EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: MDE 14/08/94
2 September 1994
Further information on UA 248/94 (MDE 14/04/94, 24 June 1994) - Amputation
IRAQ Two men sentenced to amputation for theft
Amnesty International has received unconfirmed reports that the two men
convicted in June 1994 of stealing carpets from the Bahriz al-Kabir mosque
had their sentences of amputation carried out in July.
This was the first such sentence since Islamic judicial punishments for theft
were introduced in early June 1994, apparently in response to the rapid rise
in crime resulting from the worsening economic conditions being experienced
in Iraq since the imposition of UN sanctions in 1990. People convicted of
theft will face the punishment of amputation of one hand, followed by amputation
of one foot if they offend a second time.
Amnesty International considers amputation to be cruel, inhuman and degrading
punishment, prohibited internationally by the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
which Iraq ratified on 25 January 1971. Iraq is not a State Party to the UN
Convention against Torture, but the amputation sentences contravene Iraq's
obligations under its Unilateral Declaration against Torture or Other Cruel,
Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment which Iraq made on 3 September
In July, two other men convicted of theft were sentenced to amputation of the
right hand and to having two lines tattooed on their foreheads (see UA 319/94,
MDE 14/05/94, 1 September 1994).
No further action is required on UA 248/94. Thank you to all who sent appeals.