Berlin presses for bigger Afghan force

Other News Materials 9 February 2008 19:00 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa )- The Iranian judiciary has acquitted a young man who had been sentenced to death for repeated alcohol consumption, ISNA news agency reported on Saturday.

The acquittal came after the man denied drinking alcohol and regretted previous incidents of alcohol consumption, ISNA said.

ISNA reported earlier this week that the 22-year old, who had already been arrested three times for drinking and disturbing the public peace, had once again been found drunk on the street in Tehran and had to be rearrested by police.

According to Islamic law, Muslims in Iran are not allowed to drink alcohol. Offenders are usually punished with cash fines or lashes for the first two offences, while a third consecutive offence is to be punished by death.

Even foreigners and non-Muslim minorities, such as Armenians, are not allowed to consume alcohol in public.

Despite the strict ban, alcoholic beverages can easily be obtained on the country's black market at high prices.