Friday, January 18, 2008

Iran Report: Amputations

I've lumped these five similarly depressing posts together and at the beginning of the day, giving you the option to go no further if you wish not to do so.

All the reports are from the same source, a respectable British daily, (register) if that indeed is not a contradiction of terms.

My original trawl was for this first story, three out of the other for that popped up are contemporary.

There is little point me ranting and raving and stating the obvious, these horror stories do their own telling, but only this.

When a religion, or more precisely, that religion's code of law dictates that such barbarity and such disregard for human life can be enabled and enacted in it's name, then there is something woefully wrong with that religion, and not least there is something even more woeful about the creatures that implement it.

Iran Chops Off Hands and Feet of Five robbers and Hangs 23 Criminals in 2008

Using strict enforcement of Islamic law, the judicial authorities in southern Iran amputated the right hands and left feet of five convicted robbers this week.

The double amputations came as it was revealed there have been 23 public executions since the start of the year as part of what the government said was an effort to "deter other troublemakers".

The amputations were believed to be the first in Iran for many years. The courts ordered the right hand and left foot cut off, in line with ancient custom so that it is difficult, if not impossible, for the condemned to walk, even with a cane or crutches.

An Iranian rights group led by Shirin Ebadi, the lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize winner, protested the penalties, which it called an expansion of cruel punishments in Iran.

"Unfortunately, the violation of human rights in Iran has not only been expanded in some fields, it has also found new dimensions," Ms. Ebadi's group, which calls itself Defenders of Human Rights, said in a statement.

Iranian newspapers yesterday reported the hanging of seven men convicted of murder and drug smuggling in different cities this week. In the first 10 days of January there have been 23 executions.

"Figures confirm that executions have increased in Iran," Ms. Ebadi said in an interview. "We have issued statements several times and have said that we are against punishment by death."

Iran has been an active user of the death penalty, usually hanging, and is one of several countries that opposed its abolition last month during a vote on the United Nations General Assembly resolution, joining in an unusual alliance with the United States. Officials argued that the abolition of the death penalty would be an infringement on Iran's sovereignty.

Amputation has been a punishment in Iran since the Islamic revolution of 1979 installed Islamic law, but Iran's judicial authorities have rarely publicized examples of its use and are not known to have ordered any double amputations. A statement by the Judicial Branch in Sistan-Baluchistan Province in the south-east of the country, where the convicted robbers were punished, said it hoped the double amputations would "teach a lesson to other criminals," the news agency ISNA reported. Reports said doctors watched to limit bleeding and infection during the procedure.

"It doesn't matter how often these sentences are issued; even once is not acceptable, and our laws should change," Ms. Ebadi said. "We have constantly protested the existence of such punishments in our penal code. But the government ignores our protest."

The amputations were done in Zahedan, the provincial capital near the Pakistan border, where the authorities have faced increasing insecurity because of the Sunni minority in the region. Iran's population is overwhelming Shiite.

Iran has waged a large-scale campaign this year aimed at improving security in Sistan-Baluchistan. At least some of those reported executed so far this year had been arrested during the campaign. Iran hanged 298 people in 2007, compared with 177 hangings in 2006. The executions this year were carried out ahead of the mourning month of Muharram that began Thursday under the lunar calendar. Under Islamic law, executions are forbidden for the month.

Among those reported executed on January 1 was a 27-year-old woman and mother of two who killed her husband when she was 23.

The woman, Raheleh Zamani, was hanged at Tehran's Evin prison despite a promise by the authorities to postpone her execution by a month.

A group of feminists were trying to get the consent of the victim's family to save her life. She had married at the age of 15 and had been abused by her husband, Ms. Ebadi said.source

1 comment:

Eliot Olivar said...

One of the issues amputees have to cope with is that if they don't sustain good form in the extra limb, the skin appears to break down simpler, bruises and attacks heal slower, the bones crack simpler, and the prosthetic's fit variations more easily and drastically.

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