Iranian student lashed 74 times for 'insulting' Ahmadinejad
Peyman Aref suffers brutal punishment for 'insulting' Iranian president by writing him, failing to begin letter with 'Salam.' Meanwhile, Iranian actress sentenced to jail, 90 lashes for role in film criticizing Tehran's restrictions on artists
An Iranian student was released on Sunday from prison after an 11-month incarceration but not before he was subjected to 74 lashes for sending an insulting letter to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Peyman Aref, a student of political science at Tehran University, was jailed because of anti-government political activity. He was found guilty of spreading propaganda against the regime.
According to a report in the Guardian, Aref was lashed with his wife present in the room. "My crime was that I had written a letter to Ahmadinejad and reminded him what he had done to universities," he said.
Aref was most likely punished because he had refused to begin the letter with the formal greeting of 'Salam' as a sign of protest.
Aref after leaving prison (Screenshot)
"Lashing people sentenced to various charges such as those caught drinking alcohol is common in Iran but political activists are usually lashed for ambiguous charges such as desecrating Islam or prophets," an Iranian journalist based in Tehran told the newspaper. "Lashing Aref for insulting Ahmadinejad is shocking and unprecedented."
Actress sentenced to jail, 90 lashes
Meanwhile, an Iranian opposition website reported Sunday that actress Marzieh Vafamehr has been sentenced to a year in jail and 90 lashes for her role in a film about the limits imposed on artists in the Islamic republic.
"A verdict has been issued for Marzieh Vafamehr, sentencing her to a year in jail and 90 lashes," Kalameh.com reported.
"Her lawyer has appealed the sentence, which was handed down yesterday (Saturday)," the report added, without giving further details.
Vafamehr was arrested in July after appearing in "My Tehran for Sale," which came under harsh criticism in conservative circles.
The film, produced in collaboration with Australia, tells the story of a young actress in Tehran whose theatre work is banned by the authorities. She is then forced to lead a secret life in order to express herself artistically.
The Fars news agency said the movie had not been approved for screening in Iran and was being distributed in the country illegally.
Vafamehr was released in late July after posting unspecified bail.
AFP contributed to the report
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