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Sudan: Judges to be trained to carry out amputations

Amnesty International today called for an immediate halt to amputations as punishment in Sudan after the country’s Deputy Chief Justice threatened to train judges to cut off convicted criminals’ hands and legs if doctors refuse. Amputations for punishment are in serious breach of international law.

Deputy Chief Justice Abdul Rahman Sharfi has also threatened to prosecute doctors who refuse to carry out amputation sentences.

On 14 February 2013 doctors removed the hand and leg of a man who had been convicted of robbery. This was the first case human rights organisations have been able to document since 2002.

However, Chief Justice Sharfi indicated in a statement that 16 amputation sentences had been carried out in Sudan since 2001, suggesting that the punishment might be more pervasive than previously thought.

Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa Programme Director, said:
“This cruel and inhuman treatment, which is banned under international law, needs to be abolished immediately.
“The Government of Sudan needs to amend its national legislation to stop this torture and bring its Penal Code into line with international standards."

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