TEHRAN (AFP) — Nobel peace prize winner Shirin Ebadi’s rights group on Wednesday protested against the amputation of hands and feet as a punishment in Iran, warning of “new dimensions” in rights violations.
“Unfortunately, the violation of human rights in Iran has not only been expanded in some fields, it has also found new dimensions,” the group of human rights lawyers led by Ebadi said in a statement.
“In the past days, several criminals in the province of Sistan-Baluchestan were sentenced to the amputation of hands and legs for actions against security,” it said. “And the verdict has also been carried out.”
Iran amputated the right hand and left foot of five criminals convicted of armed robbery and hostage-taking in the southeastern city of Zahedan, capital of the restive Sistan-Baluchestan province, the ISNA news agency reported Sunday.
“Punishments including flogging, amputation of fingers, hands and legs, stoning and execution existing in the penal laws contradict international human rights principles,” the group said.
Iran’s judiciary is allowed to employ such punishments under Islamic Sharia law.
Even though amputation, flogging and stoning are rare in Iran, reports show that they are still used by the conservative judicial system especially at a local level.
“These (punishments) are also in contradiction with the main objective of punishment — which is correcting criminals,” the statement said.
The amputations came amid a campaign the authorities say is aimed at improving security in society which has led to an increasing number of executions in the Islamic republic, many of them in public.
On Saturday, Ebadi’s human rights group also slammed the rising number of executions in Iran, including the hanging of a young mother who murdered her husband.