30 September 2023 :
September 26, 2023 - Iran sentences 4 to death over bootleg alcohol that killed 17
Iran has sentenced 4 people to death for selling contaminated bootleg alcohol that killed 17 people and sent dozens more to hospital in June, the judiciary said on Tuesday.
The sale and consumption of alcohol has been banned in Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution, giving rise to a huge illicit trade in smuggled or bootleg alcohol, some of it adulterated with poisonous methanol.
In June, at least 17 people died and 191 were admitted to hospital with symptoms of methanol poisoning after drinking adulterated alcohol.
Judiciary spokesman Massoud Setayeshi said 11 defendants had been charged with the capital offence of corruption on earth over the distribution of the toxic liquor in Alborz province, west of Tehran.
Of the 11, 4 were sentenced to death while the rest received prison sentences of 1 to 5 years, Setayeshi said, adding that the convicts could appeal to the Supreme Court.
In June, authorities said they had raided a cosmetics factory where they had seized more than 6,000 litres (1,585 gallons) of bootleg alcohol preventing its distribution.
Alcohol has been banned in Iran Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, but Iranians still drink foreign and homemade alcoholic beverages that are sold on the black market.
Iranians are increasingly turning to cheap homemade alcohol because many can no longer afford to buy foreign-made beverages amid a deepening economic crisis which has seen growing inflation, unemployment and poverty.
Only members of Iran's Christian, Jewish and Zoroastrian minorities are exempt from the alcohol ban. Foreigners are required to respect it.