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As horrendous as public executions are, at least the condemned are no longer suffering. That can’t be said for the man who had his finger(s) amputated with a band saw:
One of Iran’s official press agencies published photos showing the public amputation of a thief’s fingers on Wednesday. These show a man getting his finger chopped off with a machine resembling a rotary saw.We contacted many of our Observers in Iran to ask them about this machine. Some of them had heard about it before, but many discovered its existence through these morbid photographs, which were reportedly taken on Thursday. According to the INSA press agency, the man shown getting his finger cut off was charged with robbery and adultery by a court in the southwestern city of Shiraz. He was also accused of being at the head of a criminal organisation. On top of losing one of his fingers, he was sentenced to three years in prison and 99 whip lashes.No independent witnesses were able to recount the circumstances under which this amputation took place. Four photos of the scene published by the press agency were widely relayed on social media networks. Strangely enough, the man’s face did not betray any signs of suffering in the photos, though it is possible that he might have been drugged.Following the amputation, Ali Alghasi, Shiraz’s public prosecutor, announced that sentences against criminals would become increasingly severe, without explaining why.On January 20, two thieves were hanged in public in Tehran. They had been caught thanks to video filmed by a street surveillance camera that showed them robbing a man at knifepoint. They had stolen the equivalent of 20 euros.Amputation, whipping, and even death by stoning are all legal forms of punishment under Iran’s Islamic penal code.