Three teenagers convicted of stealing had their sentences upheld by the Iranian Supreme Court. The court ordered that the sentence be carried out; four fingers from their right hands will be severed, in accordance with Islamic law.
The three young men claim that their confessions were tortured out of them. One of the young men is in very bad health after slitting his wrists earlier this year.
“Article 278 of the Islamic Punishment Law, the four fingers of their right hands will be cut off for four counts of robbery,” IRM noted. “The fingers must be cut off from the bottom, leaving only the palm and the thumb. According to Article 667 of the same law, they were also ordered to return the stolen goods.”
As a strict Islamic Republic, amputation is legal in Iran based on the Sharia law, which enables “amputation of the full length of four fingers of the right hand of the thief in such a manner that the thumb and palm of the hand remain” — although it remains relatively rare, with the death penalty the more common sentence handed down by the courts.
Nonetheless, it is not apparent how many Iranians are levied with judicial amputation each year, as the cases are kept clandestine to avoid heat from human rights advocates and the broader international community.
Iran apologists argued for years that the practice had been “phased out” and that Iran was actually a decent, enlightened country. Barack Obama thought so. He signed a deal that kept Iran from getting the bomb for a long time. At least, that’s what the Iranians told him.
But in the last few years, human rights groups have reported that the “moderate” government of Iran is still performing unspeakable “punishments” on prisoners.
After having not known to have been practiced for a number of years, it was thought to have been phased out of Tehran’s arsenal of punishment in the mid-2000s, until 2008 when it emerged that five convicted criminals in the southeastern parcel of the country had had fingers removed after being found guilty of armed robbery, hostage-taking and firing at police. However, they were officially convicted of “acting against God” and “corruption upon this Earth.”
Under the observation of doctors, the right hands and left feet of the men were removed in a “cross amputation.” According to the traditional legal decree, the right hand is amputated for a first serious offense and the left foot for a second serious offense.
In October last year, Tehran was widely condemned for having dismembered another man’s finger after convicting him of theft. Amnesty International called the amputation, which took place in the northern province of Mazandaran, “an abhorrent form of torture.”
The world works itself into a lather when the U.S. uses tear gas on protesters but remains absolutely silent in the face of this atrocity. If they can question America’s justice system, they can condemn Iran’s notion of “Islamic” justice.