April 1, 2023

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Iran: Fingers amputated for man convicted of theft, according to Amnesty

Amnesty International said on Friday that the fingers of a burglar convicted of theft were cut off by guillotine in Iran this week, condemning the “punishment of unspeakable cruelty”.

Thirty-year-old Pouya Torabi was rushed to hospital on July 27 after his fingers were amputated in front of several officers and a doctor from Evin prison in Tehran, according to a London-based NGO.

According to Amnesty, Iranian authorities had already amputated the fingers of another detainee, Syed Bharat Hosseini, on May 31 without administering anesthesia.

The latter was denied the mental and physical health care he needed for his infections and his trauma, according to the NGO, and he was held in solitary confinement in Evin “to prevent his conviction and his current state of health from being known.”

“Mutilation is judicially sanctioned torture and therefore a crime under international law. All those who participated in the decision-making process of this corporal punishment must be punished in a fair trial,” said Diana Eldahawy, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.

According to him, at least eight prisoners in this country are currently at risk of such severance: “Impunity is widespread in Iran, and if the international community does not act, more and more people will be subjected to the punishment of this unspeakable cruelty”. .

In June, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concern and urged Iran to end all forms of corporal punishment.

Amnesty said the two were transferred from provincial prisons to Evin to serve their sentences in a prison clinic in the presence of a doctor.

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In April, the NGO reported, “a special guillotine was established in Evin to centralize the execution of the severed sentences pronounced throughout the country.”

In Iran, according to the Iranian Penal Code, the punishments for amputation are the cutting off of four fingers from the right hand.

According to the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center, Iranian authorities have amputated at least 131 men’s fingers since January 2000.

The use of these punishments has decreased in recent years, but, according to civil society, Iran is currently experiencing increasing repression, particularly marked by a surge in executions and arrests of filmmakers.