A reformist Iranian parliamentarian on Saturday blasted public floggings, warning it could prove ineffective in deterring "corruption and prostitution," reported the official Iranian news agency, IRNA.
"The official opposition to the punishment by the administration of (President Mohammad) Khatami is that it could harm the country's image abroad," Nasser Qavami, head of Parliament's legal committee, told IRNA.
"It would adversely affect our relations with the world," he warned.
"Even in the days following the (1979 Islamic) revolution, amid revolutionaries' outbursts of anger, public floggings were not used and, if indeed there were cases, the Supreme Judicial Council would have seriously intervened," Qavami added.
Public flogging, a punishment common in ancient times to punish certain vices, was rarely approved in Iran in the few decades immediately before the Islamic revolution but has, in the past month, been imposed in a number of cases, particularly crimes against chastity and morals.
Iran's prisons have also come under scrutiny in recent weeks, with charges flying that they are overcrowded and unsanitary – Albawaba.com
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