Two Iranian men who, against the warnings about the coronavirus, licked a holy altar in the country, risk imprisonment, and lashes. A video of the men went around the internet earlier.
In one of the videos, a man licks the Masumeh altar in the northern Iranian city of Qom. “I am licking this, and I don’t care whatever happens,” he says before he goes ahead. The video has since been viewed more than half a million times.
In the second video in another city in Iran, the man says that he is explicitly at the building to lick it. ‘The disease can then enter my body, and then others can visit the site without fear,’ the man said.
Up to 2 years in prison and lashes
But now it appears that the two men cannot get rid of it so quickly. According to MP Hasan Nowrozi in the country, “such people risk two months to two years in prison and up to 74 lashes as punishment”. According to Nowrozi, the men are guilty because they published “fake and superstitious news against the government”.
The men licked the altars because some religious clergy believe they have healing and divine powers. Millions of people visit the altars every year to pray for them, to touch them, or to kiss them. In recent days, the Iranian government was criticized on social media because it did not want to close the places of prayer.
The total death toll in the country has already risen to 77. A total of 2,336 Iranians have already contracted the virus. As many as 435 people have been declared cured.