The Supreme Court in Iran confirmed the finger amputation sentence of two brothers detained in the northwestern city of Urmia. This was the seventh case of finger amputation in the past few months in Iran. Mehrdad and Shahab Teymouri, 30-years old and 35-years old respectively, were charged with theft along with a third suspect identified as Iraj Khatibi, in December 2018.
The two brothers, born in Sarpol-e Zahab, western Iran, are residents of Karaj, near Tehran. According to a source who spoke to Kurdistan Human Rights group, the two brothers were arrested for theft in Malard city, near Karaj.
According to the Kurdistan Human Rights group they were tried on July 24, 2019, and all three were sentenced to finger amputation of their right hand. The case was taken to the Supreme Court in March 2020, where the sentence for the two brothers was confirmed.
On October 4, another prisoner in Urmia, Arash Ali Akbari, was sentenced the amputation of four fingers. Arash is a 32-year-old father, who works as a welder and was deprived of the right to a lawyer of his choice.
Though Iranian officials are involved in huge known embezzlement and corruption cases, Iran continues to hand down brutal sentences to petty thieves.
According to Amnesty International, Iranian authorities have consistently defended amputation as the best way to deter theft, expressing regret that it cannot be practiced in public and on a widespread basis without international condemnation.
In a shocking statement before the UN Human Rights Council in October 2010, Mohammad Javad Larijani, the head of Iran’s Human Rights Council, denied that such punishments amount to torture, claiming they are “culturally and religiously justified”.