Saturday, 30 June 2012

Fox News: Two people previously lashed 160 times for consuming alcohol, have been sentenced to death for repeatedly consuming alcohol under the country's Islamic Shariah law, which forbids the use, manufacturing and trading of all alcoholic beverages.

The two, whose names have not yet been released, had been arrested twice previously and found guilty. A third offense of consuming alcohol is punishable by death, according to Shariah law.

"Two people who committed the offense of consuming alcohol for the third time have been sentenced to be executed,” the head of judiciary Seyed Hasan Shariahti, based in Iran's north-eastern province of Khorasan Razavi, told the semi-official ISNA news agency, “The verdict has been confirmed by the Supreme Court and we are preparing to administer it."

Under Islamic Shariah law, specific crimes such as sodomy, rape, theft, fornication, apostasy and consumption of alcohol for the third time are considered to be “claims of God” and consequently have mandatory death sentences.

Sentences for such crimes are not at the discretion of the judge, officials allege, but are defined by Shariah law.

Regarding alcohol consumption, Shariahti warned, “We will show no mercy in finding, trying and punishing those breaking the law, and we will punish them to the highest extent.”

Since the regime change following Iran's 1979 revolution, the Islamic Republic has banned alcohol in the country and has made its consumers punishable by lashing, fines and incarceration.

Despite the country's strict policies against alcohol consumption, about 16 to 20 million gallons of alcohol are smuggled into the country each year, of which police seize only about 25 percent, according to officials.

Some convert their own alcohol, called araq, which contains 45 percent pure ethanol. It is typically diluted before consumption and can be dangerous because of the ethanol utilized in distillation methods.

Those who throw parties can call a covert alcohol vendor to delivers bottles to the door. Others buy Western alcohol in underground markets that can be costly. Often parties are raided because of alcohol consumption.


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