Former political prisoner Arash Sadeghi said that Iranian authorities amputated the fingers of a prisoner for theft in Tehran’s Evin Prison.
In a tweet on June 2, Arash Sadeghi wrote: “Since one month ago, a device called a guillotine (for amputation) has been brought to a room in Evin Prison infirmary. On May 31, the four fingers of a prisoner who had been transferred from Kermanshah Prison to Evin Prison (ward 7) were amputated. This sentence was carried out under strict security measures in the medical ward of Evin Prison.”
Three other prisoners, Hadi Rostami, Mehdi Sharafian, and Mehdi Shahivand have been transferred from Urmia Prison to Evin prison to have their fingers amputated.
These men, Hadi Rostami, 35, Mehdi Sharfian 39, Mehdi Shahivand 44, have been sentenced to “have four fingers on their right hands completely cut off so that only the palm of their hands and their thumbs are left”, as per punishment for certain types of robbery under Article 278 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code.
They were handed the punishment in September 2020, after a failed appeal.
They were originally tried on November 2, 2019, on four counts of robbery in the city of Urmia, in northern Iran close to the border with Turkey.
Iran’s penal code is based on a strict interpretation of Sharia law, which for first-time thieves calls for ‘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.’
Second offenders face ‘amputation of the left foot in such a manner that half of the sole and part of the place of anointing [during religious ceremonies] remain.’
The law prescribes life imprisonment and the death penalty for third and fourth-time offenders, respectively.
It is not clear how many people are subjected to amputation each year in Iran since the regime keeps most cases secret to avoid international backlash.
In January 2018 authorities in north-eastern Iran amputated the hand of a 34-year-old man convicted of stealing sheep.