Friday, 27 February 2009 NCRI - Two women activists were whipped on Thursday for participating in May Day celebrations in 2007 in the northwestern city of Sanandaj. Susan Zazani and Shiva Khirabadi were sentenced by the mullahs’ judiciary in Kurdistan. Local residents expressed anger at the clerical regime for carrying out such cruel and degrading punishments. On February 20, 2008, two male workers who had participated in the same demonstration were whipped in Sanandaj prison. A total of 10 workers were sentenced to flogging for demonstrating on May Day 2007 in Sanandaj. On June 26, 2007 mullahs’ highest judicial authority, Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, says public flogging is an effective criminal deterrent, while imprisonment is a useless punishment. In an interview broadcast on state TV on June 25 in the evening program, the head of the Iranian regime’s Judicial Authority complained that "many Iranian judges, influenced by western propaganda and fearing they will be accused of failing to respect human rights, are not sentencing offenders to effective penalties like public flogging". "Public flogging is one of most just sentences that can be inflicted on someone who has committed a crime," said Shahroudi. "The publication of photos and news of public floggings is the best deterrent, while three or four months in prison has no effect," he said. "We must reduce prison sentences and make use of public flogging more to punish offenders." In May, the rights group Amnesty International urged Iranian courts to suspend flogging sentences. "Flogging is a form of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, which amounts to torture," the organization said. Amnesty said it was outlawed under Article 7 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.