An unprecedented lashing sentence against Iranian cartoonist Mahmud Shokraye has been condemned by Iranian news sites and cartoonists.
Mahmud Shokraye was sentenced to 25 lashes for portraying a conservative politician as a soccer player.
Shokraye was earlier this week sentenced to 25 lashes over his depiction of conservative lawmaker Ahmad Lotfi Ashtiani as a soccer player.
The cartoon was deemed insulting by the lawmaker who is among politicians criticized for interfering in sports.
In a joint statement, a dozen Iran-based new websites condemned Shokraye’s sentence and warned that it sets a dangerous precedent.
The statement noted that drawing cartoons of politicians, including of Iranian presidents and other top officials, is common in Iran.
A number of Iranian cartoonists have also protested against the sentence by drawing new cartoons of Ashtiani.
Speaking to RFE/RL’s Radio Farda, Paris-based cartoonist Mana Neyestani, who initiated the online cartoon protest, said the sentence was alarming.
With reporting by Baztab