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Convicted Thief's Hand 'Amputated' In Northeastern Iran


Mashhad Prosecutor, Gholamali Sadeghi

The Islamic Republic authorities have amputated the hand of a 34-year old man on Wednesday, January 17, for stealing sheep.

According the local media, the executioners, using a guillotine, cut the man’s hand in the central prison of Mashhad, the holiest Shi’ite’s city inside Iran. The news was announced by Mashahd prosecutor Gholamali Sadeghi.

The man was arrested in 2011 charged with stealing sheep in four different cities in Razavi and Southern Khorasan provinces.

After the accused confessed to his crimes, the judge condemned him to return 21 stolen sheep and punishment by amputating one of his hands, local daily Khorasan reported, Thursday, January 18.

The defendant appealed the sentence, but the Court of Appeal upheld the verdict and ratified it as legitimate and lawful”.

The man, referred to as A. Kh., was transferred to a medical center after the punishment was carried out, the paper said.

In a statement, Amnesty International said that such an "unspeakably cruel" punishment showed the Iranian authorities' "complete disregard for human dignity."

"There is no place for such brutality in a robust criminal justice system," said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at the London-based rights group.

"Amputation is torture plain and simple, and administering torture is a crime under international law," Mughrabi added.

The Convention Against Torture, the most important international human rights treaty dealing exclusively with torture, obligates signatory countries to prohibit and prevent torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment under all circumstances.

Though Islamic Republic has been long a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, but has not signed The International Convention Against Torture.

Meanwhile, Iranian law based on the Islamic Penal Code, does not recognize amputation of criminals as torture. In some cases, Iranian diplomats have been forced to defend the Islamic penal code.

In 2017, dozens of amputation sentences were imposed in Iran and subsequently upheld by the country's Supreme Court, according to Amnesty International.

Judicial authorities also continued to carry out punishments such as flogging and blinding.

With reporting by dpa
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