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Man lashed in public in Qazvin, August 2007NCRI - At least 200 people have been flogged in the last month in the Iranian province of Qazvin for eating in public during the holy month of Ramadan.

Qazvin official Ismail Sadeghi-Niaraki acknowledged the scale of medieval punishments now being carried out within the regime under the rule of so-called 'moderate' president Hassan Rouhani.

He said: "Exceptional measures were taken by the judiciary in Qasvin province during the month of Ramadan this year to deal with those eating in public.

"Over this period, 400 people were arrested and some were given warnings. Another 200 had their cases reviewed by the judiciary and the flogging sentence was carried out within 24 hours of their arrest."

Qazvin province in north-west of Iran has a population of less than 2 million in a country of 76 million.

Hundreds more Iranians are thought to have been lashed in public under the medieval laws of the religious dictatorship which can sentence offenders to 74 lashes and two months in prison for eating during Ramadan.

State run news outlets reported at least nine cases of public flogging in the cities of Kermanshah, Shiraz and Babolsar in July.

On July 14 a Christian had his lips burnt with a cigarette as punishment for not fasting during the holy month.

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