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As the clamor of the crowd grew louder, toy store clerk Ahmed Karimi stepped out
of his shop in a suburban Tehran mall to investigate. Before him, about 400 people
had gathered, gaping at the sight of a young man, stripped shirtless, with his
arms tied above his head to a tree. A bearded man shouted into a loudspeaker:
"This man is guilty of possessing and selling alcohol." Then a second man raised
a leather whip and cracked it across the young...