Iran continues to hand down cruel punishments for impoverished convicted thieves

Iran cruel punishments
A public flogging in Iran

A 27-year old man was sentenced to three years in prison and 74 lashes for “stealing a chicken” in Laly city in the southwestern province of Khuzestan.
Quoted by the judiciary’s news agency Mizan Online, the Chief Justice of the city confirmed the news on January 29, 2019.

“The defendant is persecuted for theft and on the other hand, he has a history of committing theft, drugs crimes and disturbing public order,” the chief justice said.

Iran is going through much social crisis expanded by the regime intentionally or due to its mismanagement: Poverty, drug addiction, child labor, beggars, and even “grave people” which should be added to English dictionaries as a new phrase for poor Iranian people who use empty graves as home or a shelter for sleeping.

Rather than curing the social problems which are the source of many criminal acts in society, the Iranian regime insists on implementing inhumane punishments.

Severing limbs is one of the regime’s penalties for thieves who had resorted to theft as a last solution to overcome their miseries and make ends meet.

In comments carried by the state-run media on January 16, 2019, Iranian Prosecutor-General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri admitted that, under backbreaking economic pressures, many faithful and God-fearing poverty-stricken people might be forced to commit theft.

Yet, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri criticized the lower rates of hand amputation even while acknowledging that the reason behind the rise in robbery was Iran’s dire economic conditions.

Montazeri said that the hands of thieves had to be amputated but that “unfortunately, so as not be condemned on human rights issues in the United Nations, we have abandoned some of the divine laws.”

“One of the mistakes that we make is that we are afraid of human rights (propaganda) and that they say that you treat thieves violently,” he added in a meeting with police commanders today.

According to Iran’s Attorney General, thieving had increased in Iran compared to last year.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ General (IRGC) and deputy commander of the Law Enforcement Force of the Islamic Republic, Ayoub Soleimani, said on the same day that there are nearly 200,000 low-level thieves and burglars across Iran responsible for 60%-65% of thefts.

Based on the Prosecutor-General’s comments on the same day, if “hudud” is implemented, the hands of a significant number of these “officially recognized” thieves should be amputated.

Regardless of international criticism, the regime has never been shy to implement cruel punishments in public.

In January 2018, local media reported that a 34-year-old man had one of his hands chopped off publicly as punishment for stealing livestock in the northeastern province of Razavi Khorasan.

The amputation was condemned by Amnesty International as an “unspeakably cruel” punishment that highlighted Iranian authorities’ “complete disregard for human dignity.”

In one particularly appalling case, authorities in Shiraz amputated the hand of a man convicted of robbery in April 2017 before executing him 10 days later for murder.

On October 10, 2018, the first branch of the Iranian regime’s of criminal court in Urmia northwest Iran ordered the severing of the hand of a prisoner for theft. The verdict is expected to be executed soon.

In a shocking statement before the UN Human Rights Council in October 2010, Mohammad Javad Larijani, the head of Iran’s Human Rights Council, denied that such punishments amount to torture, claiming they are “culturally and religiously justified.”