Monday, April 26, 2010

Double Amputation in Iran

On April 14, 2010 a piece of news appeared on some of Iranian papers, that unfortunately it didn't capture much of our world's attention. A man sentenced to double amputations and his accomplice to death penalty. Although it is not a new form of punishment in Islamic republic of Iran but one needs to take into consideration all facts surrounding this news to comprehend significance of it.

I wrote over and over in this blog about unfair due process in Iran's Islamic legal system. Also I wrote about excessive use of death penalty in Iran's Islamic judicial courts. I mentioned execution is taking some one's life. It is a barbaric form of punishment. It is a murder committed by government. It has medieval roots and proved to be ineffective in society and criminal's behaviour.

Amputation sentences has been issued since the Islamic revolution in Iran and Sharia laws has been exercised in all aspects of jurisprudence since then (1979). Amputations sentences may include amputation of limbs (hand and leg), fingers and eye-gouging as the most common form of amputations in Islamic republic of Iran. In double amputations, they cut off two limbs, like two hands or two feet but mostly one hand and one foot, to make it difficult (, if not impossible) for the condemned to do anything.

It has been reported that Islamic courts have extensively issued amputation sentences in post-revolutionary era, first ten years since 1979. I do not have stats and figures to back up this claim but I heard it over times from different sources. Taking into account the chaotic time in Iran in that era, would make sense to me but still I take it with a grain of salt and I will wait to see stats before I make up my mind on this specific claim.

Amputation sentences issued over the years in Islamic Iran and its use and news published on national and/or local papers. Some argued it was not much emphasis on the usage of this form of punishment on the media, some other hold opposite opinion. From my perspective, this cruel barbaric punishment has been practiced in Islamic Iran so regardless of its media coverage quality, we should make sure Iranian authorities will be held responsible for this vicious punishment.

In the new instance, head of Iran's Police Criminal Investigation department, Asghar Jafari called for performing Islamic punishments, specially the amputation of hand. He stated Iran's Police is prepared to carry out amputation punishments if judicial authorities have difficulty to implement them. This report announced on November 8, 2009 after the height of election protests and before future protests that occurred later in 2009 and early 2010.

Though Iranian police and militia bloody crackdown protesters but people showed they were going to put their lives on the line and come out on streets to protest against regime. Authorities came up with different scare tactics to put an end to the peaceful protests. Calling for amputations by Police enforcement was on the line with regime's strategy. There is one thing worth mentioning that according to Islamic Iran constitution, Iranian Police enforcement has nothing to do with judicial process and in fact the announcement was illegal.

Islamic republic of Iran executed some people (I do not have exact numbers yet) during election protests and subsequently until now. But this doesn't silence the discontent society. It is a silent volcano now but with a little shake will erupt and appear on the streets. Authorities knowing this fact too well, using inhuman and harsh punishments for crimes that could have lighter sentences or even for innocent, just to set an example out of them and repress society at large.

For the record in history, I am going to put two pieces of related news (in Persian language) that I refereed to, here on this post: