According to “No to Prison – No to Execution” a young bakery worker named Rouhollah Barzin was flogged 55 times on Saturday, June 6, 2020, for expressing his opinion about an Imam online.
The sentence was a result of Nourollah Afshar’s complaint, who is the Friday-prayer Imam of Choram in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province in Iran.
After executing the sentence, Afshar said in an interview with Tabnak News Agency: “I asked this young worker to apologize but he refused. And according to the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran and citizen’s rights charter, the punishment is flogging.”
Afshar added that he had been waiting for Mr. Barzin’s apology for about a month and that he’d consider withdrawing his complaint if the young worker would have actually apologized!
After facing a wave of protests, especially in cyberspace, the Friday-prayer Imam claimed: “The sentence was carried out on Saturday, June 6, without letting me know first. I was informed about on Saturday evening, through a friend. I immediately contacted the prosecutor, Mr. Sadri, and said that if I would have been informed, I would certainly not let this sentence to be carried out. He said he was not present when the sentence was carried out and that it was the judges’ decision.”
This is not Seyyed Noorullah Afshar’s first case. Afshar is the Friday-prayer Imam and the head of the Charam city’s famous Center of “joining the good and forbidding the evil”. He had previously called for the flogging of some executives of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad provinces during Friday prayers.