Man’s Hand Amputated as Punishment for Theft Conviction in Mashhad
A man’s hand was amputated with a guillotine on January 17, 2018, in Central Prison in the city of Mashhad, northeastern Iran, according to a local daily newspaper.
“After the sentence was carried out in accordance with Sharia and common law, the convict was immediately transferred to a medical center where he received treatment,” reported the Khorasan newspaper.
The paper identified the man as 34-year-old “Ali Kh.,” who reportedly “confessed to stealing 21 farm animals in four cities in the Khorasan Razavi and South Khorasan Provinces in 2011.”
The sentence was carried out after the man lost his appeal at Branch 1 of the Appeals Court in Khorasan Razavi Province. The paper did not say when the final verdict was issued.
“After several cases of theft in Khorasan Razavi provincial cities a few years ago, the police launched an investigation to capture the individual or individuals who were destroying rural homes at night and robbing sheep belonging to the village residents,” said the paper. “The robberies spread to other regions and caused a lot of anxiety among the villagers whose gold pieces, motorcycles and other belongings were also being stolen.”
Continued the report: “Eventually, the police discovered some leads, which showed a young 28-year-old [at the time] was the main man behind the thefts. The judicial authorities issued a warrant for his arrest and he was taken into custody in 2011 and during preliminary investigations, he confessed to 21 cases of robbing farm animals,” added the paper.
The report added that the last recorded amputation as punishment in Mashhad occurred two and a half years ago when “Mehdi R,” who was also convicted of theft, had his right hand and part of his left leg cut off in August 2015.
Article 201 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code allows the following punishments for theft:
- A) On the first occasion, 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.
- B) On the second occasion, amputation of the left foot from the end of the knob in such a manner that half of the sole and part of the place of anointing [during ablution] remain.
- C) On the third occasion, life imprisonment.
- D) On the fourth occasion, the death penalty even if the theft is committed in prison.
However, amputation as a legal punishment violates Article 7 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which prohibits subjecting people “to torture or to cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment.”
Iran ratified the ICCPR in 1975.