Pedram Pakayin

The head of domestic media in Iran’s Ministry of Culture has challenged the flogging sentence for cartoonist Mohammad Shokraye, describing it as “disproportionate and unprecedented.”

Pedram Pakayin told the Fars News Agency that the cartoon drawn by Mohammad Shokraye could in no way be regarded as offensive.

Mohammad Shokraye, a cartoonist in the Iranian city of Arak, in Central Province, was sentenced to 25 lashings because he depicted a former MP in his region as a football player on a football field.

The cartoon was published in Amir Magazine, accompanied by an article discussing the former MP’s failed efforts to transfer the football league championship to Arak.

Pakayin expressed hope that the judiciary will overturn the sentence before it moves to the final stages.

The sentence has been condemned by cartoonists internationally and challenged by the cartoonist community in Iran.