Published time: 28 May, 2016 14:43
At least 30 college students were arrested, interrogated and given 99 lashes each - all within 24 hours for attending a graduation party that included both men and women.
Students at the mixed party, which happened in the city of Qazvin some 90 miles northwest of Tehran, were “dancing and jubilating” when authorities arrived on scene after receiving a report from residents about the event, according to the New York Times.
The women attending the party were also described by the Qazvin prosecutor as being “half naked,” meaning they were not fully covered with long coats and hijabs, which is seen as going against Islam in the conservative country.
Esmail Sadeghi Niaraki, who was overseeing the case, called it a “lesson” for those involved, local news agency Mizan reported on Thursday.
“We hope this will be a lesson for those who break Islamic norms in private places,” Niaraki said.
Gender mixing, dancing and consuming alcohol are also illegal in Iran, though many people continue to ignore the laws in larger cities.
Similar raids on parties took place days before in the northern province of Semnan, where 97 people were detained, and in Kerman, with 23 Iranians arrested.
Police in Semnan had been monitoring 58 households belonging to single people for weeks prior to the raids, the New York Times confirmed.
Authorities said although living alone is not illegal in Iran, apartments occupied by single people are more likely to be the “site of criminal conduct” including the consumption of drugs and alcohol.
Iran has continued to clampdown on any activities deemed un-Islamic with several Instagram models arrested last week for posting pictures of themselves without wearing headscarves, which is mandatory in the Islamic Republic.