MEDICAL CONCERN AMPUTATIONS IN IRAN 1985
AI Index: MDE 13/02/5
Date: 15 February 1985
(See also AI Index MDE 13/09/84; 18 December 1984)
On 7 February 1985, the Iranian newspaper Kayhan reported that four people had been sentenced to have the four fingers of the right hand amputated by using a machine designed in Iran for this purpose. According to earlier press reports the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Tehran and individual medical experts had been consulted about this machine.
The Kayhan report of 7 February stated that Mahmoud KARIMI, convicted of 41 cases of theft, had his finger amputated in Qasr prison on 6 February in the presence of a group of prisoners, prison officials and an authorized medical representative. Three similar sentences were scheduled to be carried out on 7 February 1985 on Naser HOSSEINPOUR (convicted of 42 cases of theft), Abdullah HASHEMI, (seven cases of theft and two of being an accomplice) and Bahram Ali EFTEKHARI (46 cases of theft and insulting state officials during the execution of their duty).
Amnesty International is urging an immediate end to the practice of punitive amputation, which breached international human rights standards. The involvement of doctors in this punishment is prohibited by the United Nations Principles of Medical Ethics, which state (principle 2):
<i>It is a gross contravention of medical ethics, as well as an offence under applicable international instruments, for health personnel, particularly physicians, to engage, actively or passively, in acts which constitute participating in, complicity, in incitement degrading treatment or punishment<i>.