Thursday, 17 January 2008

Iran chops off hands and feet of five robbers.

"Using strict enforcement of Islamic law, the judicial authorities in southern Iran amputated the right hands and left feet of five convicted robbers this week."

Daily Mail January 11th, 2008

"The double amputations came as it was revealed there have been 23 public executions since the start of the year as part of what the government said was an effort to "deter other troublemakers". The amputations were believed to be the first in Iran for many years. The courts ordered the right hand and left foot cut off, in line with ancient custom so that it is difficult, if not impossible, for the condemned to walk, even with a cane or crutches"

So, not really into rehabilitation, then, the wonderful Islamic state of Iran? I heard on Radio 4 on Monday, in "Beyond Belief," a Muslim man describing Islamic Law as God's Law. Well, it is surely a savage God who does not allow for a person to change, to redeem himself. How does the man who cannot walk, even with a cane or crutches earn a living? Is that man condemned to beg on the streets for the rest of his life? I don't suppose the Islamic state will provide him with a wheelchair, a prosthetic foot, or a car adapted for his use to get to a job of work.

So, if the five robbers owe a debt to society, as some might say they do, how do they ever repay that debt? I guess their only use to the society of Iran may be as that deterrent to other troublemakers, though I would doubt it. It's that old adage I think, "Rather be hung for a sheep as a lamb," and as in England hundreds of years ago when people could be hanged for stealing a lamb, the robber who knows that capture may result in double amputation, may just decide that he might as well kill any witnesses.

While I believe that people who commit serious crime should be punished, I also believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to change and to show that they can become a useful member of society.

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