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Iran: Amnesty urges authorities not to punish with amputations

Amnesty International today (12 November) expressed serious concern at reports that the head of Iran's Police Criminal Investigation department has called for greater reliance on the amputation of the hands of thieves to reduce crime.

According to the the Iranian Labour News Agency on 8 November, police chief Asghar Jafari claimed that if such punishments were implemented, crime could be reduced by 90%. He produced no evidence to support this assertion.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

“Amputation is a completely inhumane punishment and basically amounts to torture. Like other cruel practices such as flogging, it’s prohibited by international human standards.

“Amnesty International has long campaigned for an end to such punishments. We are also urging the Iranian authorities to end the use of the death penalty and particularly stoning, a method specifically designed to increase the suffering of the condemned person.”

The last amputation in Iran recorded by Amnesty took place in Kermanshah, western Iran in December 2008.

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