100 Years of Regress

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By Ahang Rabbani

Anyone who has read much Iranian history of the last 500 years or so knows that in many instances Iranians developed extremely brutal methods for torture and punishment, which unfortunately has become legendary (e.g., skinning an opponent from head to toe and keeping him alive for several days, etc).

One method commonly used until the turn of the 20th century was to inflict the bastinado, in which the victim’s feet were tied to a stick and a switch was applied to the heels of both feet. This was an excruciatingly painful method, and fortunately for the most part disappeared with the demise of the Qajar Dynasty and the emergence of Reza Shah.

However, under the Islamic Regime once more beating by a switch has become a common form of corporal punishment. This time it can be applied to the entire body and often results in permanent internal damage.

Compare these two pictures which are separated by 100 years and lament over the trajectory of regress traversed by Iran during this time!

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