashhad prison on Thursday after being convicted of drinking alcohol for the sixth time, his lawyer told a rights monitor.
Iranian authorities executed a man sentenced to death for drinking alcohol, his lawyer told the Iran Human Rights (IHR) organisation on Thursday.

The unnamed man had been arrested at some point between 2016 and 2017, his lawyer said, and was sentenced to death for "drinking alcohol for the sixth time".

He was executed in Mashhad Central Prison at dawn on 9 July.

The man's lawyer, Hossein Habibi Shahri, the told IHR: "My client was arrested in 2016 or 17. He was convicted of drinking alcohol for the sixth time. Of course, there was also the issue of driving without a license and being in possession of alcohol."

State media has not yet confirmed the execution.

Although recorded executions for drinking alcohol are rare in Iran, the country's religious laws stipulate that a defendant can be sentenced to death the fourth time they are convicted of drinking alcohol.

However, most executions in Iran are not declared by the authorities due to a lack of transparency in the judiciary.

"Once again, Iran Human Rights calls on the international community to pay more attention to the human rights abuses, and in particular, the execution of death sentences in Iran," said IHR in a statement.

Read also: Iran arrests charity workers for 'highlighting country's problems'

IHR's director Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said: "with this execution, the Islamic Republic's judicial system has once again proven that its views are no different from those of ISIS."

Iranian media reported in March that nearly 300 people had died and more than 1,000 sickened by ingesting bootleg alcohol containing toxic methanol, believing it to be a cure for coronavirus.

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