These days there is talk among the prisoners of conscience about amputating thieves’ hands by Information Ministry’s local organizations. I have been waiting for an occasion to expose these acts and spread the news to people outside, those who are involved in defence of human rights and the officials who still retain some degree of conscience and are willing to hear my message.
The latest example was this past week in Shappor Information Office in Tehran, where two Afghan nationals lost their hands for petty crimes. I feel deeply sorry that I do not know their names yet.
It must be said that the IR Judiciary has achieved a higher level of secrecy and ability to hide the truth about their crimes against humanity. This demands the human rights reporters and activists to be much more wary and to keep an ever sharper eye on these crimes. They (Human Rights reporters and activists) must not forget to use local eye-witness accounts and continue training and informing the public.
The event that led me on to write this was an article in the local paper, that some how had escaped the prison censors. The news that deeply shamed and saddened me was about cutting the hand of a man who stole from a pastry shop by an official from Judiciary a branch of Basat in Tehran.
One must remember that the publication of this news was hotly contested by the Justices of State of Tehran which has strongly condemned the newspaper.
Amputation of thieves’ hands is in no way an isolated issue, not only that the execution of such a heart breaking sentence is against all legal codes and standards but in the long run will create us a damaged and disabled class in society. In our aging demographic, removing a hand (say for stealing from a sweet shop!) is to deprive a person of the ability to work and remove him from the ranks of the employed. This act will not solve any of our social problems. The man who steals from a pastry shop either out of hunger, poverty and unemployment or from social pressures on immigrants, will from that moment on become an handicap who will never be able to earn gainful employment and will have no other way to feed himself or his family but to steal.
Just imagine this hungry man's wife or his children who will forever miss the gentle caring touch of their father. How will his child or his friends respond to his father's punishment? How will this inhumane act color their future thoughts and impact their lives?
So you can see that this is not an isolated problem and will have an impact for generations to come. Today where the social situation in Iran is defined by inflation, poverty, hunger and anxiety for the future, use of such cruel and inhumane punishments, which stand in contrast to correct social laws aimed at fostering the heath and welfare of the society, damage not only the punished but the entire society.
So what is the aim? Who will in fact benefit from these laws? I hope that the current leaders of Iran who usurped the power cut off from the hands of dictatorship and imperialists do not cut off the hands of the poor in error and instead aim to cut the poverty from our society.
Behroz Javid Tehrany
Rajaee Shahr Prison, Ward 2 Salon 44 of Aban, 1389
Link to letter.http://www.facebook.com/notes/free-prisoners-in-iran-azady-tmam-zndanyan-dgrandysh/bh-jay-fqr-fqyran-ra-ryshh-kn-nnmayndbhrwz-jawyd-thrany/495035847867