Iran Human Rights (IHR)- Iran is one of the few countries where the authorities still issues and implements inhuman sentences such as cutting off hands and feet. According to records kept by Iran Human Rights, officially announced amputation sentences have been carried out on at least 30 people over the last ten years in Iran.
Following recent reports that four prisoners are scheduled to have their fingers amputated as punishment, Iran Human Rights (IHR) once again calls on the international community to pressure the Iranian authorities to stop
such inhuman sentences.
Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, director of IHR said: “Cutting off limbs as punishment is inhuman, cruel and degrading. The international community, in particular the European Union and Norway, must put pressure on the Iranian authorities to stop these sentences.”
Amiry-Moghaddam added: “World states should not through their silence, allow the brutal punishment of amputation to be carried out in the 21st century by a United Nations member state.”
Recent news that prisoners Hadi Rostami, Mehdi Sharafian and Mehdi Shahivand were to have their fingers amputated as part of their punishment has shaken Iranian society. The three prisoners were arrested between 2015-2016 in a joint robbery case. A court in Urmia handed the amputation sentences down in November 2019 and they were upheld by the Supreme Court in July 2020. Their case was recently sent for implementation and they are currently held at Urmia Central Prison.
Another prisoner, Kasra Karam, a Kermanshah native, was arrested in October 2015 in Urmia and sentenced to have his fingers amputated by Branch One of the Urmia Criminal Court a year later. His sentence has also been upheld by the Supreme Court. According to Kasra’s lawyer, his client lives in poverty and his child suffers from a serious illness.
Previously, reports had emerged of several other Iranian citizens, including Morteza Esmailian, an Urmia native, having been sentenced to have their limbs amputated.
It should be noted that all the aforementioned are Urmia Central Prison detainees. Due to the untransparent nature of the Iranian judiciary, the exact number of amputation sentences nationally is unknown, but it is estimated that tens of people are at risk of this inhuman punishment.
Considering previous practices by Islamic Republic officials in using oppressive sentences to intimidate and create fear in society, and given the upcoming anniversary of the November 2019 protests, Iran Human Rights expresses its concern about the possibility of an increase in carrying out inhuman sentences like amputation in the coming weeks.