Rights groups blast Sudan amputation

Feb. 28, 2013 at 10:42 AM
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NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Rights groups have condemned Sudan's amputation of a man's hand and foot as punishment after his conviction for armed robbery.

The state-ordered amputation violates international laws banning torture and cruel, inhumane or degrading punishments, the Sudan Tribune reported Wednesday.

Medical doctors in Khartoum carried out the "cross amputation" of a 30-year-old man's right hand and left food on Feb. 14 after he was convicted of firing on a car and stealing $228 from its passengers in March 2006.

The African Center for Justice and Peace Studies, Human Rights Watch, REDRESS and Physicians for Human Rights issued a statement calling on the Sudanese government and the international community to condemn the practice.

"Cross amputation is a form of state-sponsored torture," said Dr. Vincent Iacopino, a senior medical adviser at PHR. He called the participation of medical personnel in the amputation "a gross contravention of the U.N. principles of medical ethics."

The Sudanese penal code says cross amputation can be carried out when an armed robbery results in grievous injury or involves theft of property worth more than $340. The practice became law in 1983, but has not been used since 2001.

Sudan has signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the charter of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.

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