A Christian man in Iran has been sentenced to have his lips burnt with a cigarette for eating during the day in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The punishment was carried out in public in the city of Kermanshah.
Five Muslim men were also publicly flogged, each receiving 70 lashes for not fasting during the holy month, when Muslims are required to not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset.
The Daily Mail reports that a spokesman for Iran’s National Council of Resistance denounced the punishment as “savage” and called on the West to take action against Iran.
They said: “The silence of the world community, especially of western countries, vis-à-vis these medieval punishments under the excuse of having nuclear talks with Iran has intensified the brutal and systematic violation of human rights in Iran.
“This will ultimately embolden the Iranian regime to continue its nuclear projects more than before.”
Earlier this year, the UN issued a report condemning Iran for the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities. The report found that the country continues to imprison Christians based purely on their beliefs and even labels house churches, set up by Evangelicals, as “threats to national security”.
The report found that a total of 307 people from religious minorities were in prison in Iran as of January 2014, with Baha’is, Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians and Dervish Muslims being especially badly hit.
Iran is estimated to have Christian population of around 250,000, all of whom face suspicion, torture, imprisonment and even the death sentence for not following Islamic codes. Thousands have fled the country.