An unprecedented lashing sentence against Iranian cartoonist Mahmud Shokraye has been condemned by Iranian news sites and cartoonists.
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