News Column

Iran Photographers face lash for criticising book

August 19, 2014

Saeed Kamali Dehghan

Two photographers in Iran have been sentenced to a total of 75 lashes after criticising a book by a local official.

The men, from Qazvin province, were put on trial after Mohammad-Ali Hazrati, the head of the local cultural heritage organisation, felt insulted by reviews they had written in separate posts online about his photography book, Qazvin, the Land of Times Past.

The photographers, Khalil Imami and Abbas Alipour, criticised the use of public money in publishing a book they felt lacked artistic merit. Hazrati's book is sponsored by Qazvin municipality and reportedly distributed for free.

Imami wrote a review in a weekly publication called Taban, saying that for a book of 216 pages published on expensive paper, it had little artistic value.

Hazrati retaliated by apparently using a pseudonym to publish a response in the same publication, branding Imami's review "insulting" and "partial". Alipour came to Imami's defence.

Hazrati then filed a suit against the two men. A Qazvin court found them guilty of insulting the official and sentenced them to be lashed, local media reported. Saeed Kamali Dehghan

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Source: Guardian (UK)

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