Aref was lashed on October 9 before being released from Tehran's Evin prison, where he had spent the last 11 months because of his political activism.
Aref's wife, Samira Jamshidi, told RFE/RL's Radio Farda his interrogators and the chief of staff of Tehran's prosecutor were present when the lashing sentence was carried out.
She said the lashing sentence was apparently related to a letter Aref wrote in which he criticized President Mahmud Ahmadinejad over the increasing pressure on universities.
She described the sentence as "revenge" against Aref by the authorities, who she said weren't able to break him through other methods, including solitary confinement.
At least two other political activists have been lashed in recent weeks.
-- Golnaz Esfandiari