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Three whipped publicly for alcohol, liaison

2/16/01 Tehran, Feb 15, IRNA -- Three Iranian men, including two brothers and their cousin, all convicted of drinking alcohol and illicit sex were whipped in public near Vanaq Square in northern Tehran Thursday.

Brothers Mohammad, Majid and their cousin Ismail Rahimi received respectively 179, 180 and 180 lashes of a whip.

All three were found guilty by Tehran's Court of Common Pleas.

The whippings were in line with the sharia, or Islamic law, which forbids the consumption of alcoholic beverages for Muslims as well as extra-marital sexual relationships.

Punishments can vary from prison to lashing, though rarely in public, and even death by stoning for adultery.

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