A threat by Sudan’s Deputy Chief Justice to train judges to carry out amputations if doctors refuse has prompted Amnesty International to call for an immediate halt to any further such punishments, which are in serious breach of international law.
Deputy Chief Justice Abdul Rahman Sharfi has also threatened to prosecute doctors who refuse to carry out amputation sentences.
On 14 February 2013 doctors removed the hand and leg of a man who had been convicted for robbery, in what represented the first case that human rights organisations were able to document since 2002. But Sharfi indicated that 16 amputation sentences had actually been carried out in Sudan since 2001, in a statement suggesting that the punishment might be more pervasive than was previously believed.
“This cruel and inhuman treatment, which is banned under international law, needs to be abolished immediately,” said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa Programme Director. “The Government of Sudan needs to amend its national legislation to stop this torture and bring its Penal Code into line with international standards.”