Daily Telegraph: Iran’s ambassador to Spain has compared chopping off the hands of thieves to a “surgeon amputating a limb to prevent the spread of gangrene”.
The Daily Telegraph
By Fiona Govan in Madrid
Iran’s ambassador to Spain has compared chopping off the hands of thieves to a “surgeon amputating a limb to prevent the spread of gangrene”.
In a defence of Iran’s tough implementation of Islamic law, Seyed Davoud Salehi called for “the traditions, religion and economic development” of Iran to be taken into account by those monitoring human rights in the country. He also argued that the death penalty was necessary “to preserve the health of society as a whole”.
Mr Salehi said during a speech in Madrid that the highest court in Iran had decided to limit public executions to prevent images of hangings and stonings in public squares being broadcast around the world and used as propaganda against the regime.
“Our laws allow for the amputation of the hand that steals. This is not accepted by the West, but the field of human rights should take into account the customs, traditions, religion and economic development,” he said in comments reported by the newspaper El Mundo.
“Some laws are needed to preserve the health of society, if not, it would be in danger.”
Iran has the second highest number of recorded executions in the world after China, according to Amnesty International.
More than 300 people were condemned to death last year, an increase of more than 70 per cent on 2006.
So far this year 20 public executions have taken place and the hands or feet of at least five offenders have been amputated.
The ambassador criticised claims that Iran had a poor record in human rights and attributed it to “the arrogance of the West”, which used the argument to harm the image of the country.