Iran Executes Man for Drinking Alcohol


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.”

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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.”

According to Iran’s penal code, consumption of alcohol is a crime against Allah that is punishable with 80 lashes, said Iran News Wire.

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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.

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.

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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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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith