Prisoner punished with lashes in Iran
Prisoner punished with lashes in IranMorteza Nikoubazl/Reuters

Dozens of Iranian college students were arrested in the city of Qazvin, Iranian officials said, in what observers say is part of a wider crack-down on “immoral behavior”.

According to the Mizan news agency, the students were arrested at an “immodest” graduation party which included both men and women. The students were questioned over their involvement in the event, then given 99 lashes – all within hours of their arrest.

Esmail Sadeghi Niaraki, the local prosecutor in Qazvin, said the female students were “dancing and jubilating” while “half naked”, and that police had been tipped off about the party.

The arrests are part of a recent trend of increased enforcement of modesty laws and prohibitions on the consumption of alcohol.

A day before the arrests in Qazvin, police raided parties in the cities of Kerman and Semnan. Nearly 100 people were taken into custody at parties in Semnan, Iranian media reported.

Semnan police revealed that they had been monitoring dozens of homes where young singles lived, watching for use of alcohol or drugs, as well as immodest behavior with members of the opposite sex.

Two weeks ago Iranian police made a series of arrests targeting prominent Iranian bloggers other social media figures.