TEHRAN, Iran — A semi-official Iranian news agency is reporting that authorities have amputated the hand of a convicted thief in a prison in the country’s north.
Fars news agency reports that one hand of an unidentified convict was cut off in a prison in Sari city, some 200 kilometers (120 miles) northeast of the capital Tehran. The report said the convict committed 28 robberies.
Fars didn’t say how much time the inmate was serving.
Iran’s judiciary uses a strict interpretation of Islamic law in handing down such sentences. Cutting off the hands of thieves, however, has been rare in recent years.
Critics say amputations, public executions and floggings hurt Iran’s image.
A UN independent human rights expert said Wednesday that Iran had executed seven child offenders last year and two so far this year even though human rights law prohibits the death penalty for anyone under age 18.
Javaid Rehman also told the UN General Assembly’s human rights committee that he has “credible information” there are at least 90 child offenders currently on death row in Iran.
Rehman, the UN special investigator on human rights in Iran, expressed deep concern at the overall use of the death penalty in the Islamic Republic, saying its execution rate “remains one of the highest in the world” even after a drop from 507 in 2017 to 253 in 2018. So far in 2019, he said, “conservative estimates indicate that at least 173 executions have been carried out.”