Iranian photographers sentenced to 75 lashes

Two men face punishment of 75 lashes for criticizing a book by a local official.

Two men, both from from Qazvin province, were put on trial when Mohammad-Ali Hazrati, the head of the local cultural heritage organization, felt insulted by the negative reviews the pair had written in separate posts online about his photography book, “Qazvin, the Land of Times Past”, according to The Guardian.

The photographers, Khalil Imami and Abbas Alipour, had criticised the official for using public money in publishing a book they felt lacked artistic merit. Hazrati’s book is sponsored by Qazvin’s municipality and reportedly distributed for free. He is also cultural adviser to Qazvin’s governor. Imami wrote that the book was published on expensive coated
paper, had little artistic value, and also went into detail of poor lighting, bad framing and distortions.

According to the initial verdict of the court, he has been condemned to 25 lashes, and the other photographer sentenced to 50 lashes.

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