Freedom Messenger --The clip, uploaded by members of the Iranian opposition, shows a young many lying on his stomach in a city square and being whipped at least 20 times by a masked man.
To the side stands another man, a cleric, who appears to be instructing the flogger on how to carry out the punishment. Dozens of locals are seen looking on.
The user who published the clip said that it was filmed last Sunday in the village of Miane in northwest Iran. Witnesses said the young man had been arrested for allegedly drinking alcohol.
Consumption of alcohol is forbidden in the Islamic Republic, as is the import or sale of alcohol, although Jews and Christians are permitted to use wine for ritual purposes. From time to time, the police conduct raids to combat the smuggling of alcohol into Iran, mostly from other Gulf countries.
However, many young people remain undeterred by the ban on alcohol and continue to hold parties where it flows freely, apparently unconcerned that they could find themselves in the same situation as the young man in the video.
Public flogging is a punishment given not only for drinking, but also for other violations of Sharia law. Last year, Iranian student Fayman Aaraf was flogged for insulting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a letter he sent from prison. In Aaraf's case, he was not publicly whipped – although his wife and a number of legal officials from Tehran were present.