Islamic “justice” in Iran

Islamic law has already accounted for 23 executions, five hands and five feet in Iran, and that’s before the first two full weeks of 2008 are out.

According to a sorry tale in the Daily Mail, Islamic “justice” has meant that five convicted robbers have each had one hand and one foot amputated. And the 23 public hangings were pour encourager les autres.

“The courts ordered the right hand and left foot cut off, in line with ancient custom so that it is difficult, if notiran-hangings2.jpg impossible, for the condemned to walk, even with a cane or crutches,” says the Mail, although it’s believed this form of punishment hasn’t been used for “many years”.

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

“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.”

Amputation, says the story, has been a punishment in Iran since the Islamic revolution of 1979 installed Islamic law, but the country’s judicial authorities “have rarely publicized examples of its use and are not known to have ordered any double amputations”.