An Iranian man was executed on July 8 in the city of Mashhad in northeastern Iran for alcohol consumption.
The man has been identified as 55-year-old Mortaza Jamali who had two young children, Iran Human Rights Monitor reported.
Hossein Habibi-Shahri, Jamali’s lawyer, said that his client had been sentenced to death for “drinking alcohol for the sixth time.”
“My client was arrested in 2018 or 2017,” Habibi-Shari said.
“He was convicted of drinking alcohol for the sixth time. Of course, there was also the issue of driving without a license and keeping alcohol.”
Habibi-Shahri also posted a summary of the case on Instagram but has since deleted the post.
“What hurts me most is the tough approach of the Judiciary to this case, as if all the country’s problems would get resolved with the execution of my client,” he wrote.
“Today, I could not look into the eyes of [my] client’s children and wife. Despite endeavoring for one year, and enjoying the advice and consultation of some of the best masters in this field and my colleagues, my defense did not prove useful, and today the children of my client became orphans.”
Article 179 of the code adds that consumption of alcohol is punishable by death if the individual has two prior alcohol convictions.
The news of Jamali’s death was met with anger and condemnation on Iranian social media, the National Iranian American Council reported.
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The Khorasan Razavi Judiciary published a statement defending its decision to execute Jamali, saying that he had been sentenced multiple times for “possession of alcohol” and “has been prosecuted various times on charges such as kidnapping, intimidation, indecency and theft,” according to BBC.
Amnesty International’s deputy regional director of Middle East and North Africa criticized the harsh judgment in a statement.
“The Iranian authorities have once again laid bare the sheer cruelty and inhumanity of their judicial system by executing a man simply for drinking alcohol,” Diana Eltahawy said.
“The victim was the latest person to be executed in Valkalibad prison, the site of numerous secret mass executions and a grotesque theatre of Iran’s contempt for human life.”
Eltahawy also condemned Iran’s use of the death penalty, saying there is “no justification” for it.
In its annual Death Penalty report, Amnesty International recorded at least 251 executions in 2019 in Iran.
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