Amnesty International said that the international community must use all diplomatic means available to stop the Iranian authorities from amputating the fingers of eight men convicted of theft.
In a statement released on June 10, Amnesty International said at least three of the men were convicted based on torture-tainted “confessions” following grossly unfair trials.
“Amputating prisoners’ fingers is a form of torture and is yet another shocking reminder of the shameless inhumanity of the criminal justice system in Iran, which legalizes torture, a crime under international law,” Diana Eltahawy, Amnesty International’s deputy regional director for the Middle East and North Africa said.
“Carrying out such heinous punishments is not justice – it is an abhorrent assault on human dignity,” Eltahawy added.
Eltahawy called on the Iranian authorities to immediately quash the convictions and amputation sentences of the eight men and grant them fair retrials.
“We call on the international community to urgently intervene to stop these sentences from being carried out. They must also call on Iranian authorities to abolish all forms of corporal punishment. It is unacceptable that the authorities in Iran continue to commit such criminal acts of cruelty with impunity.”
All eight men are currently being held at the Greater Tehran Penitentiary.
Amnesty International said Iranian authorities have informed the men that they will be transferred to a prison with a guillotine machine in the coming days to implement their sentences.
Iranian authorities last week amputated the fingers of a man convicted of theft in the notorious Evin Prison.
In a tweet on June 2, former political prisoner 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.”
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.