We have previously discussed the brutality of Islamic nations enforcing medieval Sharia law. Iran has given the world another shocking addition to the long list of beheadings, floggings, and other forms of Islamic punishment. A "court" has ordered the amputation of the fingers of three teenagers found guilty of theft.
Photographs released by the country’s state news agency in 2013 show the punishment being carried out. In the images, a blindfolded man is led to the a crude saw, where two hooded men put his hand in a vice.
Another turns a handle which operates a circular saw that guillotines four of the man’s fingers.
The three prisoners will have four fingers from their right hands sawn off.
According to Iran International, the Iranian Supreme Court has upheld the Sharia sentencing Hadi Rostami, Mehdi Sharafian and Mehdi Shahivand who were convicted of four counts of robbery in the northern city of Urmia.
The boys have complained of torture leading to their confessions and one is reportedly in dire health condition after slitting one of his wrists.
Here is the provision found in Article 278 of the Islamic Punishment Law:
Article 278– The hadd punishment for theft is as follows:
(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 [on the foot] 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 though the theft is committed in prison.
Note 1- When the thief is lacking the limb which shall be amputated, s/he shall be sentenced to the punishment prescribed for ta’zir thefts.
Note 2- Regarding paragraph (c) of this article and other thefts that do not fall under the category of ta’zir, if the offender repents during the execution of the punishment, and the Supreme Leader agrees with his/her release, s/he shall be pardoned and released. In addition the Supreme Leader can replace his/her punishment with another ta’zir punishment.
Amputation was thought to have been phased out of Tehran's arsenal of punishment in the mid-2000s. But in 2008, five criminals convicted of various crimes, including “acting against God” and “corruption upon this Earth," were reportedly subjected to “cross amputation” where the right hands and left feet of the men were removed.
In a report on Iran's justice system, Amnesty International said:
"Amputation is torture plain and simple, and administering torture is a crime under international law.
As a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Iran is legally obliged to forbid torture in all circumstances and without exception.
Those responsible for ordering and executing such practices should know that they are liable to criminal prosecution under international law."
The amputation of the fingers of these minors is an offense to the most base concepts of human rights and indeed humanity itself.