PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/03/99
EXTRA 21/99 Death Penalty / Amputation 12 February 1999
IRANJamileh (f), aged 38
Zahra (f), aged 30
Amnesty International is gravely concerned by the sentences reportedly handed
down to the two above-named women after they were convicted of theft and murder
by a Tehran court.
Jamileh has reportedly been sentenced to death by hanging and the amputation
of her hand while Zahra has been sentenced to the amputation of her hand and
a 15-year prison sentence.
Jamileh and Zahra, both described in newspaper reports as being drug addicts,
apparently broke into the Tehran home of a seventy year old woman whom they
strangled to death before making off with her gold jewellery.
While recognising the right of all states to bring to justice anyone suspected
of a recognizably criminal offence, Amnesty International unconditionally
opposes the death penalty, which contravenes the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights (UDHR) - Article 3: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security
of person” - which the government of Iran has committed to uphold.
The organization also opposes judicial punishments such as amputation, which
constitutes cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, and as such is forbidden
under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to
which Iran is a state party.
Amputations (as well as flogging) were resumed as a punishment for theft in
1996 by the State Prosecutor, Ayatollah Moghtadai, in an attempt to halt rising
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/express/airmail letters in English
or your own language:
- expressing grave concern that Jamileh has been sentenced to death, in direct
contravention of the UDHR, and urging that her sentence and all other outstanding
death sentences in Iran be commuted;
- explaining that judicial punishments such as amputation violate the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a state
party, and asking the Iranian authorities to commute all sentences of amputation
Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
The Presidency, Palestine Avenue
Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Telegrams:Ayatollah Khamenei, Tehran, Iran
Hojjatoleslam val Moslemin Sayed Mohammad Khatami