More than 30 students who partied at a graduation ceremony in northern Iran have received 99 lashes each for violating the Islamic republic’s morality code, a news agency reported

“Following a report about a large number of young boys and girls mingling together in a villa around Qazvin, all those taking part in the party were arrested immediately,” Mizanonline quoted on Thursday the town’s prosecutor general as saying.

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Esmail Sadeghi Niyaraki said the youths were put on trial and each sentenced to 99 lashes, a punishment which morality police carried out the same day “so to be a lesson for those who attempt to breach the conventions.” No date was given.

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“The arrest of this many young girls and boys, who were half-naked, consuming alcohol and were engaged in indecent behavior, hurt the public opinion,” the official said.

“Thank God, within less than 24 hours, interrogation, investigation, trial, issue of verdict and carrying out the verdict were completed,” said Niyaraki.

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Mixed dancing is banned in Iran, especially if females do not wear the Islamic veil, and alcohol is prohibited.

Niyaraki also warned that any restaurants or catering halls which allowed such mixed events or served alcohol would be closed down.

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