Sudan cuts off hand, foot of robber

2013-02-28 11:49

Khartoum - Sudanese authorities cut off a hand and foot of a man convicted of armed robbery, rights groups said on Wednesday, the first such punishment under Islamic law in Sudan for almost 30 years.

It followed a pledge by President Omar Hassan al-Bashir to implement a "100%" Islamic constitution as a result of the secession in 2011 of the mainly non-Muslim south of Sudan.

Sharia (Islamic law) was first introduced in the vast northeast African country in 1983 and Bashir began to expand its application after he took power in a 1989 Islamist coup.

Floggings are common for drinking alcohol but amputations of the right hand and left feet - among the most draconian punishments allowed in Sudan - had not been meted out since the mid-1980s, according to local rights activists.

But on February 14, doctors at al-Ribat police hospital in Khartoum amputated the right hand and left foot of 30-year old Adam al-Muthna under a court order, Human Rights Watch and three other groups said in a statement, citing reliable sources.

"Cross amputation is a form of state-sponsored torture," said Vincent Iacopino, senior medical adviser at US-based Physicians for Human Rights, which issued the statement with New York-based HRW as well as British rights groups REDRESS and the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies.

Galloping inflation

The al-Sudani daily said a state court had convicted Muthna of firing on a car with an assault rifle in the Sharaf area in March 2006 to force it to stop and then stole 1 000 Sudanese pounds ($228) from its passengers. It said Sudan's constitutional court upheld the conviction.

Officials at the justice ministry, the judiciary headquarters in Khartoum and the constitutional court all declined to comment on the amputation.

Kamal al-Jazouli, a Sudanese lawyer and human rights activist, said the government apparently wanted to intimidate people with the amputation at a time of dissent over galloping inflation and corruption.

"They want to instil fear in people. How can you punish a thief in such a draconian way in a poor country like Sudan?"

A group of doctors organised in the opposition group "Change Now" also denounced the amputation. "Hospitals and medical institutions are there to treat people and not to execute such rulings," it said in a statement.

Last year, Sudanese courts sentenced two women for adultery to stoning, another sentence allowed under sharia. Both women were later freed after appeal courts overturned the rulings, according to Fahima Hashim, a women's rights activist.

  • Dave Bis - 2013-02-28 12:05

    Damn..... I wish they would come and run our country. Our clowns could learn a lot from them....

      gift.ndlovu.564 - 2013-02-28 12:55

      Thats sick. What about this poor mans human rights

      susan.paul.330 - 2013-02-28 13:02

      could you imagine, half the population will be without hands or feet...

      tuco.angeleyes - 2013-02-28 13:06

      @Gift Ndlovu what about the poor victims' human rights? Its even more sick that you are concerned about the armed robber who went out of his way to infringe other peoples' human rights. ----- We need to borrow some of these laws. they seem to be effective.

      MagdaKus - 2013-02-28 13:20

      But you will be stuck with people who are not able to afterwards find gainful employment... with a choice of begging (in Sudan probably no one can afford to give- maybe better chances here) or dying I guess. I mean is that creating a better country? And what about when the court makes a mistake?

  • jp.leroux.33 - 2013-02-28 12:05

    I kind of agree but on the other hand...

  • avremel.niselow - 2013-02-28 12:08

    While theft should be punished, completely crippling a person for life seems somewhat harsh. A better punishment would probably be to make him pay back the money plus a hefty fine to the victim, possibly double or triple the original amount, this could be done by installments if necessary.

      Fidel Uncensored - 2013-02-28 12:45

      The stupid criminals in this country will come kill the victim, in the hope that their debts will be forgiven!

      avremel.niselow - 2013-02-28 12:58

      Fair point, there would need to be a way to prevent that.

      Wishfull Abraham - 2013-02-28 13:56

      Check the thumbs down you retard,should give you a hint,you are Lost in what you speaking,you fool

      avremel.niselow - 2013-02-28 14:36

      Oh no I have offended poor little Wishfull by criticizing a system which executes rape victims and apostates. Whatever shall I do? I know I will obey his wishful thinking and leave the country... not!

      Wishfull Abraham - 2013-02-28 16:00

      Lol nice I'm just peeeeeen u off I see U passed the test,its fine u can live in our country lol,all in good humour, Don't take it to heart

      avremel.niselow - 2013-02-28 16:37

      Oh thank you!!!! I shall be ever grateful for your gracious permission.

  • avremel.niselow - 2013-02-28 12:09

    On the other hand, firing an assault rifle could definitely merit a harsher punishment.

  • sean.odonnell.1466126 - 2013-02-28 12:16

    This should be a practical deterrent and warning to all criminals. The bleeding heart liberals will whine, but then they also whine when they are the victims....go figure!

  • Francoise Labuschagne - 2013-02-28 12:28

    Bet he wouldn't do that again.... Lesson learned!

      MagdaKus - 2013-02-28 13:18

      But you will be stuck with people who are not able to afterwards find gainful employment... with a choice of begging (in a country where no one can afford to give) or dying I guess.

  • taggert - 2013-02-28 12:32

    Would be a deterrent here, no doubt, but what would we do with tens of thousands of hands and feet ?

      Fidel Uncensored - 2013-02-28 12:44

      Donate them to so called Muti makers who will hopefully live our children alone. Killing two birds with one to speak!

  • aubrey.christie - 2013-02-28 12:37

    Three quarters of our population would be amputees!!!!!!!

      sean.odonnell.1466126 - 2013-02-28 13:13

      Lol Aubrey..... three quarters of our politicians and ministers would be amputees !!

      Nishal Singh - 2013-02-28 13:47

      And then they going to claim disability grant. Guess who's ultimately footing the bill? How do you win in this country?

  • Michael Ndalama Mwale - 2013-02-28 14:39

    To use the name of God in the metting out of punishment of barbaric proportions is unGodly, and therefore Satanic. Can somebody please stop this madness in Sudan. We know Bashir is using these gruesome acts to for political survival and avoid going to the Hague.

  • Wike Mood - 2013-02-28 15:17

    some of the comments have me stumped.

  • Hendrik van Dyk - 2013-02-28 15:50

    A law abiding citizen has to be behind bars in his own home and fear criminals.... Human rights!? He gave those up when he shot at innocent people.. Our country needs a lot of cross amputees before we can sleep and move around safely.

  • pjthesecond.eldest - 2013-02-28 22:36

    South Africa should bring back corporal punishment. Remember when the courts used to sentence young criminals to 4 or 6 "latjies" which the police used to enforce? I clearly recall this used to be a big deterrent.

  • Andrew Lexar - 2013-02-28 23:48

    in defense of sudan, it's cheaper than paying for years of food shelter,education and reform that may not produce results given the poor reformation systems in prisons of africa. And believe me it will deter many want to be criminal's out there. conclusion: great solution to a burgeoning problem.

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