Five former members of the city council in Babol, Iran have been sentenced to a total of nineteen years prison, 33 years deprivation of social rights, and 540 lashes, apparently for involvement in a sex scandal.
"The Supreme Court has upheld the verdict against the former city councilors," the head of Justice Department in the city of Babol, northern Iran disclosed on Saturday, August 31.
Although he has not mentioned the number of those convicted, it was revealed last year that five out of the nine-member city council of Babol were sacked. They were later tried after a video circulated on social media disclosing their involvement in a sex scandal.
The five were charged with a series of crimes, including clandestinely producing pornographic films, extortion, and receiving bribes.
The mid-ranking cleric and Friday Prayer Imam of the city, Hassan Rouhani (no relation with the Islamic Republic President), maintained at the time, "The city councilors collaborating with several individuals outside the council used bullying, laid a trap, and forced a woman into prostitution. They also paid large amounts of bribes for removing their pornographic tapes from social media."
According to Rouhani, three of the five city councilors paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for the removal of the controversial footage.
Adultery and sex outside of marriage are illegal under the Islamic Republic's law and can carry the death penalty.